Ascot Hat From the Past

Royal Hats This series of Ascot flashback begins with a step back nearly 94 years to June 1925 and a most royal of arrivals on the Ascot racing grounds. Queen Mary’s Breton style hat with upturned brim follows a Kokoshnik curve around the front and lavish trimmings- I see a silk organza wrap, feathers, fine veil and what looks like two small diamond brooches. I can’t imagine the practice of fixing diamond brooches to one’s Ascot hat will return but we can wish- I mean, how wonderful would that be?!

And so kicks off our two week adventure into the Ascot photo archives! If there are any royal hats worn today, please share and discuss in the comments as well. I’ll pop in and out of the conversation as I’m able.

Photo from Hulton Deutsch via Getty and Getty as indicated

10 thoughts on “Ascot Hat From the Past

  1. Pardon my interruption, ladies, of your interesting discussion. Please, allow a moment and look one more time at Queen Mary’s hat; The “brooches” are the bejeweled ends of a hat pin. But of course jewelry on hats has been a big fashion throughout history; Not just for Ascot. I too hope we’ll see more of that tradition. So many jewels, so little time! lol

  2. Very elegant, and very Queen Mary. I will never understand how she was able to wear the veiling so close to her whole face all the time.

  3. I’ve never seen a photo of Queen Mary going to Ascot! I don’t know why but I thought the Queen Mum was the racing fan and started the tradition. Does anyone know when the royal family started attending?

    I think it used to be common to add diamond brooches to hats especially for grand events. Now it might seem over the top, even for Ascot!

    • Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne who would have undoubtedly attended. Subsequent Kings George 1-IV and William IV likely attended as well.

      The first visual proof I can find is Queen Victoria attending in 1840
      Embed from Getty Images

      The Prince and Princess of Wales (future King Edward VI and Queen Alexandra) attending in 1882 h

      Embed from Getty Images

      The Prince and Princess of Wales (future King Edward VI and Queen Alexandra) hosting an Ascot house party in 1896 (you can see the future King George V and Queen Mary 4th and 5th from the right)
      Embed from Getty Images

  4. it has a lot of details, a lot going on, much like all the jewelry she always wore. in a way it represents her taste, it tells a story

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