Ascot Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to June 16, 1981 and a wide-brimmed lilac straw hat with double hatband and wonderful ostrich trim that caught all eyes at Ascot. This was one of Lady Diana Spencer’s earliest hats worn in public – she would marry the Prince of Wales a month later.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

I’ll check in when I can to hear your reactions and reminiscing about this hat. If there are any royal hats worn today, please share and discuss in the comments as well.

Designer: John Boyd

Photos from Getty as indicated

22 thoughts on “Ascot Hat From the Past

  1. Beautiful hat! She had some fantastic Ascot hats. She looks good in this outfit even with all the different shades and horizontal and vertical stripes!

    • Sue, you are correct that the Australia photo is the same outfit. There was also a third time that she wore just the dress without the jacket, I will try to find a photo of it.

      • Found it, but can’t post it here because I can only find it on Pinterest. She wore the dress without the jacket on Brittania during the honeymoon. If anyone wants to see the pic it is in my Pinterest id matthew951 in the Honeymoon section of the “Diana 1981” board.

  2. I always loved that outfit of Diana’s, so many different colors in the stripes to match to! I don’t remember her ever rewearing it though. The hat was lovely for Ascot.

  3. Love the trim on Diana’s hat and the beautiful, subtle color. I was always so jealous of how her shoes and handbag matched the outfit perfectly. The third picture makes me so sad because she looks so sad. I guess it was a prediction of what was to come, but nobody wanted to “see” it then.

    I love the vibrant colors on HM’s hat today, also. Camel is not my favorite color on HM either.

    • Charles went to play polo after Ascot that day, and the third photo was taken at the polo grounds, not at the racecourse. I know we’re supposed to only discuss the royals’ hats here and not their lives, but I hope HatQueen won’t object if I express the opinion that Diana was not sad in that photo, but rather, totally bored. I always had the impression that she had no personal interest in watching polo and only went to watch Charles play because it was expected of her.

      Polo boredom aside, this hat was always one of my favorites, despite the many that came afterwards, and it’s too bad that it didn’t appear again (to my recollection). I actually often wondered if the hats from those first few months were borrowed, since most of them were worn only once. I do agree with JamesB that, in retrospect, this outfit was a little too mature looking for Diana at that age.

  4. Dianas’s purple (lavender?) hat and outfit were absolutely darling for that time period. She brought her lovely smile and her demure fashion into a stand royal family, while retaining decorum at all times.

  5. The queen has a new hat today:
    Embed from Getty Images
    The coat does not appear to be same color as the one worn from London to Sandringham last month, but it certainly appears to be the same pattern. Pockets, stitching and buttons match. Is is the same coat?
    Embed from Getty Images
    In December:
    Embed from Getty Images
    As for today’s green dress, I’m missing the connection to the coat or to the hat. It may not be new at all.

    • Fairbanks, thanks for sharing this hat today. Camel/tan is not one of my favorite colors on HM, but the bright, lively feathers add such a wonderful punch!
      As for the green dress, what a coincidence that exactly one year ago this weekend, HM wore what appears to be the same dress, as she ventured out to a neighboring church, instead of her own St. Mary Magdalene!

      January 21, 2018; St. Lawrence Church, Castle Rising
      Embed from Getty Images

      • Overall this new tan hat is a nice one (99% certain it’s a RTM creation), but I would’ve much preferred if HM had repeated that beautiful green cloche from last year.

    • I like the color pop of the feathers against the camel! It seems they should make the trim look overloaded with the twist, but somehow it works, perhaps because they’re so sleek.

    • I think the hat in January matches the dress worn under the coat in December – the different colours blend nicely as an ensemble. Just that HM hasn’t worn the ensemble!

  6. I had a hat very much like this, but in ivory! I have never seen this hat before, so feel quite chuffed to have been in such illustrious company.

    • It’s the same coat alright and I like the new hat. But the shades of tan (or camel?) are off – not the same but close enough that they don’t contrast. Hmm.

  7. Could this hat scream 1981 any more than it does?! It’s lovely, that feather trim is very dashing, but the whole look feels a bit old for a 20 year old. Diana had a long way to go to find her style didn’t she.

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