Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hats almost 83 years to the week June 1936 that saw Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, wear these two ostrich plumed beauties to the races.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Please share and discuss any royal hats worn today in the comments as well.

Photos from Getty as indicated

24 thoughts on “Ascot Hats From the Past

  1. How delicate and beautiful these hats are! The feathers add a nice movement. The size does not overpower the wearer, something not unusual in some of the later decades like the 80s.
    With little change, they can be worn today. Princess Michael of Kent would wear something like this today.

  2. These are both very chic and elegant. The brimmed hat seems to summon up visions of romantic films of the 1930s, while the other one could almost pass as contemporary. People have commented on the fur. It’s not easy to be sure, but I suspect that this is not a coat, but simply a necklet or stole, worn with a light dress, and would be seen entirely as a fashion accessory rather than saying anything about the weather.

  3. That second photo of Marina is such pure elegance! And overall, that look would fit in pretty well today, considering many percher cocktail hats look quite similar, but with more modern trim and feathers.

  4. On January 23, Crown Princess Victoria visited The Norrbotten Regiment in Arvidsjaur.

  5. I’m distracted by what looks like a stick in Marina’s hair in the first photo. Is it just there to anchor the hat? It looks too rigid to be a trailing ribbon. Can anyone explain?

    • Hello Mary. I thought it a bit funny, too. It’s part of the feather, I think. It goes up through the brim of the hat and either up over the top or round the back.

      • It must be the quill of a feather. It goes up over the crown of the hat. There is a cluster of bows attached to it, just under the brim. It looks as if this quill is attached to a headband, though it is difficult to see (just above the ear). In any case, the crown is too shallow to for that hat to stay on the head without any artifice, so there is bound to be something.

  6. Both hats are wonderful. I think these are the first pictures where I’ve seen Princess Marina even slightly smiling. She nearly always looks so solemn in pictures. Understandable as she didn’t have the easiest life or marriage.

  7. Oh my, was she elegant! I love the soft neckline of her dresses. Velours, feathers & furs seems a rather winterish combination for a June month, but maybe it was chilly that day.

    • The odd appearance of furs on a summer’s day was my first thought too. But Marina was so incredibly chic that it must have been a stylish thing to do. I always remember the elegant golden hat and dress she wore to her daughter, Alexandra’s, wedding. It was probably the most memorable Mother of the Bride ensemble I have ever seen.

        • I ought to have added that Princess Margaret wore a rather interesting hat to Princess Alexandra’s wedding – yellow basically. Check it out!

      • One of my late mother’s most memorable comments, upon seeing a prominent woman wearing a fur coat at a totally unseasonable time of year, was “They’re so rich, they can afford to air condition the outside!”

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