Ascot Hats From the Past

I need to step away from the blog for a week- while I’m away, we’re going to whet our Ascot hat appetites with a look back at some more memorable designs that appeared on royal heads at races in the past. We start this series of flashbacks today with a pair of hats from over 70 years ago that feel as though they could fashionably fit in today.

Royal Hatsto June 16, 1948 and an arrival at the races by newlywed Princess Elizabeth in a floral and veil trimmed percher cocktail hat and Princess Margaret in an upturned halo design with feathers around the brim.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

How timeless do you think these two designs are?! In my absence, please share any royal hats worn around the world today in the comments. I’ll see you all back here in a week!

Photos from Getty as indicated

17 thoughts on “Ascot Hats From the Past

  1. I think Princess Margaret’s hat has aged rather better than her sister’s confection – though both are rather ‘busy’ to modern eyes. It reminds me a little of Princess Eugenie’s leafy Trooping the Colour hat from last year.

    • Deborah, what do you think of the elevated shoes and the snazzy coat on our young princess?
      Embed from Getty Images
      I found an EXTRAORDINARY video of Margaret, and the hat is very visible from all angles. Please enjoy this other outing of the same ensemble.
      .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGCmQnoguKE

      • That is extraordinary Jimbo! Thanks for sharing! I do adore the coat and hat in motion.
        The girl at the beginning who gave Princess Margaret that amazing bouquet of flowers did the greatest curtsy I have ever seen. She puts everyone else to shame! 🙂

        On a side note, have a wonderful and well-deserved break Hat Queen!

      • Ooh, that coat is gorgeous! And the hat seems much less busy once you can see the back of it, and balanced with the relative plainness of the coat too. (Oh, for the glory days of tailoring…)
        I’ve just noticed in the photo above that HM is wearing a lighter hat with darker shoes (& gloves) and HRH is wearing a darker hat with lighter shoes and gloves. Rings the changes on matchy-matchy, doesn’t it? I wonder if they ever pinched things out of each other’s wardrobes.

      • In June of 1948 Princess Elizabeth would be several months pregnant with her first child Charles, born November 14th, 1948. In my decades of Royal watching this is the first photo and/or video where I have seen her pregnant ! I have noted the carefully designed cut of her wardrobe. I miss those days of dressing with modesty while expecting a child.

  2. Princess Beatrix opened an exhibition of metal sculptures ‘’The garden of earthly worries’’ by Daniel Libeskind in the garden of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. She repeated one of her navy bumper hats

      • Even 30+ years later during Diana’s pregnancies, loose flowing garments were still the pregnancy uniform. I’m not sure when the current custom of wearing form-fitting outfits to highlight the “baby bump” rather than disguise it came into popularity, but I feel like it was fairly recently.

  3. Dear Hat Queen,
    I love it that you fill a hiatus with blasts from the past, so I don’t get withdrawals! Thank you!

    • You’re welcome! Ascot weeks is so busy, I don’t get to share hats from the past and this gives us all an opportunity to have a fun peek into the Ascot archives.

    • Many thanks from me, too, HQ! It’s not too soon to be thinking about Ascot, is it? Hope your week away is for fun.

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