Ascot Hat From the Past

Royal Hats25 years to June 18, 1994 and the Countess of Snowdon in an oversize lilac straw hat covered in feathers. Privately, I’ve always thought of this design as “the Muppet”….for obvious reasons.

Embed from Getty Images

This whopper of a hat concludes our look back into the Ascot archives- I’ll be back tomorrow. My sincere thanks, everyone, for the fun discussion and for sharing all the hats I’ve missed while I was away. It’s wonderful to be able to leave Royal Hats in your hands!

Photo from Getty as indicated

20 thoughts on “Ascot Hat From the Past

  1. I admit I am biased in favour of all-over-ostrich feather hats – so even the exaggerated ‘nineties height of the hat doesn’t totally spoil my enjoyment. I do love the monochrome effect of this ensemble, right down to the lavender gloves, and I think Serena is carrying off this huge hat with aplomb. I wish we could see the whole dress… I guess Maxima’s feathered skirts give us some idea of what it may have looked like. I always think of the wearers of these skirts leaving a trail of fallen ostrich wisps wherever they go. Serena’s dress may be a Herve Leger – here is a similar lavender bodycon dress from his collection of the same year, 1994:

    Here we can see the straw underside of the hat, and the gloves .
    https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/royal-family-racing-at-royal-ascot-1994-serena-stanhope-and-duchess-of-kent-arrive-at-royal-ascot-viscountess-linley-took-royal-ascot-by-storm-in-a-stunning-outfit-immediately-placing-her-as-a-hot-favourite-in-the-royal-fashion-stakes-the-viscounte-2064126a
    A bystander in this pic seems to be really enjoying Serena’s hat (Click on 4th photo):

    • Expert research, mcncln! Serena’s dress does look very much like this one, toned down for The Royal Enclosure. It’s not that I’m completely opposed to ostrich feather hats, especially for Ladies’ Day, but this one is just silly.

  2. HatQueen, we welcome you back, and thank you for putting together this excellent series for us to enjoy while you were away! Hope you had a great week!

  3. All I can say about this huge and strange hat is that we have come to expect really odd hats to appear on the heads of members of the general public at Ascot, as they play “can you top this?” for size and unusual styling. (And also to get as wild as they can with their hats in hopes of getting on television!) It’s not that often that such a hat appears on a royal head.

    Serena looks very attractive in that shade of lavender. Unfortunately some of the feathers have fallen off of her hat and lodged onto the fabric of her dress. Hopefully they weren’t put there on purpose. However, she is on the whole a very stylish woman, and everyone is entitled to a “miss” now and then!

  4. SoCalGal, JamesB, and mittenmary, I join you in all of your thoughts. The ridiculousness of this huge monstrosity hides a very pretty Royal face, and that’s wrong on many levels! By the same token, it would look great on me, as I have often been given the left-handed compliment that I have a great face for radio!

      • Mittenmary, I’m entirely too bashful for such a showstopper, so I’ll settle for the cheaper version – more in my budget also!
        Embed from Getty Images

          • Thank you, mittenmary, tomorrow is the big day, and you are very kind. The mirror lies to me, because I feel and think quite differently than what it displays! I’ll think of you lovely people when I lift my glass, and I’ll raise a toast to YOUR good health and longevity!

          • Matthew, very funny! Remember though, my friend, if you are British, you’re NEVER short a hat!

  5. For those of us in the UK, one of Ken Dodd’s diddymen comes to mind! But the match of colour with the simple fitted dress means she carries it off.

  6. I was about to agree with Shannon about the sleek dress balancing out the hat, but then I noticed the feathers on the dress, too. The hat goes beyond fun and into cartoonish to my eye.

  7. Good God! I don’t mind the feathers, it’s the size that bothers me, this hat is huge! Serena was quite a fearless hatter in the 90s but this goes a tad too far for me.

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