After admiring the hats and headpieces worn by the bridal party and Kent family relations at Saturday’s wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston, we turn now to the bride’s British royal cousins. We begin with the family’s matriarch, Queen Elizabeth, who repeated the lovely cerise straw hat we first saw her wear at Ascot last year. With a gently molded stepped crown, sidesweeping brim and double straw hatband, the focus of this design is its vibrantly beautiful posy of handmade silk flowers on the side, studded with arrow trimmed feathers.
It’s a lovely look for Her Majesty with the contrasting textures between straw hat and tweedy coat giving some dimension to the ensemble. While the hat’s balance and shape are beautiful on their own, it’s those incredible silk flowers and the colour used on their inner petals that magnetically draws pulls the eye in for a second look that makes this design a standout star.
Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 21, 2018
Princess Anne repeated a hat in finely woven navy straw. In a variation of a cloche shape, the design’s short brim is upturned on one side in an angle echoed by a slight diagonal pitch on the crown. The interesting shape is somewhat lost against the hat’s trim, a wide yellow hatband with navy stripes and large side flower, both in the same fabric as the ensemble’s coordinating jacket.
Coordinated is a good descriptor for this look but thankfully, those strips on the hat’s hatband keep it from the dreaded “matchy” label. No, it’s not currently fashionable but it makes a graphic statement and the interaction between hat and jacket is balanced. It’s a strong look that Anne carries well, despite looking slightly out of place in this decade.
Princess Beatrice topped a navy lace dress with a white straw button percher hat, lavishly trimmed with straw loops, silk organza pointed leaves and layered silk flowers. The hat is lovely but I thought its pairing with this lace dress was incongruous in both colour and feel. The pieces are both exquisite and I’d love to see them both on Beatrice again, paired with alternate elements (imagine this hat with a floral frock? So pretty.).
Designer: bespoke Jess Collett. Self-Portrait dress.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Lady Sarah Chatto wore an oversize cloche hat in ecru straw hat with rounded crown and extended brim. Sarah is an expert in elegant neutrals and this hat, with white sweater set and taupe silk pleated skirt, is a case in point. I initially thought this was a new addition (I’m SO ready to see her add different shapes to her millinery wardrobe) than the saucers she has favored for the past few years) but you eagle eyed readers remembered it’s nearly 20 years old- a case for sticking to classic shapes because it’s certainly aged well. Interestingly, the brim on this design is flexible, as shown by the different positions Lady Sarah has worn it in the past.
The biggest millinery surprise of the event was on the Duchess of Gloucester, who brought back a headpiece last seen in the early 1980s. In royal blue textured straw braided into a wide headband, the design nearly defies its age thanks to its wonderful colour, which pairs fantastically with Brigitte’s silk dress. Yes, it’s a dated and slightly bonkers look but one that is brilliantly brave and for this, deserves both giggles and admiration.
Previously Worn: June 16, 1984
The Duchess’ daughter-in-law, the Countess of Ulster, wore a beret percher covered in black crepe, trimmed with a dramatic sweep of pleated crin trim
Designer: Bundle MacLaren. It is a bespoke version of the Leah design. Dress from Cefinn
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Lady Rose Gilman paired her turquoise dress with a red straw button percher trimmed with a crescent of red goose feathers anchored with a jeweled bow.
Designer: unknown. Dress by L.K.Bennett
Previously Worn: uncertain
Sarah, Duchess of York, wore one of my favourite hats of the day, a triple layered saucer in dusky pink straw with lovely upsweep around the back and a trimming of pheasant feathers. Everything about this hat is spot-on (from scale to colour to unexpected feather trim (which links so well with Sarah’s signature auburn hair) to that beautiful sweeping curve) and the combination of hat and dress is spectacularly elegant.
Designer: Jess Collett
Previously Worn: This hat is new. Dress by Jad Ghandour