British Royals Attend Garden Party

This afternoon under sunny, blue skies, Queen Elizabeth hosted the second Buckingham Palace garden party of this spring/summer season.

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For this event, she repeated her pale blue straw hat with tall, slightly flared and sloped crown and flat brim. The hat is beautifully trimmed with a layered silk hatband and handmade silk peonies and rose buds in ombre shades of pink. It’s a lovely hat and the floral motif, both on the hat and on the print of the silk dress, feels right at home at such an event as this.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn: June 20, 2018

The Duke of Cambridge carried his black silk top hat while the Duchess wore a new saucer percher in pale pink straw. The hat is trimmed with a pale pink rose, feather and silk abacca ruffles both on top and below the raised edge of the hat.

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Juliette Botterill’s work is beautiful, as evidenced by this design. The scale is great on Kate and the mix of straw, abacca, silk and feathers on the hat makes it work with the monochrome outfit. It’s a very pretty look for Kate.

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Designer: Juliette Botterill. Coat dress by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex repeated the pink straw waved disc hat she debuted last year at Ascot. Bound in a wide stripe of black lattice, the design features a high upsweep at the back, sandwiched in folded ruffles of pink and black lattice crin. I admire the unexpected colour scheme (which looks great on Sophie) and the zip of playfulness the exuberant trim brings to the design. It’s good on many levels and I’m so glad it hasn’t been relegated to the depths of her closet like so many of her other past Ascot hats.

Designer: Jane Taylor. Emilia Wickstead dress 
Previously Worn: June 19, 2018

The Duchess of Gloucester brought back her ecru straw, wide brimmed boater hat with appliqued leaves around the brim (see them in better detail here). It’s a classic, streamlined and elegant design that defies its age and I’m glad to see back in rotation. Brigitte has been reaching into the depths of her millinery closet recently and bringing out some interesting pieces!


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 15, 2011; June 20, 2000 and likely others

Princess Alexandra a picture hat with rounded crown and flat brim in textured natural straw, trimmed with a hatband of silk flowers and a swath of widely woven cream net veil. The quintessential garden hat both coordinates and counterpoints very well with  Alexandra’s patterned Chinoiserie silk jacket and fits right in at a garden party


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 2, 2015; June 20, 2012June 1995

Finally, the Duke of York repeated his black silk top hat while the Duke of Gloucester and Duke of Kent both repeated top hats in dove grey felt (scroll through galleries above and below). While not photographed wearing a hat, it looks like the Earl of Wessex carried his black silk top hat in hand.

These garden parties are always great fun- what hats stood out to you most today?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated 

24 thoughts on “British Royals Attend Garden Party

    • Gosh I LOVE this photo ! how lovely to see them so exuberant ! 😁 HM looks wonderful in fact I can’t say that I dislike any of the hats on this day ! On the question of the POW and the Princes carrying their top hats … I wonder if it could be for the simple reason of – letting the people see their faces – similar to the reason the Queen wears a hat that shows her face ! 😐

      • HA! William looks so handsome in the hat! I also read a lot on twitter criticising Kate for another boring pink coat dress and hat but this is different than other things she’s worn. Yes, the hat is similar to her green one last year but I think this outfit is just beautiful on her.

  1. Everyone looked wonderful!

    May I say that I have never seen Princess Alexandra looking nothing less than perfect?

    Wish we had a larger picture here as well as a good photo from the recent Windsor wedding.

    • Alexandra’s hat is PERFECT for a garden party. I also LOVE the Duchess of Gloucester’s hat. She has been looking great with some of her older hats, giving them new life. Good for her!

  2. Definitely a lovely hat for HM to bring back; absolutely perfect for a garden party! I’m still not completely on board with how the buttons are done on the coat, but really just a minor complaint I usually can overlook.

    A great new hat for Kate, although it does remind me a lot of her 2018 Trooping Hat in blue (also by Juliette Botterill, so no surprise); it does also have that split-open disc design like Zara’s 2018 Cheltenham Day 2 Botterill hat (, but it’s much more subtle in this light pink.

    Still a beautiful hat for Sophie, but I can’t warm up to her dress.

    After previously pairing this hat with more matching gold/beige outfits, it’s great to see Birgitte bring new life to this hat with a floral patterned dress. I’ve often complained about her repeating and rotating through the same 4 hats in recent years, but I’m more than happy if she continues to bring back some older ones and modernizes them with new outfits as she has done in the past year.

    So happy to see Alexandra bring this hat and outfit back out after so many years in hiding. It’s nice to have the hat be a completely different color from the rest of her outfit and instead focus matching the trim colors to what’s in her clothing.

    Does anyone know why some of the royal men carry their top hat and others wear theirs? Is this merely a matter of personal preference? I’ll admit this continues to confuse me.

    • How observant you are Jake! Kate’s hat is most probably made on the same block as Zara’s, only Zara’s is more curled up, which is easy to do with felt.
      And I also wonder about the habit of carrying one’s hat around in ones hand instead of on one’s head. What is the use of it? Women have handbags of course to keep their hands occupied (so unpractical when you have to hold a glass and a lettuce sandwich at the same time), but it’s not the same thing, is it? Could someone please explain?

  3. The Duchess of Gloucester seems to be delving back into her closet with varied results these days. As for the rest of the Royals…..I do love a Garden Party and the opportunity to dress up like this. I think Her Majesty looks smashing. The combination of Parvin and Trevor Morgan is unbeatable. Unlike some of you, I do like the Duchess of Cambridge’s entire ensemble. Princess Alexandra wears her hat beautifully, doesn’t she? I also like the Countess of Wessex in black and white. Very chic. And the men all wear their tops hats well, although I prefer the dove grey in the warmer months. By the way, it looks to me as if The Queen is wearing the diamond and sapphire snowflake brooch we Canadians gave her to mark her sixty years as Queen. Imagine how it sparked in the sunshine!

    • What a gorgeous day for the party – such fun to, as you say, dress up like this! Couple of thoughts on your comments – I so wish I could like a gray top hat. I want to, I want to (actually I would like to acquire one! – if I could ever find a nice one) But the gray felt just doesn’t do it for me, and they seem to never fit as well as a silk topper. Oh, if they’d only made the gray in silk as well. The Queen’s brooch – yes, I am quite certain that is the SNOWflake that was given to her in Canada. While it is lovely, snowflake at a spring/summer garden party?!?! That one threw me for a loop! LOL

  4. HM: Those roses on her hat are just gorgeous. It’s probably a coincidence, but I like the way the colour of the rose leaves matches the colour of HM’s sunglass lenses.
    Kate DoC: a classic Catherine daytime formal look. The hat is fabulous –but the clash of the pinks used for the hat in relation to the coat, which Josephine pointed out, is a bit of a let-down.
    Sophie CoW: nice to see that chic hat again. On second viewing, I’m less in favour of the black sleeve trim on the dress, which looks heavy next to the more delicate black trim of the hat. I’d love to see this hat worn with a pale grey dress and pale pink accessories.
    Birgitte, DoG: I hope a closer view of the Duchess at this event will emerge; the Duchess’ hats are always very interesting.
    P Alexandra: I love this “cottage flower garden” style — it’s simple and unaffected, yet so so pretty.

  5. I like everyone’s hat here, I have just one major problem with the pink shades on Kate. The hat is more pink-orange and I can’t get past this. A bit of contrast between the coat and the hat would have worked better…

  6. Lovely to see this beautiful hat on HM again, the colours are fab and RTM’s deft hand with the trim once again is stunning. Glad this one hasn’t disappeared into the depths like so many Ascot hats do, I just don’t think she’s out and about enough these days to get as much wear from them as she once did (not a criticism! Should I ever make 93, I shall be in a chair all day watching reruns of Will and Grace!)

    Kate’s look is lovely, and garden party appropriate, but I had to have a think whether it was a repeat. She’s got the hat in blue and the coat (almost in white). And this shade of pink reads a bit ‘12 year old bridesmaid’ to me on her. Not my fave thing on her, but I suspect others will disagree.

    And I too am glad to see this repeat on Soph. I love the hat more than the dress, I think it’s the sports stripe on the arm that distracts me, but still, she’s ready for tennis after. Anyway, she looks fab, as per when she goes a-hatting. .

    Brigitte and Alexandra, summer elegance as per.

  7. the hat of the duchess of Gloucester is not new
    Horse Racing – The Royal Ascot Meeting 2011 – Day Two – Ascot RacecourseThe Duchess Of Gloucester, And Princess Alexandra At The Second Day Of The Royal Ascot Race Festival, Berkshire. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

    • Well spotted, Francois-Xavier Allonier
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    • Great find! I like the patterned brim. This is a much better repeat than the blue circlet from the wedding last weekend.

    • Yes, I was going to point out the 2011 appearance of this hat, but it’s even older than I expected, as it also showed up during Ascot on 20 June 2000:
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      • Another fun fact: Birgitte wore this 2011 Ascot dress with a gold-beige feather fascinator to her daughter Lady Rose Gilman’s wedding on 19 July 2008:
        Embed from Getty Images

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