It is my great honour to introduce Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, creator of La plus belle! bespoke millinery in The Hague, as my guest to discuss today’s royal hats at Ascot!
Despite rainy weather for the second day of Royal Ascot today, Queen Elizabeth wore a bright smile- perhaps thanks to her new hat?! In pale blue straw, the hat features a tall, domed, straight-sided crown and a short, downward facing cartwheel brim. The design is completed with a straw hatband covered around the front with handmade silk blossoms in shades of purple and blue.
Wies Mauduit: After yesterday’s fireworks, giving us Queen Elizabeth in an interesting new brim shape, Queen Máxima in a very Ascot worthy creation by a Dutch (!) milliner and the Duchess of Cambridge in a beautifully romantic hat and dress combination, today’s hats were comparatively simple. And maybe that was a good thing, as there was a lot of rain falling on Ascot today!
The betting on the colour of the Queen’s hat was suspended yesterday after an unknown punter put a stake of four figures on yellow, the betting organisation suspecting foul play. Instead, Her Majesty turned up in blue. Today the bets where on pink but Queen Elisabeth appeared yet again in blue, a lovely pale shade with just enough turquoise to keep it from being baby-ish (note the matching umbrella!)
Royal Hats: I like to think she follows the betting and chooses a colour just to foil everyone! This hat immediately reminded me of this similar hat, also by Rachel Trevor Morgan, that the Queen wore to Ascot in 2014. My second thought was one of surprise- this is almost the same colour palate that she wore yesterday. I can’t remember the last time she repeated a colour, back-to-back at Ascot.
Wies Mauduit: The hat’s simple design is enlivened by a half circle of silk flowers, echoing the pattern and colours of Her Majesty’s dress. The petals of the white flowers have been delicately outlined by hand in black ink to make them stand out against the pale blue sinamay. The work of a skilled and talented flower maker!
Royal Hats: Thanks for pointing that out- I never would have realized that the petal markings would be hand drawn but of course, that makes sense when you’re talking about hand-made silk flowers (the markings don’t magically appear!). The shape, colour and scale of this hat is great. I agree that what makes it stand out to me is the floral trim. It’s delicate, soft and so well balanced- while there’s considerable colour contrast between those in colour tinged cream and darker purple, their thoughtful and artful placement makes them work beautifully together.
Wies Mauduit: The silk bourrette tweed of the coat in combination with the silk flowers make a lovely, summery look on such a rainy day! My only quibble might be that there is nothing to tie the hat to the gold buttons on Her Majesty’s coat, but that may be due to the choice of brooch: the blue silk flowers harmonize perfectly with the cornflower blue of the massive sapphire.
Royal Hats: Great observation. I thought the blue blossoms tied perfectly with Queen Victoria’s sapphire brooch (not a typo- this is a brooch Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria) but I can see how a gold brooch (or silver buttons) would make what is already a great ensemble, completely unified.
Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn: this hat is new
Photos from Getty as indicated