British Queen and Heir Celebrate Scottish Parliament

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles’ title when in Scotland) visited Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its re-establishment. For this event, which saw the Queen address the Holyrood chamber, she wore an outstanding new hat in deep periwinkle blue-purple straw.

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The design features a tall, gently sloped crown with molded creases along the top edge and a moderately sized brim that folds upward around the back. The hat is trimmed with blue hatband (looks like silk) and four yellow-centered purple handmade violet flowers scattered across one side, interspersed with green silk leaves.

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In a word, it’s stunning. We’ve seen this shape and scale on the Queen before- they’re still good. What elevates the hat to greatness is colour and trim. Looking closely at the crown, it appeared that the straw’s warp and weft were woven in slightly different shades- one more royal blue and one more purple-  but on second look (and on Wies’ expert suggestion in the comments below!), I believe the hat is made of layers of sinamay in both royal blue and purple. This layered technique only gives incredible dimension and depth to the hue, but allows those purple violets to blend as perfectly as they do with a a blue hat. The transparent brim keeps the dark-hued design wonderfully light and the violets- well, they are simply works of art. They look to be hand-painted with beautiful varying shades of purple that play so well with purple undertone in the hat’s crown. The whole ensemble is balanced, vibrant, elegant and full of life.

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Queen Elizabeth’s foreign sartorial choices are often full of meaningful colours and motifs- I can’t imagine that this bluey purple is a coincidence here (it was made by a Scottish designer, after all!) and I love the way it makes subtle reference to the purple hat and coat she wore 20 years ago when she attended this Parliament’s first session.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn: This hat is new

I’ve declared my adoration for this hat- what do you think of it, dearest readers?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

26 thoughts on “British Queen and Heir Celebrate Scottish Parliament

  1. Fabulous colour, beautiful coat, stonking brooch … what more could we ask? Well, we always like a striking hat, don’t we? And RTM has delivered a beauty. Everything’s in proportion, it’s finished well, and the trim is in the right place! 10 out of 10 for Her Maj with this one.

    • I agree with you 100%, Sandra! In the past 6 months, including Christmas 2018, I’ve counted at least 10 new hats for HM, and this blue/purple is the best one – an absolute masterpiece, perfect in every way, including the botox flowers. (I love that, mcncln!)

  2. A beautiful hat in a gorgeous colour. HM looks even more beautifully put together than usual, and that’s saying something.
    But … those violets. I am mortified to be the lone dissenting voice here, but I find the violets to be very unattractive, beautifully crafted though they may be. The colours are fantastic, but the scale just seems off to me. I wish they were smaller and less pillowy.

    • Actually Patricia, at first sight I was taken aback somewhat by the flowers. They are not like any flowers I have ever seen. The petals look like they have been botoxed within an inch of their life; I am tempted to name this hybrid, the “Balloon-lips” Petunia 😉
      For me the creative shape of these blooms is fascinating; but if there’s one tiny thing that would make me love this even hat more, it would be blooms recognisable as a distinct flower variety.

  3. Joining the choir here: a beautiful hat, and so perfect for HM. The explanation from Wies about the layered straw has me wondering how many other hats are constructed this way. And I love how balanced the flowers look — just the right amount for this hat.

  4. Nothing to add really, except my concurrence with the general praise! Wonderful colour, trim, finish, outfit…

  5. RTM and SParvin are a dream team, they work so well together and I can’t think of any ensemble they’ve worked on together that hasn’t shown HM in the best possible light. But this is absolutely stellar! The color, the scale, those violets. Sigh. Thank you to Wies for the insight on using 2 colors of layered straw, that is not something I had ever thought about but it makes sense.

  6. Fabulous. I am nodding to every word of praise. I love it when on close inspection a hat shows itself to be even more beautiful than it appears from further away.
    I’m thrilled to see that the coat appears to be wool crepe – this fabric is unparalleled in its refinement, lightness, and capacity to be worked and to flatter – and it’s so right that the core colour worn on this occasion is the blue which came to be known as “royal”, ever since it was worn by Queen Charlotte.
    In toto, this is flawless state occasion dressing. I can’t help thinking of the bright blue ensemble worn by HM to a similar event – the last opening of the British parliament in 2017 – and for me there is no comparison.This 2019 hat and ensemble is on another level altogether.

    • I concur with all the love for this hat. I think it is the best new hat and outfit HM has worn for some time. I agree the handmade violets are beautiful and particularly like the delicately crafted yellow stamens that add some subtle contrast of colour.
      I agree with mcncln that the coat is made of crepe which drapes beautifully, I am wondering if it is a ‘satin’ backed crepeand the satin side of the fabric has been used for the hatband and also the fabric covered button on the coat and also the frogging?

  7. Her Majesty looks perfectly splendid in this ensemble! The color is spectacular, and Queen Mary’s Thistle Brooch is a wonderful nod to her hosts!

  8. The hat is beautifully crafted. As everyone has said, the trim is fantastic. Because of all the white in the dress, I wish in some ways that there were some white in the hat too. But when worn with the coat, this hat simply can’t be beat.

  9. What a great colour on Queen Elisabeth! I love the perfect cut of the coat and the bold trimming on the hat. Had the flowers been of a contrasting colour to the hat, they might have looked too big but subtly shaded as they are, they are just right.

    By the way, the shades you see in the sinamay of the hat (royal blue and purple) may not be differences in colour of warp and weft. A technique commonly used to create a deeper hue is to use layers of straw of different colours. (A sinamay hat is made in two, more often three layers)
    To create a vibrant red for instance, one can use an orange red in between two layers of cherry red. As the light filters through the straw, the colours will perfectly blend together.

    • Thanks, Wies- that was my initial thought then one photo had me second guessing myself. Of course you’re right- it’s a matter of layered straws in different shades here. The result is truly wonderful.

  10. This hat is beautiful in every detail. I like that the crown is not quite as high and extreme as some of HM’s other hats in similar styles. The entire outfit is elegant,

  11. Just a perfect hat! Lovely scale, color, and the flowers are so very beautiful. The Queen looks outstanding in this outfit..

  12. You’re right, this is a stunning hat. The shape has been done umpteen times, but it’s those stunning flowers that really elevate if.

  13. I love everything about today’s post, especially HM The Queen’s outfit, and her splendid hat. She has been adventurous lately, and this saucy new hat is joyful and tasteful. Featuring my favorite color, and flower for a hat that is a beautiful creation of the milliners art, and the most flattering shape and color for t
    HM, The coat, and lovely spring cream silk dress with violets, peeking out of the tailored coat are youthful and elegant. I must give a shout out to the gorgeous interior of the House of Parliament, and to HM’s speech.

  14. I love that you can spot a Rachel Trevor Morgan hat from a mile away— I think that this is such a beautiful and strong hat and that mixture of colors is absolutely wonderful.

    • I had thought of my comment before I read your Nicholas – I was going to put exactly the same words about a RTM hat and a mile away!! I really wish HM would wear RTM all the time and Stewart makes exquisite coats which fit perfectly – a match made in heaven!

  15. Such an absolutely gorgeous hat! The cobalt-electric blue is beyond spectacular, and a perfect nod to the Scottish flag. I do think the hatband is made of silk instead of the fabric of HM’s coat (in close-up photos it looks smoother than the coat), but that’s just my guess. And that brooch is the final icing on the cake that is this whole ensemble. Brava! Such a beautiful tribute to Scotland.

    • I took a closer look at that hatband and agree- the sheen is different than the coat. Fantastic matching and a lovely bit of sheen behind those violets!

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