Seeing Double: Duchess of Cambridge

Royal HatsWhen the Duchess of Cambridge arrived for the first day of racing at Royal Ascot this year, some of you had an immediate sense of deja vu. You were right- she wore a similar version of the same hat for Trooping the Colour on June 11, 2016. Here’s a number of side-by-side views to compare:

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Between deceiving camera angles and the slightly lower angle Kate has placed the blue hat on her head, differences between the two designs, aside from colour, are very difficult to decipher.

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While some photos suggest the hats are a slightly different shape, they are both clearly round and, I’m guessing, created from the very same hat block.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

I often find it puzzling when a royal opts for the same hat in two versions but this pair somehow makes more sense- perhaps it’s the colour difference, that while subtle, lends the hats to very different pairings. Perusing through Philip Treacy’s Spring Summer 2019 collection, I honestly couldn’t find a style to pair with this blue skirt and blouse (everything was either too fussy or too stark) that would make a better compliment that this design.

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Which version of this hat do you prefer?

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Photo from Getty as indicated

17 thoughts on “Seeing Double: Duchess of Cambridge

  1. Today’s “Hat from the Past” post from 110 years ago featuring closely resembling nautical cousins, reminds me of Kate’s kissing cousin hat, whose strong family resemblance can’t be denied.

    June 8, 2019: Trooping the Colour
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  2. Thanks HatQueens for featuring these ‘hat twins’ worn by the DoC. Whilst blue is my favourite colour I prefer the wearing of the pink hat because of the perfect positioning further back on the head & with a more acute angle. Whilst beautiful I think the blue hat was worn slightly too square on top of the head showing too much of the doomed top of the crown that is not so flattering & has a helmet vibe.

  3. Such different looks from identical hats!
    I can’t separate these hats – they are both equally lovely – but the stylings could hardly be more different. The pink styling is elegant and sophisticated, Kate at her most refined; whereas I feel the blue styling doesn’t support the hat nearly as well.
    Why I prefer the pink styling:
    >Perfect hat placement. To me the angle of the blue hat looks unbalanced and less proportionate, compared to the pink.
    >Big earrings: The blue earrings are too small relative to such a large flower and such a large pussy bow — they are lost.
    >Lower bun: The bun hairstyle worn with the pink hat is lower and larger. and better balances the large rose and the width of the brim
    >Open neckline: The pink hat does not feel “crowded” from below, unlike the blue hat which looks relatively cramped by the high collar-line of the blue dress.
    > V shaped neckline: The angled straight lines of the cream coat collar mimic the angled straight line of the pink hat brim which feels harmonious.
    > No trim at neckline: There is no huge distracting bow competing for attention with the blue hat flower — which happens to be about the same size.
    In fact, I feel the blue hat and dress look better together (not great, just better) when seen from angles where the flower is obscured from view (pics 6 and 10 above). I favour a plain wide-brimmed hat with minimal/no trim to wear with this heavily detailed dress. Here’s Diana at Ascot in 1985, in a hat which I think is on the right track to go with a high pussy-bow neckline.
    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    I do feel any hat brim would need to be noticeably wide for Kate, in order to balance out the complexity of this blue dress. Kate has the height to carry a truly classic wide brim hat (like Sophie of Wessex and Camilla, both of whom are shorter than Kate), but I can only remember Kate ever wearing a handful of such brims. Most of her hats seem to have medium or narrow brims. Perhaps one day…..

    • Mcncln, I have wondered why I don’t absolutely LOVE the blue ensemble, and I think your analysis nails it. The pink hat with the cream looks more serene.

      And I’d like to see Kate in more wide-brimmed hats, too. Hoping!

  4. I clearly prefer the blue, because at least it has a proper colour. This shade of pink is too pale for me.
    I am absolutely convinced that the two hats have been designed as dentical, because I cannot see any difference and also because Kate is used to getting the same piece in different colours. I think her hat closet would hugely benefit from more variety… 😉

  5. Hat Queen, you are remarkable for showing us side by side photos that mirror one another so very well. Thank you for all your hard work! I truly appreciate the effort in this post.
    As for your question, I love both hat colors, but the blue is so beautiful. Perhaps it’s because it matches her dress so perfectly, whereas the pink hat is paired with a cream outfit. If HRH is giving away one of the hats, I wouldn’t fuss a bit over which color she threw at me 🙂

  6. While I prefer the blue hat (my favorite color) with its slightly less vertical slant, I can’t stand the dress. I envision either a pre-teen with little white socks, or an elderly woman with a shawl wearing it. With all its bow and lace and fluff and buttoned-up modesty, Kate is WAY too pretty to be wearing this frock. (I love that noun!) Her eyes and smile are beautiful.

    • Fully agree about the blue being far too fussy. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at that frock. I love both hats and Kate is lovely.

  7. Since they’re essentially the same hat, it’s hard to pick one over the other unless you’ve got a burning dislike for one color. If forced to pick I’d say the pink was worn at a jauntier angle. Do we think that Meghan’s pink hat from the first garden party is from the same block as well, just with no trimming at all? To me all three hats are the same base.

  8. Kate has a lot of for for buying the same thing in different colours, and as this hat is a much larger one than she normally goes for, in this case it’s all good.

    I really like the pink (but less it’s pairing with a cream dress, it looks like a mismatch that she thought matched), but then I don’t much like that fussy blue dress either. So I love the hats, leas how she styled them.

  9. I much prefer the blue. The pale pink, while lovely on Kate, easily gets washed out and looks almost white, even if she paired it with a pink outfit (look at Camilla [pic #6] in the same shade of pink, and it hardly registers as pink). Also, Kate doesn’t wear a ton of blue in the warmer months compared to creams/beiges/pale pinks, so I like this color change for her.

  10. Since the hats are virtually identical except for color, it isn’t clear that we should prefer one or the other — each would be best with coordinating clothing. In terms of the photos here, I prefer the blue one because I like the dress better, therefore I prefer the entire ensemble, but I could see Kate wearing the pink hat with other dresses/coats in her wardrobe, or with something new and then I’ll change my mind!

  11. I am having trouble deciding which color! The pink is a more versatile color, but I love looking at the blue one better, because there is more color. I agree, the steeper angle of the pink is much more flattering!

  12. I really couldn’t say which colour I prefer; I would choose the blue for myself (!) but possibly prefer the slightly steeper angle of the pink hat placement on Kate.

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