Square Hats?

When I came across this undated photo (late 1940s I would guess) a few months ago, the square shaped hat brim on a young Princess Margaret intrigued me. How many other square royal hats can you remember, dearest readers? I can only think of one…

20 thoughts on “Square Hats?

  1. Not a square hat, but another hat that’s seemingly in two parts, photo from New Year’s Day 1970, taken at Chequers (that’s PM Edward Heath on the left).

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  2. Worn while visiting the Isle of Wight in 1965. This is such an intriguing style (perhaps the back is just a ‘skull cap’ arrangement) that I wonder what was in the milliner’s mind.

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    • The style is sort of echoed in the Prince of Wales Investiture hat of 1969, designed by Simone Mirman, and which (again to me) has a square look to it.:

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    • An intriguing hat, and very “space-age” in styling, but I’m not sure I would count this one as square. I looked for other views possibly showing us the back, but couldn’t find any.

      • Granted the Isle of Wight hat doesn’t have corners but somehow it doesn’t seem quite hat-like either, rather like Margaret’s chapeau that sparked this conversation, which to me looks like two hats, one on top of the other! 🙂

        Thanks for looking for a back view.

  3. An interesting question HQ. This hat isn’t exactly square but to my eye it gives off a “square vibe”. CP Victoria in 1997 at the wedding of Infanta Cristina of Spain:

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  4. This one immediately popped into MrFitzroy’s head…..Not technically square, but the way the brim on this hat was folded back,, it tended to look squared off from a lot of the photo angles. Venice 1985, coat by the Emanuels.
    What an interesting topic, and thank you to mcncin for such wonderful detective work.

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  5. The event was the unveiling ceremony of a bronze memorial statue of former US President Franklin D Roosevelt in Grosvenor Square, London. An article I saw gives the unveiling date as 12 April, 1948. Interestingly, in the light of a very recent “Hat from the Past” post, the news video of the occasion also shows Mrs Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) sharing a friendly moment together 6:45.
    The back view of Princess Margaret’s hat can be seen at 7:07, which reveals that it is not a square shape after all. (earlier scenes show all the royals, but no clear views of the hat).

    Like Elizabeth Davies, I am reminded of mortar boards by square-ish shapes for hats and also renaissance caps in general, a la Anne of Cleves. No wonder we don’t see these styles referenced in millinery much today.
    A good close-up view in this article https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2314956/How-Princess-Margaret-roughed-4-courses-caviar.html
    shows the fur trim, which for me reinforces the renaissance impression.
    On closer inspection there’s lots of fur trimming in this look — matching fur on the coat collar, plus matching fur strips on the two coat pockets, and then…. a matching fur muff…… wrapped like a present, in a ginormous bow…just in case those gloves weren’t enough to face the April weather in. Or in case the princess got an invitation to go ice-skating later on, in vintage “Gibson Girl” style. Ah well, she was only eighteen, so her fashion choices get a pass.
    In complete contrast to the formal symmetry of Margaret’s hat, we see Princess Elizabeth wearing a percher – a rare sight! I like this style on her a lot. BTW, those power shoulders are something else.
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    • Great research. I suspected this hat was a traditional, round shape around the back but the front was so interesting, I couldn’t resist exploring this topic. It makes complete sense that 99% of hats are round (to fit round heads!) but knowing there was at least one square one out there in a royal closet piqued my curiosity!

      • Hat Queen, very funny – round hats for round heads! This explains why most of my hats don’t fit properly. I could have sworn that a square hat lurked somewhere in Queen/Princess Beatrix’s Closet, but couldn’t lay my hands on it. (They actually fit better on the shelf, with less wasted space between them.) The heavy rains are continuing in Florida, so my beach evangelizations have slowed down for a while.

  6. kate’s square pillbox is rather unique, and personally i would love to see it for another outing sometime soon. the style did originally remind me of some of the Japanese ‘bumper’ style hats, which occasionally appear a little squarish, but definitely add some interest to the huge collection of pastel in the Japanese collections ;

    princess akiko veiled black hat appears slightly square edged to me, or maybe its a trick of the eye???


    princess hisako in blue definitely has some squarer angles on the crown


    and also noticed this mint hat worn by princess noriko which has a circular brim but with a square crown (pointed out by HQ)


    • I think you are on to something. Too bad we are, once again, limited by the lack of close-ups of the Japanese royal family.

  7. The immediate post war period was very hard,
    rationing was worse than during the war and
    there are some quite odd hats possibly due to shortages. I love the muff!

  8. In July 2012, Princess Eugenie graduated from Newcastle University and photos were published of her in a square mortar board and gown! Does that count?

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