Unusual Color Scheme?

This week’s discussion question has us diving back into Queen Elizabeth’s millinery closet. It’s going to be a colourful discussion as we explore, dearest readers, which one of her hats contains the most unusual (or unique) combination of colours? 

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
A tutti fruitti angular cloche at Royal Ascot in 2009 and a lilac & turquoise hat at a 2008 palace garden party

Photos by Getty as indicated

130 thoughts on “Unusual Color Scheme?

  1. We can’t forget Rachel Trevor Morgan’s “Union Jack” hat! I’m not usually a fan of blue and red together but this is wonderful.

    Embed from Getty Images

  2. mint and lilac???

    Embed from Getty Images

    • This reads turquoise on my monitor, and I think turquoise and lilac is not too unusual a combination. Mint and lilac would be more unusual, certainly.

  3. Who could forget the #Neonat90 outfit worn for Trooping the Colour in 2016?
    Embed from Getty Images

    I remember standing in the Mall to watch the procession – Her Majesty certainly stood out against the guardsmen in their scarlet tunics.

  4. The blues and yellow in this hat make a striking combination
    Embed from Getty Images

  5. Again, the colour of the hat can be seen in the dress up close but it’s more difficult to make out from further away
    Embed from Getty Images

  6. I always thought this coat was navy but in this photo it looks more purple – either way, it is a contrast with the mustard yellow hat
    Embed from Getty Images

    I realise it mtches the dress underneath but the colour combination is still striking.

  7. Newbury (the town, not the races, I think), 1993. For me, the silky bow is unexpected both in terms of its colour and its sheen against the matte hat.

    Embed from Getty Images

  8. Newbury Races, 1990. Bit of an optical illusion vibe going on with the pattern too.

    Embed from Getty Images

  9. I’m putting this in because the longer I look at the trim on the hat the less I like it! Flowers? Still, not sure. Gingham, yes, and it looks as though her dress is too. London Zoo, 1980. But it’s a fawn and cream gingham and she’s wearing white gloves!

    Embed from Getty Images

  10. Bahamas, 1985. The flowers don’t tie the two parts of the hat together and seem a bit sparse (and the ruffles on the shoulders of her dress leave me slightly bewildered). The colours in the hat and dress are all the same but all seem to be fighting each other, IMHO.

    Embed from Getty Images

  11. Beautiful brooch, lovely smile, crazy Paisley hat by Phillip Somerville. Worn on the Isle of Man, 1989.

    Embed from Getty Images

  12. Not being able to see the whole hat gives me pause, but what are the blue and white polka dots doing there? Epsom Derby 1987.

    Embed from Getty Images

    • Just for Jimbo – the same outfit was worn with a different hat in 1988 for James Ogilvy’s wedding. I’m not sure this is much better. The ‘berries’ are a bit strange.

      Embed from Getty Images

  13. In the Bahamas, 1985. Are slightly mis-matching shades as bad as clashing colours? And the trim appears to bear no relation to the style of the hat which is something like a curtailed bowler.

    Embed from Getty Images

    • Here’s another view of it where the flowers look pinky-purple and the hat looks salmon.

      Embed from Getty Images

      • This must rank among my lead favourite hats. It doesn’t flatter the wearer at all and the colours seem mismatched.

        The outfit also seems fussy and ageing – not like the sleeker lines we see today.

  14. Not an unusual colour scheme, as such. It’s just that there’s so much of it … and a turban! On the Queen!! (Okay, I know she wore them but they always seem much more like Princess Margaret’s gig.)

    State visit to Mexico, 1975:

    Embed from Getty Images

    • Yes, this hat first worn in Pakistan in 1997 executes this particular colour scheme much more successfully:
      Embed from Getty Images

  15. We can’t forget this whopper in olive, lime, black, tomato red and white
    Embed from Getty Images

    • At least the dress wasn’t in the same print as the, um….hat!! HM would have looked like an electric/mod Babushka!
      This remains one of MrFitzroy’s least favorite hats ever worn by HM.

    • I almost daren’t say this for fear if being lynched but I actually quite like the hat.

      It’s of its time obviously and I think on anyone else it would look hideous but there is just something about the way Her Majesty wears it: the regal bearing, the combination with the white dress and the emerald brooch which knits the components together into one outfit. It almost says “It’s my Silver Jubilee tour of the South Pacific and I’ll wear what I like”.

  16. Orange, green and purple

    Embed from Getty Images

    • think this one has to be in the top 10 of worst hats(or bottom 10 of best hats to be slightly more positive!) – im afraid for me it looks like a kids craft project!

  17. Magenta and midnight blue. I love how the coat’s fabric is woven in these two colours, the threads connecting so well with the magenta silk hat. They style is very dated but looking at colour alone, this is one of my favourites!
    Embed from Getty Images

  18. Grass green, lime, turquoise and royal blue

    Embed from Getty Images

  19. Fuchsia and royal purple
    Embed from Getty Images

  20. Peacock blue and sunshine yellow
    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

  21. This hat worn in Hungary in 1993 is an unusual and unexpected combination of colours
    Embed from Getty Images

  22. This combination worn during Golden Jubilee year isn’t unique but is very colourful and cheerful
    Embed from Getty Images

  23. The fluorescent green butterfly trim on this hat is rather unexpected
    Embed from Getty Images

  24. This navy and pink combination is delightful but not one we see often on Her Majesty
    Embed from Getty Images

  25. This colours turquoise and black hat aren’t so much unusual as the type of trim is unusual
    Embed from Getty Images

  26. This black and lime green combo springs to mind – especially since we seldom see Her Majesty in black
    Embed from Getty Images

  27. Two very interesting green ensembles: the first is jade and purple. Look closely at the patterned fabric crown, tying the purple hat with the green coat.

    The second, in emerald and cornflower blue, is surprisingly similar. I prefer the punchy colour contrast of this one.

  28. Magenta and teal
    Embed from Getty Images

    • Seeing this hat made me realize how similar it is to this newer version by Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren)
      Embed from Getty Images

  29. Tangerine and Turquoise

    Embed from Getty Images

  30. Coral and mauve

    Embed from Getty Images

  31. We don’t often see colour blocked hats on Her Majesty- this one, with a lime lattice brim and bright coral straw crown, is an unusual one for her. It makes more sense with the printed dress (4th photo in the gallery below).

    Embed from Getty Images

  32. This pastel green and yellow outfit always seemed twee to me and the ensemble is not helped by the awkward hat shape!
    Embed from Getty Images

  33. I always thought that from a distance, this tomato red small hat was an interesting pairing with the dark green suit. Of course, at close view the print of the suit ties it in but I still don’t find it harmonious

    Embed from Getty Images

  34. What about this?
    Embed from Getty Images

  35. Not entirely related but found this on YouTube…. skip to 1hr41 and the QM milliner discusses the reason for the silk band often seen just under the front of the QMs hats…. maybe the QM style deserves one of these Summer posts…. possibly the best shade she had a hat in?

  36. Embed from Getty Images

  37. I always thought this lime, yellow and black hat (worn to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad in 2009) was an interesting combination, particularly with the bright turquoise also in the print of her dress.

    Embed from Getty Images

    • Gosh, this is interesting, I don’t remember seeing it before – thank you! I think it must have been planned in the knowledge that the dress would be worn in a warm climate without a top layer, as this is a hat that would seem really puzzling if the dress were not visible. Although maybe a coat in plain lime green to match the hat might have also created a viable look. (Do we know if the hat has ever been worn again?!)

    • I love that hat, and it was only seen once to my knowledge. The dress did get worn recently (10 years on), so I rather hope it might get a spin again soon. It’s just so fabulous and funky!

  38. One of the most unusual color combos for me, and certainly one of the most unflattering for HM in my opinion:
    Embed from Getty Images

    Swamp green, butter yellow, and Pepto Bismol pink? Oh boy . . .

    • Oh, I have to agree. This is not good. There are the color schemes which are unusual, but work in their way, like HQ’s choice of the fun tutti frutti, and then there are the complete disasters, like this.

  39. I’mNot sure I’d say this one was a success…

    Embed from Getty Images

    • JamesB, for some strange reason I’ve always liked this outfit-it just screams Braemar or some casual outdoor equestrian activity. So tweedy and warm! I don’t think it was worn often, though.

      • I know what you mean… but it wasn’t popular at the time. This angle doesn’t show it, but I think the yellow scarf was a bit harsh though.

  40. This is the first hat that came to mind for MrFitzroy…..the combination of the soft chalky pastels juxtaposed with the bright pink and magenta elements. Looking at the dress details, one can see the basis for the color theme….is it successful? Hmmmm.

    Embed from Getty Images

  41. Do photo-bombs count? It certainly makes for a unique look!

    Embed from Getty Images

  42. These all demonstrate HM’s dedication to having her hat trim match the colors in her dress. This strategy often creates a polished ensemble, but can backfire into an color overload!

  43. We just saw this one in the Tallest Crowns post, but it’s also notable for the mismatched shades of pink: Embed from Getty Images

    There’s also one of the Balmoral hats https://royalhats.net/2018/08/28/church-hats-in-scotland/ and a more successful look in a similar color combination Embed from Getty Images

    • The similar color combo…reversed, and a bit more electric!

      Embed from Getty Images

  44. July 3, 2010: Winnipeg
    Embed from Getty Images

    • Certainly unusual, but could’ve been more successful with a different hat design. This one was flattering at certain angles, but quite odd otherwise.

      Also, you forgot to add my favorite photo of this hat!
      Embed from Getty Images

  45. Here are a few with peculiar color schemes that jumped out at me. And peculiar prints as well.

    Embed from Getty Images

    from 1987

    Embed from Getty Images

    in 1978

    Embed from Getty Images

    in 1983

    Embed from Getty Images

    I adore this feathered one from the 80s
    Embed from Getty Images

    Hat queen! I hope I’ve done the images correctly this time, if not I’ll take them down.

    • I have never seen the feather and veiled one. It is quite lovely! From the top of my head I cannot remember The Queen wearing a veil on her hat (except for her father’s funeral of course). Great find Shannon!

      • I know! The veil stood out to me too as being very unusual! It seemed appropriate too since right now it seems that veiled/netted hats are having a come back (though not on HM). The only other veils I remember off the top of my head are from when she was visiting the vatican, and only one of those was on a hat (and of course the vatican is sort of an exception). She wore a black veil with hat on her visit in 2000
        Embed from Getty Images
        with a tiara in 1980 and 1961
        Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
        and just a lace veil as Princess Elizabeth in 1951.

        But then your comment made me wonder about whether she wore any other non-vatican veiled hats that I couldn’t remember. I found this one from a trip to a mosque in Pakistan Like the vatican veils, that one seems to be added for the sake of respect to the religious institution. Also wonder of wonders she’s wearing purple socks and no shoes (everyone else is wearing no shoes too so again must be a religious thing)
        Embed from Getty Images

        Upon further searching, there are a few more from the 80s like the one above- one from 1987 with a veil a lot like the veil on the feathered one
        Embed from Getty Images

        and one from 1980
        Embed from Getty Images

        and one from a trip to Spain in 1988
        Embed from Getty Images

        I have to stop now, or I’ll spend my whole afternoon down this wonderful rabbit hole! In spite of the fact that in the current era I find HM’s hats to usually be both beautiful and sort of boring because they tend to be fairly similar in shape and size, I don’t think there is anyone in the whole world (probably in the whole of the 20th-21st century) who has worn as many different types of hats as she has. It’s really fabulous to go searching.

        • Holy smokes you are amazing! GREAT finds! It’s those little veils that Princess Diana used to always wear which I cannot remember on the Queen. You found some great ones! Thank you!

  46. HatQueen, what a fantastic topic today! I actually like your 2nd choice of lilac and turquoise.

    July 5, 2010: Pinewood Studios, Toronto
    Embed from Getty Images

    • I’ve always liked the lilac and turquoise too.
      Your hat above appeared at about the same time as Jake’s swamp green – butter yellow – Pepto Bismol pink number. The two have dangerously similar color schemes and both were worn with yellow coats. Seems to be an odd coincidence.

Leave a Reply to Bristol Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s