Longtime reader and regular commenter Jake, who lives in Washington DC and can be found on Instgram or Twitter @bestdressedmenno, entertained us last summer with his stylist-eye picks for hats from the wardrobes of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Maxima (part 1 and part 2) he’d like to see repeated. This week, he joins us for the first half of a 4-part series on a genre of royal hats that, unfortunately, has nearly disappeared. I’m so pleased to welcome Jake back to Royal Hats!
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hat fanatic and that I have a sizable collection I wear. It’s been good to see more formal hats make a comeback in the past 10-15 years here in the U.S., and I’ve been happy to be a part of that comeback (I like to think I was an early adoptee haha!).
Unfortunately, most royal men we see seldomly wear a hat. Even Charles, the Prince of Wales, who is often on best-dressed lists, rarely dons a hat beyond Ascot and military events. The royal men most likely to sport a hat today would be King Carl XVI Gustaf, the Earl of Wessex, Mike Tindall, and before his retirement, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The hat styles we usually see are a military uniform cap, top hat, knit beanie/skullcap, or ballcap, meaning either extremely formal or quite casual. Certainly there have been some appearances of a fedora, trilby, flat cap, or bowler, but these have been irregular, to say the least.
Therefore, I’ve decided to take a look at some more “every day” hat styles and throw some suggestions out into the universe as to which royal men should try these styles, hoping they will catch on. Upcoming posts will focus on fedoras, caps, and a roundup of miscellaneous styles.
To get us started, here are some flashback photos of royal men in hats that could still be worn today:
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Albert, Duke of York; Emperor Hirohito; Crown Prince Olav of Norway; Lord Louis Mountbatten wheeling the future Edward VIII; Prince Andrew of Greece (father of the Duke of Edinburgh)
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Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma (husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte); King Bhumibol and King Gustaf VI; George, Duke of Kent and Edward, Prince of Wales; King Alfonso XIII; Albert, Duke of York
Finally, as one of the most fun finds in my research for these posts, here are a few photos of (then) Crown Prince Akihito shopping for hats at Lock & Co. Hatters in London in 1953:
What kind of hats would you like to see worn by royal men? Which royal men do you hope add some hats to their closets in the future?
Thanks so much, Jake, for this introduction and look back at some wonderful hats. The shots of young Akihito at Lock & Co. are simply marvelous! Stay tuned tomorrow, everyone, for the second post in this series. It’s going to be a fedora frenzy!