Guest Post: Sporty Royal Hats

I’m pleased to welcome New Zealand reader Sandra to Royal Hats today. Sandra is going to guide our look at a series of royal hats we don’t spend much time discussing. Welcome, Sanrda!

Sometimes Royals have to be as practical as us ordinary folk when it comes to their attire in certain weathers – although, naturally, their ensembles are “fit for a Queen”. There are many times when Royals don, for instance, hard hats or sporting hats. Those are not the focus here, this is all about dressing for the elements while still managing to be stylish.

The Scandinavian Royals understand the cold, just look at these magnificent furs from King Harald’s 70th birthday in February, 2007 – Queen Sonja and Prince Henrik of Denmark on a joyous, snow-filled ride near Oslo.

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Princess Madeleine (left) and Crown Princess Mette Marit. Crown Princess Victoria, for some reason, was bare-headed (I love her expression in the photo, almost as if she’s just realised how cold it is).

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Queen Silvia is the perfect Nordic snow queen (and toasty warm).

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When a brolly just isn’t enough … practical wet weather gear for Queen Maxima at Queen Sonja’s 70th birthday in July, 2007 and birthday girl Queen Sonja was a picture in an all-white ensemble on her rainy day.

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But the best – and I have no doubt she will always retain this title – wet weather ensemble comes from the artistic and effervescent Queen Margarethe. 

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Pictured below at Queen Sonja’s 70th birthday (at a summer event where seems like some of the royals had packed for any eventuality!), there’s a story behind this cheery raincoat. According to a great post about the outfit at the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour, Queen Margrethe purchased the wax cloth fabric in London on one of her annual shopping forays there. Jørgen Bender, responsible for several royal wedding and gala gowns, made the raincoat, which Margarethe helped design, in 1995. The coat and hat featured in a 2015 exhibition of Margrethe’s wardrobe to mark her 75th birthday.

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The heat requires certain precautions too and Queen Noor of Jordan chose a simple, but stylish straw hat during a visit to St Tropez, France in July, 1983. She’s pictured with her infant daughter, Princess Iman bint Al Hussein.

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Princess Anne has been photographed many times wearing  sunhats while attending horse trials and the like. However, she has had a ‘working’ stylish sunhat or two, this one is from a visit to Kenya in 1971. She’s chatting to Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of the country which gained independence from Britain in 1963.

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Full points to Queen Maxima who protects her face with a large hat, keeps her eyes sun safe, stays hydrated – and looks gorgeous – during a 2018 visit to the Caribbean island of Curacao. (SunSafe motto: Slip, slop, slap and wrap – slip on a shirt/into the shade, slop on sunblock, slap on a hat and wrap on sunglasses.) 

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Oddly, Crown Princess Mary isn’t often pictured wearing hats in her native Australia, despite the sun’s stronger effects there. This large hat was worn in November, 2011. The occasion was the awards ceremony for Sculpture by the Sea in New South Wales (they’re pictured with a piece in the third photo in the sequence below).

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Pictured at a children’s swim event in Monaco in 1964, Princess Grace keeps the sun off with a lovely straw hat. Sitting in front of her, enjoying lollipops are Prince Albert, 6, and Princess Caroline, 7 (in an intriguing swim hat). Princess Grace had just announced she would be having a third child in 1965.

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Forty-seven years later, Princess Caroline chose a sensible and stylish hat for the religious ceremony when Prince Albert married in 2011. Guests were seated in an outdoor courtyard at the Grimaldi Palace.

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I look forward to seeing other marvelous examples of stylish “weather dressing” unearthed by Royal Hats readers!

Sun, rain and snow hats are usually left for our weekly end-of-week “Extra’s” posts and it’s fun to bring them out for full review and admiration here! Thank you so much, Sandra! I particularly love your description of Queen Margrethe and her fashion as ‘effervescent’.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

34 thoughts on “Guest Post: Sporty Royal Hats

  1. I love the photo of Princess Diana and her interpretation of a ‘Russian Duchess’ ! in what looks to be an Astrakahn hat, collar and muff … (ah the days of Dr Zhivago) … she looked fabulous 😊

    • Nonie, is this the one you are referring to?
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      • Yes ! Thank you Matthew ! that’s the outfit – the photo that I remember , was taken from the front and shows the the wonderful hat and muff and her coat with the embellishments she loved so much … !

        • Nonie, if you type “Princess Diana grey muff” into Pinterest, you can see a ton of photos of this outfit from all angles, but this one was the only one I could find on Getty that was legitimate to post here. (Type “grey muff” — if you type “grey hat” you will get many other outfits as she had a lot of grey hats!

  2. Sandra, thanks for taking the reins on showing off more practical hats. Not always my favorite category as practicality can trump all other hat requirements for many people, and not always with the best results, but this post demonstrates one can still look great and more relaxed/casual in a hat.

    The fantastic fur hats (despite all the problems with traditional furs) have me wishing for colder weather as it climbs back into the 90s F this weekend in Washington, DC. I just want to wear my felt hats and a cardigan!

    Margrethe wouldn’t be Margrethe without a matching coat and hat, and she’s obviously having so much fun in this, even though I don’t think the Sou’wester hat is particularly flattering for most people. Thanks for the great story behind this ensemble! The Sou’wester hats on Máxima and Sonja are a little better, but only because they’re in a more neutral color. IMO, there are definitely more flattering rain hats, particularly if one still needs to be dressed up.

    The straw sunhats are usually the easiest for people to wear and look put together. Mary’s panama straw wide brim hat is particularly beautiful on her and one easily worn to the beach or with a fancier sundress. I loved how you showed off their practicality while still being able to be formal (or not!). P.S. Princess Claire of Luxembourg also had a great example of a sunhat that can be dressed up or down: https://royalhats.net/2015/06/24/luxembourg-national-day-2/.

  3. I love the photo of Kate in Norway with her gorgeous blue coat and her brown fur hat and boots !
    She has been wearing the furry hats through the years … but I’m not even sure if they are real fur !! 😊

        • diddleymaz, with all due respect, do you make that remark about shearing being a horrendous and bloody thing based on actual experience or just on what you’ve read? I grew up close enough to “Amish Country” in Pennsylvania to see sheep being sheared many times, and not one of those times was it a bloody or horrendous thing. In the hands of a skilled and experienced shearer, it is no more painful to the sheep than one of us getting a haircut or shaving.

        • Hi DM, speaking as the daughter of a fourth-generation sheep farmer and the sister of a sheep farmer you are ill informed about this process. Animals are valuable and are not mistreated during shearing (or at any other time). Unshorn sheep will suffer through summer and likely have horrible – and preventable, if shorn – diseases like fly strike. Unfortunately, there had been a great deal of misinformation about shearing from otherwise fairly reputable animal rights sources.

        • Alpacas do not molt or naturally lose their coat. Therefore, it is essential that the animal is shorn to reduce the risk of heat stroke. A good friend of mine is a biologist who completed PhD research about a decade ago on alpacas- after a lengthy study, he concluded that alpacas shorn every year are healthier and less stressed than unshorn alpacas. I understand his findings echo several other studies and qualitative research on this subject.

    • My feeling is (though I have no way of knowing) that furs owned by senior Royals are old, predating the protest movement, and that younger Royals may not wear real fur. I am sorry for the upset this has caused you and please accept my apologies. I do not support the fur trade.
      On a slightly different note the use of possum fur in NZ, and even rabbit skin, is applauded because it makes use of what are otherwise terribly destructive animals in our natural environment. They are not farmed.

      • I wish deer fur was fashionable! My hostas, dogwood tree, and other flowering plants are like a salad for all the pesky Bambis out there. I grew up next to a town called Deer Park, (and still live close by) and never saw ONE deer. Now, 50 years later, they are spotted every day, and are very distructive. Also, chipmonk fur hats would be lovely additions to anyone’s wardrobe. They like tulip bulbs!

  4. What a fun post Sandra! Thank you so much for all this weather proof headgear.
    Queen Margarethe’s Scandinavian summer (!) wear is incredible. South-wester complete with ear flaps ánd daisy ear clips!

    • Thanks Wies. I was in western Norway last midsummer and it was pretty cool. After driving across to Oslo we flew to Stockholm and there had 5 lovely days of warm temperatures. But then on our one day in Helsinki it was raining! I guess they all have a maritime climate (at least round the coast) which is cooler and wetter. I love the sou-westers, so unexpected on female royal heads!

  5. Sandra, I love this post! Thanks for all the thrilling, chilling winter photos, with furs and more furs! (Frankly, they make me appreciate the warmer climes even more!)
    While Margrethe’s artistic rain coat/hat can’t possibly be beat, she could be the Morton Salt Girl, except for her missing umbrella, as in all the old ads. The Royal Hat’s recent pompom post would have fit beautifully with this post, with all the warm woolly hats worn by so many Royals.

  6. Coincidentally, my husband’s grandparents met Princess Anne and her older brother on that 1971 Kenya visit. The photo of the reception at the British High Commission shows her wearing a large sun-hat with a coloured dress of some sort (black and white photo – can only tell the dress isn’t white like her handbag), but the following day she was wearing “the same lime green dress that she wore to church on the Sunday she arrived” (re-wearing? sounds like her!) and “no hat”. Gloves but no hat, in the Kenyan heat? Sooner her than me!
    (Source: From Dragons to Orchids: An Expatriate Life In A Turbulent World by June Ombler)

    As for the other royal ladies represented here – I wish I had some rain-gear half so fun as Queen Margrethe’s, or half so chic as Queen Sonja’s!

  7. There are royals who sport classic fedoras or floppy beach hats and then there’s this: https://royalhats.net/2013/08/29/duchess-of-alba-in-ibiza/ (Sorry, since these are not Getty, I have no idea how to embed, but HQ’s post is definitely worth a look!)

    Great feature, Sandra! It made me think of the contrast between HM, ready for the rain with her coordinated umbrella for every ensemble, and Queen Margrethe, defying the weather in her own special way. Love your caption about CP Victoria. She really does look cold!

  8. Great fun – thank you. Margrethe’s wonderful mac is one of her few daytime outfits that really matches the exuberance of her evening wear – generally daytime is not her forte.

  9. Thanks so much Sandra for a terrific post!
    I love the photos of the Scandinavian Royals in their fur hats. I know it’s not socially acceptable, but it does look very chic.
    I adore Queen Margarethe’s raincoat, and the story behind it. It’s very cheerful.
    Beautiful photo of Queen Noor!
    Queen Maxima sure knows how to dress for warm weather and stand out. She’s amazing.
    What a fabulous hat on CP Mary! I wish she’d wear more like these.
    Princess Caroline looks so chic. She obviously takes after her very stylish mother.

  10. This is one of my most favourite royal sun hats!
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