Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1978 and a visit to Australia that saw Princess Alexandra in a textured hat with relaxed brim and braided hatband. Interesting how the very rounded crown of this hat is sewn in wedge panels.

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Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated

10 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Fabulous hat. As always, the way Princess Alexandra wore her hats gave them added chic.
    In the pic of the full-length outfit below, Sydney International Airport (15 miles from my place) looks very rustic, compared to today’s vast complex!
    https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/her-royal-highness-princess-alexandra-and-husband-mr-angus-news-photo/1079434084
    The princess’s association with the Australian War Widows Guild was via her mother Princess Marina, who had been patron of the Guild for 20 years until her death in 1968. Today, those modest budget apartments for war widow retirees, in a quiet street about 5 miles from the airport, look just the same as when they were built.
    The princess and her husband were on a 3-day stopover visit to Sydney as part of their Australian tour, where in addition to the usual engagements, they were taken to a destination which I’m not sure if any other royals have visited — a purpose-built tourist theme park called Old Sydney Town (now defunct). The authorities were very proud of this relatively new entertainment, which was a recreation of a colonial settlement, where visitors went to experience re-enactments of “daily life in early colonial Sydney”. The caption to the pic I found of Alexandra and Angus visiting this theme park (on the day after their arrival), mentioned that she and her husband were shown the “flogging setup”. This was the most notorious part of the theme park experience — seeing and hearing a convict apparently being “flogged” by marines with a cat-o’nine tails – complete with fake blood. Some viewers, especially children, found the realism disturbing — I certainly did. I hope their Royal Highnesses were spared the flogging re-enactment. Royal visitors are often expected to get close to experiences that may be a bit unsettling (e.g. Prince Harry facing, and also performing, a Maori haka) but I very much doubt that any royals would have tolerated being asked to sit through something quite as reminiscent of the barbaric arenas of Ancient Rome, as a flogging – acting notwithstanding.

  2. Love the hat’s textures and angle of the brim,. Love the coat. No one, IMO, comes close to Princess Alexandra’s grace and elegance. I wish I knew the color!

  3. Good to see Alexandra in a more familiar look after the other ‘70s ensemble featured last week. I like the braided trim, and especially the two loops. Love the brooch on the collar!

  4. The hat is peculiar. I’m never a particular fan of relaxed brims (apart from gardening hats and the like), they always seem to look rumpled. And the crown is strange- it reminds me of the crown on a sherlock holmes hat (no idea what that kind of hat is actually called). But of course the princess looks as elegant as always. And I love the polaroid in the two pictures in the bottom gallery. Makes me think there might have been the elegant 1970s versions of selfies with the princess.

    • Oh, I wondered about those photos — of course, they are polaroids!

      Are you thinking of a deerstalker cap? I believe the shape is more exaggerated on those.

    • If you look closely at the pictures you can see that the six panels of the crown are entirely machine stitched and so is the brim. The stitching is expertly done in very close rows. It gives texture to the crown and strenght to the brim. Without it, the brim would go completely floppy. Decorative stitching was very much the fashion in the seventies and early eighties. (Note the stitching on Princess Alexandra’s coat.) Whoever made this hat was a very capable milliner.

      And yes, a Sherlock Holmes cap is called a deerstalker, but it’s construction would be different.

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