Queen Opens Housing Development

After her annual late summer vacation in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth was back at work in London today, visiting the Haig Housing Trust to officially open their new housing development in Morden for armed forces veterans and former service members. For this visit, she repeated her sky blue hat with gently curving crown and sidesweeping brim trimmed with cut green feathers, amber beaded gold sprigs and round glass beads in amber and darker blue.

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The hat’s wonderful colour and creative glass bead trim make it work. I’m less enamored with the hourglass crown shape and brim binding which seem to give the design a visual bulkiness in comparison to the coat’s crisp lapel corners (all of which are made of or covered in the same wool silk). There’s also a small wobble in the right hand side of the brim (look closely at the straw in the second photo in the bottom gallery). Finally, it seems that queen has become smaller since this coat was tailored just over a year ago- an inevitable reality in one’s 90s but one that impacts the overall look here as well.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: Feb 14, 2019; Oct 17, 2018Aug 6, 2018

What do you think of this hat today on its fourth outing?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

22 thoughts on “Queen Opens Housing Development

  1. The trim on this hat is inventive and interesting, but only if you see it close up. From a distance, it’s rather amorphous and difficult to see. So I don’t think it’s particularly successful as a royal hat, since the vast majority of people will see the Queen too far away to appreciate the details.

  2. I agree with the comments about digging back deeper in the closet and letting us see some other beauties from the past. I do like the blue color, though.
    Mcncln commented about the 70 year old daisy hat being an eye-catcher: the last photo below shows a guard going head-over-heels when she saw the princess’s hat! Happy weekend, all.

    June 14, 1949: Epsom Derby
    July 29, 1949: Royal Tour of York
    July 14, 1950: Royal Ascot
    July 7,1949: Shrewsbury
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  3. I love the colors here, but the execution of this hat in general is not great. I’ve never care for this particular shape of hat on HM, and I think the trim needs a hatband to help anchor it, otherwise it just looks haphazardly stuck on there. I also agree the coat has never fit super well, but it is a good design for HM.

    Overall I’m gonna say no and instead bring back some others we haven’t seen in a while.

  4. I don’t like the colour combination of this particular green and that blue, especially as this green colour isn’t in her clothes nor bouquet. it looks a bit messy.

  5. This outfit is a good design, the colours and shape are fab. But the execution isn’t good. Mainly because the coat is badly tailored. In the hands of Stuart Parvin this would be a total winner.

  6. The Queen indeed may be shrinking, but this coat never has fit. It’s always been too large and generally shapeless. The hat seems to be the best part of the outfit, actually, since the neck of the dress appears too big as well.
    There are so many good old hats that could use a repeat.l Let’s give them a chance! (And retire this one.)

  7. It’s great to see her back on the job, isn’t it? The color is great for her, and I like the use of the glass beads in the trim, but the arrangement of feathers still looks a little slapdash. I checked out the fit of the coat in its original appearance. I agree with Matthew that it was baggy then, too.

    And the little girl in the floral print dress with the ballet bun is adorable! She looks so pleased and proud.

  8. A fun comparison of the same event 70 years apart, thanks for sharing that pair of photos!

    I like this hat quite a bit. The embellishment is a change from the traditional flowers or leaves, and is irregularly shaped in an exuberant sort of way. And of course, one of HM’s best colors. I agree that the coat looks a bit large on her, but if you go back to all of the previous wearings, I think it was already a bit too big back then.

    Sleehauser, I believe HM still wears eyeglasses but only when she is reading. If you go back to photos/videos of the previous State Opening of Parliament, she appears to be wearing glasses for reading her speech.

  9. I think this hat is beautiful, and I am so happy with the trim. Your comment about the “wobble” makes me wonder: What does one do when one’s hat brim gets bent or out of shape? Is there a home remedy? If not, how do I find someone who can reshape it?

    Again, dear Hat Queen, I have a question. Do you know how it is that in her 90s, Her Majesty no longer requires eyeglasses? I want to know her secret, as I hate wearing glasses with my hats.

    • I don’t know the Queen’s secret – maybe contact lenses – but mine was to have my cataracts removed at age 68, after wearing THICK glasses since the age of 8 . Now I do not need glasses at all, but I understand that this only works if you were shortsighted to begin with.

    • A home remedy to reshape a hat would be to hold it over a steaming kettle and remodel it by hand (preferably if you know what you are doing). Otherwise, find a milliner or a hat shop and ask them kindly.
      About the “wobble” in this particular hat: I think it might be caused by the use of hatpins in the crown. They put an uneven pressure on the material.

      • Wies, are there other methods of securing a hat of this style on the head besides hatpins? I feel like hatpins have been in use forever — I remember playing with my mother’s hatpins as a child, and she would be in her mid-90s now if she were still living. (And now that I think about it, it’s pretty amazing that she let me play with what were basically dangerous sharp objects!)

        • Matthew, I don’t think there is anything else than hat pins. The lower the hat sits on the head, the less need there is for pins of course. In fact, this type of hat shouldn’t need hat pins. However, I suppose that Queens have to take extra safety measures, as they wear hats in all circumstances. There is always the risk of a gush of wind getting under the brim and lifting up the hat. You’ll note that men’s hat are supposed to stay on the head by themselves…
          As to the dangerosity of hat pins, the long 1900 ones were formidable weapons indeed. And even though today’s hat pins are smaller, I’m always surprised to see the pins sticking out of the hats without proper protection. The point should be covered by a little cap and I normally milliners should provide their clients with these.

    • A home remedy to reshape a hat would be to hold it over a steaming kettle and remodel it by hand (preferably if you know what you are doing). Otherwise, find a milliner or a hat shop and ask them kindly.
      About the “wobble” in this particular hat: I think it might be caused by the use of hatpins in the crown. They put an uneven pressure on the material.

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