British Royals Commemorate Remembrance Sunday

Members of the British Royal Family joined veterans, military servicepeople, members of government and civilians for a Remembrance Ceremony held yesterday morning at The Cenotaph, in Whitehall.

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The Prince of Wales, who placed wreaths on The Cenotaph of behalf of his mother, was joined by the Princess Royal, the Dukes of Cambridge, Sussex, York, and Kent and the Earl of Wessex, all in military uniform.

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Queen Elizabeth, who watched the service from a Whitehall balcony for the third year, repeated a black straw hat with silk crepe covered crown and binds the upturned kettle brim. The hat is simply trimmed with a stripe of black silk which circles the crown, anchored by two covered buttons in the font.

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Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 27, 2017; Nov 8, 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall wore a new, brimless hat. The design follows an oversize helmet (or mushroom top?) shape with gently rounded edges. The curved lines of the hat are dramatically accentuated with a mass of overlapping black feathers that circle around it.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Cambridge also wore a new, brimless hat, her design built on a formed teardrop beret base with gentle crease down the center which gives it a gentle curve. The hat is beautifully trimmed with black braid ‘frog’ fasteners and corresponding beaded buttons which, along with the embroidered and tassel trimmed swags on her coat, give a thoughtful military nod to the day.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Catherine Walker
Previously Worn: this hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a streamlined black felt hat with wide cartwheel brim. The straight sides of the hat’s crown elevate its sophistication, as does its slim hatband, tied in front in an elegantly austere bow.

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Designer: Stephen Jones’ ‘Facetime’ from AW 2019 Miss Jones Collection. Coat by Stella McCartney. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex wore a black felt perching saucer hat trimmed with a large bow. A subtle swirl on the inside of the saucer (created through hand shaping) gives lovely movement to the design.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the ‘Black Felt Hat With Bow’ from AW 2019. 
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Gloucester usually attend this event but so far, do not appear in any photographs (I’ll update the post if they do). In the meantime, there are some beautiful new hats here to admire.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

26 thoughts on “British Royals Commemorate Remembrance Sunday

  1. Surprise to see a brimmed hat from Meghan and a brimless hat from Camilla, and both are brilliant. Kate’s is just too busy, especially for such ocassion.

  2. A little late, but here it goes:
    HM looks positively regal and somber at the same time, perfect for this ceremony. Nothing more to say other than I’m glad they fixed the lower button that was askew at The Countess Mountbatten of Burma’s funeral in 2017.

    I’m glad to see Camilla try another version of this hat out, and I think it’s very much a success. The feathers look a bit odd from the side, but that’s a very minor complaint on an otherwise excellent hat.

    Kate was chic, regal, and pretty much perfect in every way with this hat. It’s an elegant and intricate design without being over the top, and the veiling makes it very appropriate for this occasion. A nice somber version of the hat she wore to Eugenie’s wedding. My favorite of the day.

    I’m not the biggest fan of this hat on Meghan, but overall it’s a good choice for her. Personally I wish it had different trim than just the simple band and slim bow in the very front, especially with this different crown shape.

    Sophie looked good, but it feels like we’ve seen this before, and to me this is a slightly more awkward version of last year’s grand hat with the beautiful bow.

    Finally, while not a royal hat, I did like a lot the structured beret Jo Swinson wore to this ceremony:
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  3. All very nice hats.
    I love Camilla’s hat, my winner for today.
    And this makes it 7 black hats for Meghan in only a year and a half!
    Sophie’s hat looks very familiar, does Catherine have the same one?

    • This one, Maja? one, Maja?
      Embed from Getty Images
      Different bow, but very similar, and also by Jane Taylor.

  4. I think everyone looks really good here.

    The Queen: Lovely hat with a perfect shape and size. The trim is simple but very effective. Love her coat as well, especially the fabric.

    Catherine: Very elegant. The earrings, the coat, the hat and the wonderful hair are all great. Well done!

    Camilla: I actually thought this was a repeat. Don’t know why. It looks great on her though. I love the movement.

    Meghan: She looks extremely good in this hat! Like others said before: it frames her face so beautifully. The hat is elegant in all its simplicity.

    Sophie: Can’t say anything bad about her hat or her outfit but it doesn’t make me go wow either. I like these hats when you see them from the front, not from the side.

  5. All the good comments have been made, but I’ll just add my approval for all five hats. I had to think hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll go with Meghan’s. So classic, and it frames her face beautifully.

    But where is Jimbo? Has he commented recently?

  6. Two questions from a novice —
    I looked at Stephen Jones website and noticed the model was wearing the hat straight. There was no downward angle in the back. Is there a proper way to wear it? When photographed from below, Meghan’s hat with the cartwheel brim is beautiful. Maybe we will see it again from street-level.

    Perhaps this has been covered elsewhere — what happened to Diana’s hats? Were they auctioned off?

    Thanks so much,
    I look forward to your site every morning 🙂 Always learn something new.

    • Good question about Diana’s hats- they were not included in her dress auction in 1997. I imagine some of the notable ones (and ones worn to notable events) were taken into the Royal Collection but the others… I really don’t know. Does anyone have any information on this they can share?

  7. All hats are appropriate. The Queen’s hat is serviceable without being flashy – and it looks warm. I don’t often praise Camilla’s hats because, although striking in design, she appears to have fallen into a bit of a rut. This one, however, is lovely and the black looks so good against her ash-blonde hair. The feathers trim is perfection. Kate’s seems a bit over-egged to me – frogging and buttons and veiling, but I’m a person of simple tastes (I quite like her coat which is a first as I usually don’t understand her penchant for military-look coats with all their ornamental buttons and braiding). Her hair is outstanding. Meghan and Sophie look very nice, although I wish Meghan didn’t have a metal belt buckle (a black buckle would put all the emphasis on her beautiful face).

  8. These hats are all very polished and appropriate for the occasion. I love HM’s hat, so simple and subtle and yet it stands out. Those two buttons are all it needs. Camilla’s feathers give a real sense of movement, Treacy seems to be a master at getting feather to do this. I was trying to figure out the embellishment on Kate’s hat, interesting that they are frog closures, very clever. I’d like to know what they were stiffened with to get them to stand up like that! This is my new favorite hat on Meghan, that’s a lovely shape on her. Sophie’s hat is similar to some of her others but the bow makes it stand out just a bit more.

    • Buffy, I think the trim was stiffened with millinery stiffener (there also seems to be some black lace worked into it and I seem to detect a black velvet flower, though I’m not quite sure). That is a liquid solution applied to the material with a brush.The lace or braid is left to dry before cutting it out. Fabric for flowermaking will be starched first. The frog braid may further more have been strengthened with very thin black millinery wire (which comes in 12 sizes) sewn at the back by hand.
      An elaborate trim like this goes through many stages and takes many hours to make.

  9. They’re all lovely! There’s something about black that allows the hat’s shape and texture to speak for itself, and these hats all avoid being either boring on the one hand, or fussy on the other. Spot on.

  10. Love all these hats – and yet they are all so different. I wish I could see the detailing a little better on my phone. Will have to check them on another monitor when I get the chance.

    I have been wondering if the reason Meghan’s hat works so well is that we are looking slightly up at her and can see underneath the brim a little bit? Sometimes brims can obscure but seen from this angle it frames her face. The crown shape is also beautiful. Anyway, it’s lovely; they all are.

  11. Big winner over here is the Duchess of Sussex! Very stylish and very refined coat and hat! The coat and particularly the embellishments of the Duchess of Cambridge make her too flat.

  12. The Queen’s hat is simple and striking. I love the black silk bands, simply anchored with 2 buttons. The straw nicely reflects the design in her coat.

    The Duchess of Cornwall’s hat is familiar to us, but, again the black stands out so nicely and complements her coat. I love the flow the feathers give. I love the white (or clear) specks at the end of each feather. In some photos they really stand out and add to the whimsy of this piece.

    My favorite hat was the Duchess of Cambridge’s. It reminds me of the navy velvet beret and veil the Duchess of Sussex recently wore. The velvet looks so luxurious, and the veil is lovely on Catherine. The crease down the center reminds me of the Treacy hat Queen Maxima wore on the last day of the State visit to England in Oct 2018. It’s a wonderful design, and it’s complemented by the Duchess’s hair, which is outstanding. I think her entire look is just impeccable.

    The Duchess of Sussex’s hat is very sleek. It’s a modern take on Audrey Hepburn’s hats and it works so well on her. Overall, her look is very simple and understated, and it looks so chic.

    The Countess of Wessex always comes to these events looking appropriately stylish. Her hat is nice and suits her.

    Overall, 5 terrific hats that stood to the importance of the occasion.

    • Shanon, I was struggling with my comments since I’m not well versed in hat terminology and I was delighted to read your views and I agree with your assessment. Thanks for saving me from writers block.

  13. I think all the new hats here deserve a round of applause. I love the sense of movement in Camilla’s hat created by those feathers (reminiscent of her wedding headdress in that respect). Kate’s hat is absolutely perfect for the occasion, the outfit and the hairstyle – I don’t think this one would work nearly so well with loose hair. Sophie’s hat is an attractive iteration of a style that she wears a lot. Meghan’s hat has all the advantages of simplicity.

    And the Queen’s hat is a good if unremarkable one.

  14. Lovely hats all, especially Duchess Meghan’s, Duchess Camilla’s and The Queen’s.
    Duchess Kate’s hat intrigues me – the elaborate detailing on her coat and hat reminds me of Victorian-era mourning wear. I’m not a fan of that period in fashion; but the hat and coat do complement one another, and the look is growing on me. However I suspect that this hat will not appear as interesting, if ever it is paired with a less embellished coat.

  15. Beautiful hats all round! All ladies look very elegant and appropriate.
    It is not easy to see all the details as the trimmings are black on black, but the feathers on Camilla’s and the braid on Katherine’s hat make for a very graphic effect.
    I’m not particulary fond of the Treacy mushroom shape, but the Duchess of Cornwall wears it very well.

    I like the cartwheel brim on Meghan, she looks stylish as ever in her “less is more” way. But I suspect she is wearing her hat backwards. Not only because the bow is in front (she must have liked it better this way), but also because of the shape of the crown when seen ‘en profile’.

  16. Sophie’s hat is a modern classic and I want to try it on, it would look great on me 🙂
    I usually like Camilla’s hat but not this time it looks a a bit messy with the feathers added in a swept round way and the feathers different in thickness

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