Prince and Duchess of Cornwall Kick Off Kiwi Visit

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall kicked off an 8-day tour of New Zealand this morning with a welcome ceremony at Government House in Auckland.

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For this first event of the tour, the Duchess repeated her natural straw hat with upturned brim with high sidesweep, trimmed with a slim, knotted hatband in the same straw.

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The gentle curves and textured straw on this design set it apart from all other natural straw sun hats but there’s no two ways about it- it’s a very simple design. The hat seems to reflect the informality of theistour- the rest of today’s programme, which included walking around the waterfront, meeting Team New Zealand America’s Cup team, and a Prince’s Trust Tea, all of which Camilla attended without the hat at all.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Suit by Anna Valentine
Previously Worn: Jul 9, 2018; Nov 9, 2012

The Duchess of Cornwall has taken to wearing hats less and less and foreign tours, I think we’re lucky to have seen one today at all. What do you think of this streamlined straw design?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

11 thoughts on “Prince and Duchess of Cornwall Kick Off Kiwi Visit

  1. It’s a nice hat but a poor choice for the event. Once the Maori challenge has been given and accepted (they are not dancers, by the way), the royal couple is welcomed into that place and come under the care of those people. The final act is to hongi (hong ee) and ‘share breath’ by touching noses and foreheads. The images shown in NZ of elders and warriors being flummoxed by Camilla’s hat brim point to little thought having gone into the choice, which is puzzling.

    • Thank you, Sandra. My use of the word “dancers” came from the Getty description of the photo, if you click on the image here to get to the larger one on the Getty Images page. I appreciate the correction and further description of what they were doing.

      • That’s okay Matthew, I wasn’t too concerned. I’m a fourth-generation NZ’er and have only recently participated in a welcome (without the challenge) for groups of overseas visitors so have learned a great deal myself about the cultural aspects and reasons why certain things are done (and I’ve learned a local waiata (song) and with the welcoming group sung it in te reo, the Maori language). These welcomes are moving experiences for both sides.

  2. I didn’t care for this hat previously as it seemed too casual, but this time it worked great; I think the lack of a necklace this time helped. I’m surprised I managed to miss this hat among the many photos I have seen of this tour so far.

    • Jake, I totally agree. The hat, while a great style for Camilla, is on the informal side, and I like it much better in this outdoor setting with the zippered jacket and no pearls than I did at either of the two previous events.

      The only thing missing from this post is a look at the Duchess’ facial expression as she watches those Maori dancers, but I didn’t see one elsewhere online either!

  3. This hat looks lovely. I really like the upturn brim and side sweep. it facilitates her hair nicely. The black and cream Chanel shoes are divine.

  4. I like the hat very much. Simple, but with a well shaped brim. (Not actually designed for nose-rubbing, but manageable, apparently.) Pairs well with the zippered jacket.
    And I love the Duchess’ cream and black Chanel shoes. A little bit more contrast in the outfit would have been pleasing to the eye, but that is a minor quibble.

  5. I agree JamesB, this shape is Camilla’s signature hat shape; and even this simple low-key version punches well above its weight. Somehow it worked just as well for the refined dress code of Prince Louis’ christening as it does for these New Zealand meet-and-greets. It won’t date easily either. Just like Maxima’s straw wide-brimmed hats, this hat has potential for many wearings.

  6. I think this hat is fab. It’s a simple, classic take on her signature look, but that makes it stand out, and not just look like a straw sunhat. I think that this was the perfect choice for this event.

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