Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to June 7, 1977 and a wonderful pair of flower trimmed hats on Princess Margaret and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, en route to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.

Embed from Getty Images

Photo from Getty as indicated

10 thoughts on “Hats From the Past

  1. Princess Alice’s hat is gorgeous, reminding me of The Queen Mother’s lovely floral hats of that era.
    However, when a woman wears a hat nearly identical in style to that of her 13-year-old daughter as they attend an event together – see 1:33 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNqUSRBcQVg I am left scratching my head. Not that I question the choice of hat for Lady Sarah Chatto, a choice which continues the tradition of flower-adorned children’s hats worn by the Princess herself when she was that age and younger. However, garlanded summer sunhats were on trend in the casual seventies, so perhaps the mother/daughter twinning is just one of those odd coincidences. As for Margaret’s pink hat itself, stylistically I’m not keen on this hat, with its relaxed garden-party aesthetic, being paired with the strict formality of a mandarin collar — a pillbox would have been a more harmonious choice of style to my eye — but I can see that the hat itself is very skillfully made. There’s a rear view of it at 7:47

    • Mcncln, apparently Princess Margaret thought the same thing that you did, pertaining to the hat style for her pink coat. Here she is several years later wearing a flowered PILLBOX with the same pink coat, as you suggested! Quite strange, don’t you think? Note the woman behind her carrying her hat off the plane.

      1980s, Heathrow Airport
      Embed from Getty Images

      • Thanks for this photo, Jimbo — I like the pillbox much better for this coat than the more casual flowered hat originally worn. I also get a kick out of the fact that Margaret is wearing a style in this photo still preferred today by HM — a solid color coat over a flowered dress, where the hat actually matches the barely seen dress much better than it does the coat.

      • Great find once more, Jimbo! I admit the pillbox was completely unexpected – I’ve never seen this combination before. Odd indeed.
        As Matthew says, the Heathrow ensemble is very much in HM’s style, which is notable in itself; I see Margaret’s style as usually rather different to her sister’s.

  2. Look at the quality of making in Princess Margaret’s hat! Probably Graham Smith and machine stitched and sectioned crown made of the coat fabric. A little smattering of flowers to form a dainty garland. 1977 was an awkward time for millinery and especially for women of the Queen and Princess Margaret’s age. I recall the Queen’s Jubilee beret with the bell trimming looked very matronly to me at the time. Princess Margaret’s hat suffers from the royal preference for full facial visibility and I am sure was fitted to be work straight on as a milliner of Graham Smith’s calibre would not have left the back as long otherwise. The dent in the crown is again a mark of quality for instead of being helmet stiff, the crown is malleable and probably a hat pin was situated nearby. Princess Alice looks like a woman of her generation of whom no one expected a fashion edge.

  3. Princess Alice’s reminds me of the floral headpieces we’ve seen recently on many royal heads, although maybe this has more of a helmet shape.

  4. What a fun photo. How nice the two look in their pink and blue! Do we think the “dent” in P Margaret’s hat is supposed to be there? It looks slightly odd to me.

    • They do look lovely indeed. The odd dent in Princess Margaret’s hat makes it look too big on her, but the color is delightful.

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