2019 Royal Hat Stats: Royal Houses

From time to time, questions arise here about which royals wear the most royal hats. I’ve pulled together some statistics from 2019 for us to discuss this week and next, starting with hats by royal house; the measurement here is the combined number of times that each royal member of house wore a hat/headpiece (click on the graph to see a larger version of it):

I’m sometimes asked why I cover so many Imperial royal hats and the answer lies above- it’s because we see them most frequently. I recognize there are some grey areas in these metrics (I’ve included Queen Elizabeth’s photographed church outings and counted hats worn to weddings even though they are, arguably, not “public” events and am limited to counting the Imperial royal hats covered in the media- and suspect there are more actually worn) but even with a degree of error, these totals give us an idea of hat wearing realities for different royal houses.

For another perspective, this averages out to us seeing a Danish and Dutch royal hat worn roughly once a week, a Belgian royal hat worn once every other week in comparison to six Imperial and five British royal hats a week. It’s a significant difference of frequency.

Do these numbers surprise you as they did me?! Stay tuned tomorrow- we’ll compare number of times each of the queens/consorts wore hats last year. Some of the results will surprise.


11 thoughts on “2019 Royal Hat Stats: Royal Houses

  1. Interesting. The one additional comment (compared to those already made) is that the Custodian of the Romanian Crown – princess Margareta – wore more hats than the Grand Duchesse. I’ll also say that Margareta’s hats (and overall attire) has come a long way since the peculiar headgear she wore at William and Kate’s wedding. Much more elegant and streamlined. She also sometimes wears local milliners. Which is nice to see, likely a lost art in many countries nowadays. Her family connection to the BRF clearly influenced it.

  2. Very interesting stats. When I think about it, it does seem that the Japanese royal ladies almost always have hats on when I see photos. Everyone else is shifting away from hats for all but formal events and while I like to see hats, they do obscure faces at public events and are not practical when meeting people in certain situations (I’m thinking of being in a room talking to lots of people and no one else is wearing a hat–the kind of engagements Kate does as opposed to the Queen).

  3. The spread of the Imperial family tree is pretty wide, so it’s hard to beat their numbers. Hisako, one of our perennial favorite hat-wearers, in the widow of a cousin of the Emperor Emeritus, so the equivalent to the Duchess of Gloucester. We don’t see Brigitte for nearly as many formal occasions, and we rarely see her daughters as we would Hisako’s. As far as I can tell, the Mikasa princesses are even more distantly related. And there is no equivalent in the BRF to poetry readings, etc.

    Looking forward to the queens/consorts numbers!

    • I was compelled to understand this better: Nobuko is the widow of another first cousin of the Emperor Emeritus, so Yoko and Akiko, like Tsuguko, are the equivalent to the daughters of the Kents and Gloucesters.

  4. After the announcement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that they wanted to play a less prominent role in the British Royal Family, there were articles in the newspapers (Dutch newspapers I mean) explaining that Prince Charles is planning to sort of slim down the Family, once he’ll be king. This is sometimes called “the Scandinavian model”.
    In fact, that is the situation as we know it in my country: we have a large Royal Family, but only ten people are a member of the Royal House, which means they have official representative tasks. (The King and Queen, their three daughters, Princess Beatrix, Prinncess Margriet and her husband Pieter, and Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien.) Of those ten, I believe only the King and Queen and Princess Beatrix have a state allowance (the young princesses will receive one at their majority).
    This is of course very democratic, but rather damageable (or perhaps I mean damning?) for hat wearing, be it royal or otherwise.

  5. Interesting graph and absolutely no surprise. I too would like to see a Queens/Empress only graph, as sadly I think in Britain HM is by far the most prolific hat wearer. The younger princesses and duchesses wear hats much more rarely, when not in her presence at an event and even Camilla and Anne are often hatless when she is not there too.
    I fear that the reign of King Charles will show a plummeting of hat wearing, which will be a great shame.

  6. It doesn’t surprise me particularly once I think about it. The Imperial ladies almost always wear hats to events, and there are a lot of formal events that they go to. And then of course, there are a lot of Imperial ladies, so we tend to see a football team of Princesses in prim hats at these things.

    I’m looking forward to the Queens results. Surely Máx will run away with it based on the amount of hats she wears and a really busy schedule.

    • Good point- we have seen indeed seen a “football team of Princesses in prim hats” (!!) numerous times this year, especially around October’s inauguration. I wonder how the numbers will stack up in 2020 without the inauguration?

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