Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

Thanks to Jimbo for providing the introduction and background research for this “Monday Multiples” series.

Jimbo’s Introduction: Queen Elizabeth saves the color black for the most solemn, somber, sad occasions – funerals and remembrances. At memorials, Her Majesty wears black and white, grey, navy, or even purple. Clearly, the heavy wool coat featured today is more suited for practicality than fashion (November in London can be blustery, windy, and downright bone chilling) As always, the queen’s hats take center stage, and this sextet of millineria will leave no one disappointed.
My favorite ( Look #3 from 2005) first premiered on September 14, 2001, at a St. Paul’s Cathedral memorial service for the September 11, 2001 New York terrorist attack.

Look #1: With a an angular cloche variation with slanted crown and upturned brim with multi-wrapped silk hatband, shown here on February 14, 2002 at Great Ormond St Hospital’s 150th anniversary celebrations, five days after the death of Princess Margaret

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Look #2: With a tall, fluted-crown cloche hat trimmed with a wide silk hatband and spray of feathers worn November 14, 2004 on Remembrance Sunday.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Look #3: With a velvet crown and straw brimmed hat with large, sweeping black and cream quills, worn on May 11, 2005 for a St. Paul’s Cathedral memorial for victims of the December 2004 tsunami in South Asia.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Look #4: With a fluted silk pillbox trimmed with a ring of braid on the crown, a silk bow and spray of feathers worn November 10, 2005 to the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Look #5: With cloche variation with silk covered crown, felt brim and tall, sloping felt wrap around the crown, trimmed with a knotted bow and curling quills and worn November 9, 2014 for the the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. The hat was designed by Angela Kelly and made by Stella McLaren.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Look #6: A black felt hat with indented crown and raised kettle brim simply trimmed with layered, raised hatband knotted at the front, worn November 12, 2018 on Remembrance Sunday. This hat was also designed by Angela Kelly and made by Stella McLaren.

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Thanks, Jimbo. I’ve also always liked the hat in Look #3 for its interesting mix of materials (the straw brim really lightens the look). Dear readers, which pairing of coat and hat do you prefer most?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

13 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

  1. Against the majority, I actually prefer #4 as my favourite. Im not normally a fan of hm in a pillbox, but think this one suits her brilliantly, but its those feathers that make the hat. My top coat/hat combo though is #5. Agree with Mittenmary in that I feel the hat balances out against the heavy coat.
    And thanks for the Ascot pic too. Ive always loved this outfit – hm looks wonderfully regal and stylish. More yellow please!

  2. Fun facts today: Note that I’m referring to the hats, not the looks.
    Hat #1: This hat was worn (the first time?) on April 5, 2002 for the Queen mother’s ceremonial procession to Westminster Hall. It was repeated 4 years later (November 12, 2006) for Remembrance Day.
    Hat #2: This hat was worn to both Princess Margaret’s (February 15, 2002) and the Queen Mother’s (April 9, 2002) funerals. It was not seen until more than 10 years later, (November 11, 2012) for Remembrance Day.
    Hat #3: This hat was worn for Princess Margaret’s memorial service. (April 19, 2002) Bristol, perhaps HM’s black hat she wore on her 60th birthday, then closely followed by Royal Ascot the same year, serves the purpose of a more frivolous look, even though it’s black.

    June 18, 1986: Royal Ascot
    Embed from Getty Images

    Hat #4: Perhaps this hat was only worn once! Yes, black feathers do appear as other colors in the sunlight, such as green and even purple. I stumbled on the following photo from quite a number of years earlier, which you may find interesting.

    Camilla, November 16, 1989
    Embed from Getty Images

    Hat #5: This “diagonal wrapped crown” cloche, whose shape has been seen many times on HM in different colors, debuted 3 years earlier (November 13, 2011) for the same occasion.
    Hat #6: A relatively new member in the black hat closet, I hope we see it again. It looks warm and cozy.

    • Thanks, Jimbo, very interesting to see the Ascot hat, and bears out my thought that the Queen’s fairly similar hat number 3 would indeed work better in other circumstances.

  3. My favorite is definitely #2; this has long been my favorite funeral/remembrance/black hat for HM. Since it’s been a while since we last saw it, I wonder if it’s been retired?

    I enjoy the creativity of #3, but I’ve always thought it sits too high. And I’m going against popular opinion and say I really like this pillbox (#4).

  4. This is a challenge Jimbo! Thanks for making me work this fine Monday morning!
    – I am in agreement with everyone that the pillbox is not flattering. Maybe if it sat further back I’d love it on Her Majesty.
    – I do like the juxtaposition of Hat #3 in theory. I love the velvet crown and the cream quills, but the straw brim is really throwing me off. I think Bristol said it best that the opacity doesn’t suit the occasion. Maybe because the coat is heavy? I can’t pinpoint it because I do like the hat itself and the contrasting materials, just maybe not with this coat?
    – #6 is nice with the upturned brim, but I wish there was more detail, or some contrasting fabric embellishment.
    – So now it’s down to #1, #2, #5, – hats that are the same cloche shape, but with different embellishments. I really like the silk band and spray of feathers in #2. #1 is nice, but sedate. #5 is a lovely shape with great embellishment that works with the coat.

    So, my favorite pairing of hat and coat is #5.
    (but my favorite hat is #3, just not with the coat)

    • I think you’ve nailed it, Shanon: #3 is the best hat, but #5 is the best hat for the heavy coat.

      I’m impressed that HM has worn the coat for so long, but of course if it’s only for the most solemn occasions in the coldest weather, it hasn’t had many wearings.

  5. I too have always liked hat #3. The cream-colored quill adds a lightness to the hat that’s missing in all the regular black hats. With the sun shining in through the see-through brim, it does rather resemble a space ship, I suppose, but it’s a flattering hat. I wish it would be worn again.
    Is the feather in hat #4 really green? If so, I like the different color. I’m not so fond of the hat in general.
    Hat #6 is the only hat I really don’t care for, again because it’s positioned with that point straight forward. Is it an Angela Kelly teardrop? In the original description it’s listed as a possible split crown.
    Hat #1 looks like a costume hat, one that’s been stepped on perhaps.
    Hat #2 is the most unusual while still being flattering.

  6. I find I am drawn to #2 which is unusual because that shape is not one of my favorites. I am okay with #3 but something seems off and I can’t figure out what is bugging me with it. I have never cared for HM’s pill box hats when worn like #4. I feel she looks better if there is some hair showing in the front if the hat has no brim. The others lost out just because I am getting really tired of the slant crown that Angela Kelly has been using forever. I think that hat block needs to be retired.

    • I also vote for number 2 as my favourite, with the cloche fit and the feathers, closely followed by the other cloche, number 5, which is similar in shape but has, again said by others, that slanting crown that puts me off it.
      I don’t care for the way hat 3 seems to float over HM’s head instead of being worn.
      My least favourite is number 4. Like Sue, I don’t think these brimless hats worn over the forehead with tight curls at the sides really suit HM.

  7. Thank you very much for this, Jimbo, these posts are fascinating. I really like number 3 as a hat – but somehow it doesn’t look right on the Queen! I’ve been trying to analyse why, and although I think the see-through straw adds to the hat by itself, when it’s actually on the Queen, it doesn’t seem to work so well. For want of a better phrase, it seems to reveal the mechanics of the hat since you see the bottom of the crown. And somehow the opacity of the straw doesn’t suit the occasion (since, as Jimbo points out, they are all very sombre occasions). This is a hat that I think might suit another occasion (if the Queen ever wore black for something more frivolous, perhaps paired with another colour), or another member of the royal family.

    Number 4, the pillbox, is also not my favourite. Given the Queen’s hair, something like this always seems to create a sort of “ruffle” of hair around the hat which isn’t particularly flattering.

    The other four differ in details, but are all variations on a theme, and one can see why this sort of hat has become the Queen’s default over the last fifteen years – the shape and scale suit her face and are practical for her public appearances where her face needs to be visible. I think my favourites are 1 and 2, 1 because it seems particularly flattering, and two because I do like the exuberance of the trim!

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