Hat From the Past

Royal Hatssixty years ago yesterday to a visit made by Princess Alexandra to the London Association for the Blind in Peckham. Her voluminous butter yellow velvet braided pillbox (with nearly the proportions of a turban!) is a fantastic style statement very much of the time, even though it seems a bit mumsy to current eyes for the young, single, stylish princess that she was. How fashion has changed!

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Please share any Royal Hat related updates and conversation in the comments below.

Photo from Getty as indicated

45 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

    Queen Elizabeth went to church today, wearing a beautiful lilac straw hat with a tweedy coat.

    As seen from its last outings: October 19, 2019, and its rear view from April 11, 2017.
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    1. Yesterday, HM was “locked out” of Windsor Castle! The entry gate was stuck for a while, but after “Open Sesame” was said, she gained entry!
    2. At church this morning, we shook/held no hands, and the greeters met us at the door with fist bumps! No communion from the cups, either. I wonder if HM fist bumped the vicar today.
    3. I can hardly wait for the Commonwealth Day Festivities tomorrow!

  2. Is anyone else twitching for a new royal hat sighting? Commonwealth Day is coming up, so maybe HM will come through. This pretty number is less familiar to me, although it was also worn for Maundy Thursday 2007. (Jimbo will no doubt find more.)

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    • Yes mittenmary, I can’t wait for the next appearance of a new royal hat, right now they seem to be scarcer than toilet paper.
      I love that jaunty blushpink hat. And for me, soft pastel colours always emphasize the gentle and maternal side of HM’s personality.

  3. A royal man’s hat has been sighted! Granted, it’s only a ballcap (and a nice one at that) presumably for the practical purpose of keep Harald’s head from burning, but it’s not often we see such hats on royals outside of sporting events (Harald & Sonja are on a state visit to Jordan).
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    • And Sonja pulled out a practical and packable paper straw wide brimmed hat on March 4 during their visit to Jordan (Harald repeated his navy blue ballcap):
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  4. Get excited, Hat Christmas (a.k.a. Royal Ascot) is a little more than 3 months away! And the official 2020 style guide is now out:

  5. The Duchess of Cambridge wore her black bandeau on her and the Duke’s visit to Ireland. It pairs nicely with her beautiful green patterned dress and coat.

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  6. 1. A Beautiful, colorful array of Swedish skiing apparel! Wonderful.
    2. Queen Elizabeth wearing an (at least) 11 year old hat – I love it! Below is a better vantage point of this button-ish chapeau.
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    • Nice pics Jimbo. I feel as if I oughtn’t to like this hat, (silky fondant swirls AND an arty-crafty arrangement of self-covered buttons)…but I can’t help it, this hat is rather fun. Here’s the outfit with its original, different trim in April 2009:
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      • Mcncln, wouldn’t it have been a riot if the buttons were rearranged again for yesterday’s outing? How funny that would be!
        I noticed three big alterations to the refurbished ensemble:
        1. The hat brim looks smaller.
        2. The dress was replaced with a button-down version. Notice how the dress buttons line up with the coat? My photo from yesterday doesn’t show this detail as well as others that I’ve seen.
        3. The obvious removal of the coat’s blue ruffly trim.

        Since things are bit quiet here, I thought I’d share a discovery of a new hat (to me), also from 2009. The hat below was not found in any of HM’s blue hat inventories, or the teardrop Hat Design Feature section. I love millinery surprises like this one, and such a beautiful color, too.

        July 17, 2009
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        • I’m glad the ruffly trim was removed from the coat — I thought it looked rather silly. And thanks, Jimbo, for this great 2009 discovery. I also have never seen this hat before, to my recollection, but it certainly is interesting!

        • That quill is quite a flight of fancy – not a trim I readily associate with HM. Interesting find, Jimbo. I’m always thrilled to see an Elizabeth hat which is new to me. Luckily, for now there seems to be no end to the supply!

  7. Thank you, mcncin, for the additional photos of Princess Alexandra’s hat and the rest of the ensemble.

    I do think the hat is perfect, as it balances the proportions of the coat. The plaiting and color are such that I think this hat could easily be worn today with someone with the stature to carry it off. Perhaps Maxima, as Shanon suggests.

    Princess Alexandra has long been the exemplar of elegance and it was so nice to read this post today!

  8. I love this fabulous hat! The color is lovely, and the hat looks so soft. It’s hard to believe it’s a pillbox instead of a turban. It’s a great overall look, and I could see Queen Maxima wearing something like this today.

  9. Lovely photo HQ!
    What a fabulous colour, so under-used in general! I think it is definitely time for us to see more butter yellow in WINTER (hello, Princess Beatrice?)
    Camille Gottlieb seems to think so too, coincidentally she was also resplendent in butter yellow, also oversized, 2 days ago.(no hat, unfortunately)

    Plus ca change…..
    I have strong memories of my fashion-conscious grandmother, already in retirement, dressed in this coat and hat style of Alexandra’s, so yes, the coat does make me think “mumsy”. Oversized anything is always risky. But the hat I love – in that luxurious velvet – the plaited folds, and the off-centre way Alexandra liked to wear this hat style, are just perfect. ( And of course the taupe bag and gloves are exquisite.)
    A black-and-white close-up of the plaiting: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/princess-alexandra-of-kent-visits-the-london-association-news-photo/1124730023?adppopup=true
    And a black-and-white full-length view including the shoes: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/princess-alexandra-of-kent-visits-the-london-association-news-photo/1124730051?adppopup=true

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