Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

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

Jimbo’s Introduction: Today, we have two very different white hats with red trim, both paired with the same bold red coat. When traveling the globe, Queen Elizabeth “must be seen to be believed,” as she herself stated long ago. These hats were worn in Canada, Germany and Portugal and she certainly stood out well with this wonderful color combination.

Look #1: A white veiled pillbox by Ian Thomas trimmed with large red silk poppies on the back. First worn in Canada on September 24, 1984 and repeated in Berlin on May 27, 1987

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Look #2: White straw cloche with upturned, sidesweeping short brim piped in red binding, also trimmed with large red silk poppies, this time placed on the side. Worn March 27, 1985 on a state visit to Portugal

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

What’s interesting here is that the first hat was repeated after the second one was introduced (not a common pattern) and both are trimmed by those distinctive red silk poppies! I can’t imagine the poppies were removed from one hat, placed on the other, then returned to the first, and it seems a bit peculiar to commission two white hats for this coat, both bedecked with the same trim. Puzzling indeed. I think, Jimbo, you have uncovered a millinery conundrum!

Which hat do you think paired best with this coat?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

12 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

  1. I prefer the pillbox; like Joanne, I think it flatters HM more than the cloche, which I agree looks a bit twee.

    I’m always grateful for the gems Jimbo manages to find, even if they’re not my favorite or I don’t comment. Thanks for this continuing series!

  2. Apparently HM preferred the pillbox to the cloche. She wore the pillbox at least three other times, including a visit to Moorshead Eye Hospital on October 26, 1988. The cloche came out of its box as late as 1989 to the delight of many horse enthusiasts. Enjoy.

    July 12, 1986: Montgomery, Wales walk-about
    October, 1989: Buckingham Palace, London
    May 13, 1989: Windsor Horse Show
    Embed from Getty Images

  3. Mittenmary, I think you’ve hit the nail: the cloche was worn in Portugal, in a warmer climate.
    And two hats for one coat is not unusual; at least, it wasn’t for our grandmothers and great grandmothers:
    I’ve read somewhere that in Paris in the 1930’s, there were as many milliners as seamstresses or even more. Women would buy two or three hats to go with one suit or dress/coat combination.
    This way they would get the most out of their wardrobe:
    In the morning to do their shopping or to go to work, they would wear a little “tailleur” (suit) with a simple hat, low heeled shoes and no jewellery.
    To go to lunch with a friend or to visit a museum, they could were the same suit, but with a more elegant hat and shoes, and a necklace.
    And in the late afternoon, they’d pair the same suit, this time with a cocktail hat, high heels and a brooch and ear clips for instance, to go to a reception or to have dinner in a small restaurant.

  4. I like them both, I simply love the color combination and so well executed even though you can tell time on them

  5. I actually prefer the cloche. I think HM looks wonderful in that style. The pillbox is nice, I just don’t like how HM wears it so far on her forehead with hair on her side peeking through.

    I do love the poppy flourish and agree with Poppy that it is a beautiful flower.

  6. I can’t tell — is the pillbox made of wool? If it was, an explanation might be that it was for cooler days and the straw for warmer weather? The poppy trim probably ties the hat to the dress. Still, two hats for one coat is very unusual.

    The classic pillbox seems better matched to the coat.

  7. I think the pillbox is a beautiful hat and more flattering on Her Majesty. The cloche is a little too twee for me, even considering that it was worn about 35 years ago.

    I’ve never seen Her Majesty in pearl button earrings with diamonds on the top and bottom. Very unusual!

  8. I really like the way the pillbox reads from a distance. What I most notice is that poppies are the most beautiful flower (as I often remind my children.)

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