Countess of Wessex’s Commonwealth Day Hats

The Commonwealth Day service, held every year on the second Monday in March, always brings us a lovely lineup of hats, often the first spring designs we see of the season. After last week’s beautiful service, I thought it might be interesting to look back at retrospectives of hats we’ve seen different members wear. Interestingly, the Countess of Wessex has only attended the service four times:

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Sharply sidesweeping grey slice hat with open weave brim and pale pink feather trim by Jane Taylor in 2012;
Ecru lace covered beret percher with multi looped bow also by Jane Taylor in 2014

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Navy  straw percher with swirling cream and gold feather trim in 2018 and navy felt domed pillbox with dotted veil in 2020, both by Jane Taylor

While all four hats could be described as having neutral palates, they each still make a significant style statement! The large grey hat with pink feathers in 2012 is one I’ve hoped we’d see again- even though the feather placement is a little awkward, it’s such a showstopping design and paired so beautifully with Sophie’s oyster silk coat.

What does this progression of four hats, worn over eight years, tell you about the Countess’ evolution of millinery style?

Photos from Getty as indicated

6 thoughts on “Countess of Wessex’s Commonwealth Day Hats

  1. I do love the boldness of the first one and that it wasn’t a one-off Ascot hat; my only complaint is how the small feathers at the bottom flow sideways instead of upwards like the large feathers, but I suppose a distinct base to the crown had to be created somehow.

    The other three are definitely ones easy to repeat for a variety of events (and the 2018 navy one certainly has been a favorite). I wonder how many hats Sophie is actually purchasing nowadays, as she’s seemed to recently favor more one-off appearances of many distinct hats.

  2. I really like all four. I love Sophie’s millinery style because it is so fearless. She has such fun with her hats, enjoys wearing them and looks great in them.

    Thanks for this retrospective HQ! These are fun!

  3. I think the evolution of Sophie Wessex’s millinery style shows her becoming fearless over the years. She’s always worn hats beautifully and she’s had some amazing ones over the years (like the Jane Taylor with the feathers shown here) but I’m think her partnership with Jane Taylor has run its course. I think Sophie needs a new look that is more daring. I feel the last time Sophie wore a truly stunning hat was the huge raspberry pink boater with cabbage rose trim. I’d like to see her in hats that take my breath away more often. It doesn’t need to be Ascot every day but even a working hat can be charming.

  4. Wow, that 2012 is a showstopper, but perhaps better suited to Ascot than this occasion? The 2013 would make a lovely repeat for Easter or one of the garden parties. I have no complaints with the more recent two, either, it’s just that they look more like working hats.

    Disappointed to hear that the traditional distribution of shamrocks to the Irish Guards is off this year since they are deployed, so there’s no green hat to admire. But thanks, as always, to HatQueen for this retrospective instead.

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