Inventory: Queen Elizabeth’s Yellow Hats

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 94th birthday today, we’re taking a collective look at her yellow hats, using the year 2000 as our starting point. Twenty years ago, there were a handful of yellow hats in regular use in Queen Elizabeth’s wardrobe, all of which have been long retired:

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Since 2000, she has added an additional 20 yellow designs. Here they are, in order of introduction:

1.Embed from Getty Images  2.Embed from Getty Images  3.Embed from Getty Images 
Designer: all unknown
Introduced: May 31, 2001; February 28, 2002; March 27, 2002

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan; unknown
Introduced: June 2, 2003; June 15, 2004

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Designer: both are Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Introduced: May 9, 2005; March 15, 2006

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Designer: both are Rachel Trevor Morgan
Introduced: June 20, 2007; June 16, 2009

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Designer: unknown; Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren)
Introduced: September 5, 2009; July 5, 2010

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Designer: both are Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren)
Introduced: November 27, 2010; April 29, 2011

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Designer: Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren); Rachel Trevor Morgan
Introduced: June 24, 2014; June 19, 2015;

16.Embed from Getty Images 17.Embed from Getty Images 18.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren); Rachel Trevor Morgan; Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren)
Introduced: June 26, 2015March 27, 2016; June 10, 2016

19a.Embed from Getty Images19b.Embed from Getty Images  20.Embed from Getty Images 
Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan and Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren)
Introduced: June 21, 2017 (revised version April 18, 2019); June 19, 2018

There were a few surprises here for me. First is the consistency of shade, with most of these hats in a softer, lemony shade of yellow. Second are two distinctive designs (#7 and #12) that I don’t recall seeing before. We’ve seen Her Majesty in a blue version of #7 with the lovely pleated hatband which fans out over the brim so it’s not entirely surprising. However,  the frothy, ruffled bejewelled #12 is unlike any other hats in recent memory (same for the tiered silk organza ruffled skirt on the dress it is paired with).

So… what do you notice about this group of hats? Which designs do you think suit the Queen best?

Photos from Ian Walton/Getty Images; Getty Images as indicated

31 thoughts on “Inventory: Queen Elizabeth’s Yellow Hats

  1. how could i forget the 1966 world cup final

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    here in colour;

  2. I think yellow can be a difficult color for white people, especially pale white people (like myself) to pull off (I think I look a bit sickly in most yellows, except bright saturated lemon), but HM can wear virtually every shade!

    I find it interesting how she’s worn three lemon yellow hats with sky blue trim since 2000: the middle one of the bottom row in the first grouping, and then #17 and #20 (at first I thought the outfit for the first one and #20 were the same, but they’re not). #17 is my favorite (although I preferred it with the larger brim), followed closely by #19a, and then #20. I really liked the trim on #13, but am less enamored with the shape.

    For an uncommon color among most royals, HM has worn a lot of it, and with a lot of different hat designs too! And like JamesB said, it’s interesting how some were worn often, but others never again unfortunately.

  3. Happy Birthday Your Majesty ! God Bless you.! 😇
    I love this colour on her – it softens her – but my very favourite yellow hat … is the Spaghetti hat ! 😁

  4. I have had a tough time getting on the site today Hat Queen. I’m delighted to finally be able to see most of everything. I’m uncertain whether the hat numbers are off from my view, so here goes:

    – Hat #1 is lovely and it’s not a shape we’ve often seen on HM lately. It’s very reminiscent of a style favored by Queen Maxima (upturned brim), so it goes to show that Queen Elizabeth was quite the trendsetter! 🙂 I would love to see her wear this again.
    – It looks like there’s a second grouping of numbered hats under the headline “Since 2000 she has added an additional 20 yellow designs…” is Hat #3 (March 27, 2002) a fedora? It sure looks like the shape to me and, WOW, does she ever look fabulous in it! Bring this back please!
    – #5 (June 15, 2004) is a lovely throwback to the 1920’s style. Princess Diana wore a pretty white and blue hat in a similar shape. I love this on Her Majesty. It frames her face beautifully. I’d love to see her wear this at Ascot again.

    Many Happy Birthday returns to Her Majesty!!

    • I’m playing with a new format for these inventories- showing the hats that were already in circulation in 2000 (the top group of 6) then highlighting which hats have been added since 2000 in numbered format. It’s simply trying to focus on the hats most recently in use.

      • Well thank you. You did a great job and it was a fun post. I was very glad to finally get onto the site this evening to see all the beautiful hats. Yellow is such a beautiful color on HM.

  5. HM’s hats show up in the strangest of places: A German Art exhibit!

    Buttery lemon with a hint of sage (Epsom, 2015)
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      • Sorry HQ, mea culpa. Although, you have to agree that buttery lemon and sage make for a happy pairing.
        When you eventually get the pink/purple inventory complete, indeed a massive undertaking because of its size, I’ll be 6 feet under!
        Sorry again for the nasty pun, I’ve been Zooming all day, and finally came here to your beautiful millinery oasis, after several false attempts earlier in the day.

  6. Just missing the year 2000 by a nudge:

    1997: Westminster Abbey Service
    1998: (above) grabbing a Big Mac on HM’s way home to Buck House
    1999: Shepherds Bush, London
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  7. I think the yellow and grey combo of #16 is very attractive, and the bright cheeriness of #20 too.
    Overall, a wider brim and a shaped crown seem more flattering to HM than a small brim with a solid chunk of crown (such as #10).
    I didn’t realize till I saw #5 how seldom we see HM in a down-curving brim – she almost looked like someone else!

  8. #10 doesn’t seem to fit with the whole group, and I LOVE it all the more! Perfect for Braemar, with its casual, warm coziness.
    #12 seems to have been worn only once. The is a photo of an assistant to AK holding it, in preparation for a Royal Tour. It’s in Angela Kelly’s book.
    I think possibly the OLDEST yellow hat photo of (then) Princess Elizabeth is included below. PLEEEEASE don’t tell me that this is some photo-shopped touch up job.

    1947: South Africa
    1975: Mexico
    1979: Oman
    1985: Epsom Derby
    1997: Portsmouth
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    • Wow, the 1947 South Africa hat is amazing! I’d love to see her from the opposite angle to get more of a look at that detailing. Great find!

  9. whilst googling, just noticed a yellow coat/hat combo worn at least twice – here in 1986 and 88, followed up with a new yellow hat updated in 1997!

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  10. Some fun titfers here for sure. I too love number 7, and have never seen it before. I like the earlier ones more than the later ones – brims are broader and the shapes more varied, I love that upswept brim in the very first pic. Generally I prefer RTM hats, but my favourite of all here is the much admired number 15 worn in Germany (is it really 5 years ago?!) which had a defntess of touch adn a subtlety that makes it a real winner.
    I always find it strange how some hats (eg 8,11,15,17) become real workhorses, whereas others (9,20) seem to be one wear and done. I guess she just prefers them!

  11. It was good that the initial pictures are all just head shots because I like #7 and #12 but hate the outfits. It is also interesting how the trim can change my perception of a hat. I don’t like the shape of #11 – the crown seems to tall for the narrow brim but I love the trim. #16 and #18 seem to be the same shape but I prefer #18. The gray band on 16 doesn’t look right to my eye, at least, but I like the gray and yellow poofy trim. I also like 15, 17 and 20. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those shapes in current rotation because hopefully we will eventually get back to the current rotation.

  12. some older yellow hats

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  13. So many nice hats! of all the yellows, I feel lemon yellow is most flattering to HM’s complexion – but there are plenty of hats here which are winners on other counts.
    Hat #7 as noted by HQ intrigued me; here are some more views:
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    I don’t know if the next truly counts as a “yellow” hat… your thoughts HQ? Canberra, March 12, 2006. HM often wears yellow in Australia, as it is the national colour.
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    I found the next hat (though it should be filed with the blue hats) from the same tour, (Canberra 15 March, 2006) unusual in that I dont often see HM wearing such a contrasting colour in the trim alone, without repeating the colour somewhere in the outfit. The trim is yellow wattle, Australia’s national flower.
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    • The entirely blue ensemble with the yellow trim and flower on the hat certainly is unusual. Is there any evidence that this was an outfit & hat she already had, and just added the yellow to it for the trip to Australia?

    • I love these 2006 hats with the yellow bands. They’re so pretty! You could add the white one to the post on largest ostrich feather. Thanks for including them!

  14. I love yellow, so I’m really appreciating this inventory – thanks, HatQueen! I really love the very first one with the upswept brim – a shame it’s no longer seen, I think it’s quite a timeless design. I also love number 7 with that beautifully pleated hat band – I notice you attributed the blue one to Angela Kelly, so do you suspect this one is her design too?

    1 and 3 are very unusual shapes, I don’t recall anything else like them. There are lots of attractive hats here (in fact none that I would think of as failures) but I must say that overall I do tend to prefer the hats with asymmetric brims such as 8 and 9.

    I was struck looking at all of these how much the pairing of the hat with the rest of the outfit matters in terms of how one assesses it. For example, although I rather like the hat in number 11, the multicoloured trim plus the open neckline revealing the dress actually create a rather fussy look. Conversely, the hat in number 7 by itself I would say is too angular, with the dead flat brim and tall crown; however, paired with the coat with its somewhat geometric pintucks, it seems perfect. The fluffiness of 12 matches the fluffiness of the skirt very well, and for me, 18 is actually too angular for the scalloped dress!

  15. Happy Birthday your Majesty!
    I love HM in yellow…(and purple, and deep pink…)
    Surprisingly, to me, the first image shown by HQ, at the top of the page, of the front upswept hat is my fave. its not a shape we often see on hm – maybe too similar to the signature shape worn by hm the queen mother, (and Hyacinth)??? But i really think it suits the queen – its the right size for her, a complimentary soft shape, and her face can be clearly be seen. I wish we saw more. I also like this red-trimmed white hat from 1982, in a similar vein.

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    My overall favourite yellow outfit is #18. I know that this was a little too ‘scallopy’ for some, but i think its super feminine, in that wonderful, buttery yellow, and a perfect example of where the hat tones down the almost fussyness of the outfit by not over-matching the (scallop) detail, with its clean lines. I think she looks amazing.

  16. The Queen wears a lot of yellow! Hat 12 seems very summery for one debuted in November – was HM on tour?
    I must say, the Queen has not followed her mother, who basically wore the same hat in a multitude of different colours (with the odd exception) for years.
    I still love 16, with the grey brim and feathery pompom, which I believe we all liked when we first saw it, and although possibly not the one that suited HM the best, I rather like the embellished top hat 11.

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