Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

Thanks to longtime reader Jimbo for providing the introduction and background research for Queen Elizabeth’s hats featured in this “Monday Multiples” series.

Jimbo’s Introduction: Queen Elizabeth visited Canada in 1983 and again in 1984.  For both trips she wore a very nice pale yellow dress with matching coat featuring a faint yellow and white plaid pattern. For her 1983 trip to Vancouver, Her Majesty selected a unique, coarsely woven tan straw hat which reminds me of a picnic basket.  Current records do not indicate a second outing of this unusual hat.  Perhaps it was either uncomfortable to wear, or it was met with comments other than highly flattering, or both!

For her 1984 trip to Winnipeg, she wore what was possibly this hat’s debut – much lighter in weight and design.  Apparently, the Queen liked this hat so much that she kept it in her closet until at least 1990, when she paired it with another ensemble.

Look #1:  The textured woven straw boater hat with black velvet hatband tied in a front bow worn March 9,1983

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

Look #2: The white stitched satin voluminous tam ‘o shanter with bow worn October 6, 1984

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Thanks, Jimbo! Now dear readers- which hat do you prefer with this pale yellow plaid coat?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

12 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

  1. MrFitzroy, thank you for the interesting article about the West Coast Tour of 1983. What a tremendous sight it must have been seeing the magnificent Britannia in the Pacific waters, heading north to Vancouver. I love the quirky navy/white nautical ensemble you posted – HM certainly has a flair for being noticed!
    As for the two hats in question, I agree with others that a stronger colored, less casual hat would be an improvement. Neither appeal to me, since the dress/coat seem more tailored and polished.

  2. Thank you Jimbo, for the jolt down memory lane!
    This west coast trip was the second time MrFitzoy had seen HM in person, and the first time in the US — when she spoke at the Flag Plaza Pavilion in Seattle…..surprisingly, I have no recollection of her hat, just her khaki raincoat and bubble umbrella, as it had started to mist a bit by that point in her very busy day.
    That trip was also notable because HM had encountered horrendous weather throughout the trip — including a rare west coast hurricane that precluded her trip up the coast in Britannia, and landed her in San Francisco ahead of schedule so she ended up with a rare extra unscheduled day. (She and the Duke dined unexpectedly at Trader Vic’s!).
    Her trip up to Seattle was on the Boeing 707 which had often served as US Air Force One (the President’s plane) and was covered live on all the TV channels as they landed at Boeing Field….MrFitzroy has vivid memories of all the lady newscasters in Seattle wearing hats on air that day! As well as seeing Britannia in Seattle’s Elliot Bay, when HM departed to continue to Victoria, and then Vancouver (and the picnic basket hat!!)

    Earlier in the trip also featured some of HM most memorable 80’s evening gowns including the Embroidered Poppies in tribute to California, and the Ribbon ‘Origami’ sleeved gown. Also some rather ….um…unfortunate day wear (but it was the 80’s!)

    Embed from Getty Images

    For more information on HM’s Seattle visit, including (non Getty) photos of the hat that MrFitzroy didn’t recall — visit this link:

  3. Thanks for the fun post JimBo!
    I actually like the straw boater. From a distance it looks fine with the coat, but I agree that, in close inspection it does resemble the weave of a picnic basket. I agree with mcncln that this would look appropriate on the York Princesses at Ascot, and it would be so fun to see this actual hat have a second appearance on a second generation.
    I prefer a stronger color for a Tam on the Queen. This one is fine, and, as mittenmary says, the shimmery material adds something, but it’s all kind of bland to me.
    So, with this outfit, I prefer the boater.

  4. I love the straw boater – it’s such an unusual hat for HM, and well executed. Not sure I quite get it with this coat though, the black is a bit jarring.

    I really don’t like these unstructured tam styles she used to wear, it’s just not very flattering I think. Can’t say I like it with either of the looks shown here…

  5. Wonderful archival finds – thanks! The huge weave of the straw, really wicker, is weird when seen close up, but actually i think the shape and simple trim work well when seen from a distance. Not a fan of the satin tam o’shanter as I think the look of the material indicates a hat with a definite shape, while the style is floppy, so somehow the overall effect isn’t good – the massive dent just looks wrong!

  6. Wow Jimbo, HM continues to surprise. Just when I think I’ve seen all her wildest hats, here’s another one. I would never have picked the picnic basket hat as belonging to HM, its seems such a young and quirky choice — something the York princesses might wear to Ascot. I really really like it, though I think it’s summery casual vibe would better suit a dress (as seen in pic 3 of the luncheon, 3rd image group in the post). rather than a coat/dress ensemble.
    I like HM in berets, though this silk one is a dare-I-say bland colour to go with a bland ensemble. I like it when HM pairs a white hat like this one with an ensemble in a strong colour that has, say, some white detailing.

    • Well summarized, mcncln. The picnic basket hat is fun, although the bow seems bulky. I think you’re right about a dress, maybe a summer floral, being a better pairing. The white tam has the shimmer from the satin and the ribbing in its favor, but does look bland with the soft yellow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s