Ascot Hats: Peter Phillips

While the colourful ladies’ hats at Ascot get most attention, the event just wouldn’t be the same if men did not wear top hats. Reader (and Royal Hats’ revered expert on top hats) Chicago Chuck noticed Peter Philips in a silk topper years ago that no longer seems to be worn and suggested a retrospective on his hats to investigate further. Today, therefore, we look at all of the top hats Peter has worn to Royal Ascot:

1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002:

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Grey felt top hat with black hatband and unique pink-tinged brim binding

2007 and 2008:  

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Antique (notice the wear on the brim) black silk top hat


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Different taupey-grey with black hatband and less curved brim with much narrower brim binding

2013 and 2014

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Black felt hat with taller, slightly fluted crown, curved brim bound in wider brim binding and black ribbon hatband

2015 and 2017: 

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The same black felt hat 

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The same black felt hat 
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The same black felt hat 
Since 2013, Peter has worn the same black top hat (note the grosgrain pattern on the hatband and the distinct brim shape with wider binding). I’m now curious about the whereabouts of the 2012 grey hat….
What do you notice in Peter’s evolution of Ascot looks?

For another retrospective of Royal Ascot hats, jump over to this previously published post featuring Princess Eugenie

Photos from Getty as indicated

8 thoughts on “Ascot Hats: Peter Phillips

  1. To my unprofessional eye it looks to me like PP grew out of the first grey top hat from 1998 -2002, but maybe that’s just the angle of the pictures. In trying to think why he wouldn’t wear the silk top hat if he had purchased it I thought maybe it was borrowed for those two years and then the gent that lent it to him wanted it back. 🙂

  2. I had previously seen some photos of Peter with that first grey top hat and wondered what the pale pink brim binding was all about, whether it was intentional or age discoloration (I had a panama straw fedora dyed in a light grey color that changed to a pinkish-grey after one spring/summer of wear, which I thought was odd but also disappointing considering how much I paid for it).

    I agree with ChicagoChuck the grey color seems to suit Peter better. Despite the 2007/2008 hat being a silk antique, I find its straighter brim is the least flattering hat of these four options. And though it is quite tall (even for a top hat), I think the last hat’s overall appearance seems most comfortable for Peter, and he seems to concur considering it’s made the most appearances.

  3. Fun to look at Peter’s hats over the years!
    I think that the earlier grey hat suited PP very well. Both the colour and proportion seemed exactly right. The latest black hat just looks too tall. The height of his hat is all I can see when I look at these photos. Perhaps in person it’s not as jarring.

  4. I love the grey topper in the early photos – very nice hat for a young man. And I quite like the worn silk top hat. I have to believe it was even more worn than shows in the photos otherwise why wouldn’t he still be wearing it? The second grey topper is nice as well. I think I like Peter Phillips in grey better than black. The last hat honestly looks like something you’d see used in a theatrical setting. It is almost comical in its height, at least on PP. But it seems that is the hat he’s settled on, at least for now. Maybe his brother-in-law, Mike Tindall, should give him some pointers on finding a “new” silk topper (or I could!)

    Hat Queen, thank you for accepting the assignment! It was fun looking at Peter Phillips over 20+ years.

    • You’re most welcome! It was good to be gently reminded that royal men’s hats deserve a little more attention!

      Putting together this post, it was clear to me that Peter did not go to your marvelous hat fitter for his most recent hat! I like the look of a tall top hat but this one is very tall!

  5. Fascinating! It’s so true that the gentlemen’s hats tend to just form a backdrop for the ladies’ flamboyance. Who knew the toppers could be so interesting in their own right? I wonder if that pink tinge was intentional, or the result of an accident?

    • trickymum, my hypothesis on the pink binding would be that the hat is an old Moss Bros. hat (that looks quite dapper on a young Peter Phillips). To this day, the interior lining of Moss Bros. hats is a soft pink fabric. If you watch closely during the carriage procession, when the Queen enters the Parade Ring some men will doff their hats. While doing so often you can see a pink lining in numerous of the hats, a clear giveaway that the hat was manufactured by Moss Bros.

      • Thanks for that explanation ChicagoChuck. I also noticed a pink hue and thought it was the the photo.
        I agree with your full summation as well. I would like to see him in the grey top hat and the more worn black.

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