Most Bows?

Bows are a common hat embellishment but most hats have just one. This weeks discussion question centers around multiple bows, dearest readers, in a quest to find the royal hat or headpiece with the most bows.

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For clarification- we’ll define a bow as a decoration made from a single material fashioned (usually tied) into two loops. Bow tails, in this discussion, will be optional (not required to consider a bow, a bow!). In the case of a multi-looped bow, the bows must be visually separate (or easily separated by the eye if they are layered on top of each other) such as the one on Princess Haya’s hat, below. We’re not looking for the bow with the most loops- we’re looking for the hat with the most bows!

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By this definition, both of these hats contain two bows. Who will raise the stakes to hats with three? Four?!  Or more?!

Photo from Getty as indicated

96 thoughts on “Most Bows?

  1. Queen Sonja in Latvia in 1998.

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  2. I think the intent of this trim is a bow.

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  3. Diana pictured in 1989 in a hat by Philip Somerville. We don’t often get such a good close-up of the back of a hat.

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  4. I think this is two bows, but the detail is a bit hard to see. Worn in 2005:

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  5. Such great hats here, some of which I had forgotten! I have just two to add:

    A Fabienne Delvigne black crin headpiece with black velvet bows on Princess Claire – Princess Victoria has a similar one
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    And a navy straw hat with hatband of white bows by Per Falk Hansen on the Countess of Frederiksborg (worn when she was a Danish princess)
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  6. 7 or 8 bows
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  7. 3 bows in 3 colors
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  8. 3 bows
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  9. 3 bows Embed from Getty Images

  10. 6 bows
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  11. 3 bows
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  12. 3 bows
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  13. 2 bows
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  14. 3 bows Embed from Getty Images

  15. 2 bows
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  16. 2 bows
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  17. Queen Elizabeth seems to always have had a penchant for bows in her hats.
    Christening of Prince Charles 1948.

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  18. Hat Queen, I didn’t know whether to add this or not. It looks like bows to me, but it could just be strands. The back of her coat had a bow, so I thought the milliner would incorporate that feature. Anyhow, I’m going for bows on this gorgeous hat worn by Zara Tindall at the Cambridge Royal Wedding 2011:

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  19. For some reason I just thought about this one… Embed from Getty Images

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    Always thought this one is interesting, bow with pom-poms.

  21. These topics do rather send me down a rabbit hole. So I’ve found that 1989 was when QEII was at her most bowtastic. Mabel would have been looking on admiringly…

    This first one has a rather fun mass of somewhat limp bows…
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    I can’t find a back view, but this one promises a fair bit of bow action round the back. :
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  22. This one has a lot of lace covered bows lurking in amongst all of the other details…
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  23. Maybe 4 bows on Countess Karen Spencer at the Sussex wedding 2018.

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  24. Not the most bows, but certainly the cutest wearer. Princess Leonore of Sweden at the christening of Prince Alexander 2016 and other events.

    https://royalhats.net/2016/09/09/christening-of-prince-alexander-immediate-family/

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  25. 2 bows
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  26. 10 loops = 5 bows
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  27. Enjoying this post immensely! Especially liking the comments disputing whether a bow without a visible knot qualifies as a bow. Readers of this blog have discerning and eagle eyes!
    My favorites, as of this juncture, are Princess Haya’s giant bow on that magnificent black hat that only she could wear, and the ( half bows?) on HM’s 1996 Ascot hat. Not hard to put the Chelsea Flower Show hairnet at the bottom of the list.

  28. 3.5 bows
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  29. 6 loops = 3 bows

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  30. 5 loops = 2.5 bows

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    • 4 loops = 2 bows
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      • 2 bows
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    • 2.5 bows

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      • 2 bows. One of Anne’s best hats.
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        • Also 2 bows and one of her other best hats
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  31. Great hats but there have got to be a lot more. I don’t remember hats as well as the rest of you and if I do, I usually have no idea how to find a photo. If only there was an index to look through!

  32. another diana 1983 – this time in australia

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  33. At first I was a bit afraid no one had posted the Chelsea Flower Show bow/netting headcovering, but MrFitzroy saved the day haha. Here’s I think the last time HM wore this one:
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    An older hat and the photo is a bit unclear, but I’m assuming those are bows, and if yes, then Empress Michiko may have won this round (sorry, another photo that can’t be embedded): https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/crown-princess-michiko-attends-the-opening-ceremony-of-the-news-photo/1145373905

    A bit unclear if this is 3 loops that make one bow, or 3 bows, but I figured this one from Mathilde should be considered just in case:
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    • I fear we would need to have the actual headgear in front of us to determine whether HM’s hairnet has more or fewer bows than Crown Princess Michiko’s!

    • Queen Mathilde’s teal Philip Treacy hat has some close cousins worn by Princess Eugenie and Sophie (Lady Frederick Windsor).

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  34. My brain immediately went back to the turban style hats in the 60s and 70s that were either all covered over with things or had large bunches of dangly things. But upon looking through lots of pictures, it seems most of them were covered over with flowers or feathers or other things that weren’t bows, and same with the dangly bits. I still feel like there might be one of those with bows, but if so I couldn’t find it. I did come across a couple though.

    Here’s a nice one with several bows around the hatband in the 70s

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    It looks like there are little bows surrounded throughout the flowers on this one but it’s hard to tell.

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    Can the dangly things on the back of this hat be considered bows?

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    • I looked at the purple hat enlarged on Getty Images and I’m afraid it’s a single bow (half bow, really) with flowers. The yellow striped hat is interesting- those are loops for certain but do they form bows?! I’m not so sure.

  35. So I was sure Fergie was going to give us some fun here, but she tended to favour one, massive bow; so wrong category.

    This one doesn’t count as a hat alas…
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    But this one, which I don’t remember seeing before, most certainly does.
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    Any advances on 2?!

  36. Princess Anne in a large multi loop bow…..
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  37. And last but not least by any means. I don’t actually know how many there are here! Embed from Getty Images

  38. Okay so I AM cheating, there’s only one on the hat, but I defy anyone to work out how many there are in the whole outfit! (The cost had even more I seem to remember…) Embed from Getty Images

    • So many bows! Including the brooch!
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      • Opps, This is correct embed…..and definitely time for MrFitzroy to head to bed!
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  39. Diana’s trip to Canada 1983 was bow-tastic – full of bows – pussy bows and bow-trimmed hats. 3 double-tied bows;

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    are these bows too???

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  40. this is described as having multiple bow loops, though difficult to see how they are tied…

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  41. Not finding a full back view….Princess Diana at the Linley wedding with a twofer on her titfer!

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  42. this is what first came to mind, but now looking at it, i’m disappointed that there may actually be NO bows, as they appear to be half bows??? still a gorgeous hat!

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  43. 3 bows in 3 colors
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  44. Let’s make a quick visit to the Chelsea Flower Show shall we? Technically a head covering rather than a hat…..but BOWS galore!

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  45. 2 bows
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  46. You’re right! Most hats only have one bow! This is going to be interesting!

    The first hat that came to mind is the EU/Brexit hat that was renovated. I think this counts as 2 bows.
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