During our recent look at Princess Anne’s inventory green hats, discussion about her green straw hat painted with feathers threw out a challenge (thanks JamesB!) to find other painted royal hats. So I pass this to you, dearest readers- which royal hats can you recall that have painted embellishments? 

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At Ascot Racecourse on July 27, 2013

Visiting an Experimental Farm in Ottawa on July 5, 1982

Photos from Getty as indicated and Andy Clark/Canadian Press via the Windsor Star

48 thoughts on “Painted?

  1. Hurrah, I may have found one. Hard to tell, but it looks like paint … Lady Helen Taylor at Ascot in 2013.

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  2. The fabric for the dress, worn to Prince Harry’s wedding, was hand-painted in Italy, according to the notes, but it doesn’t appear as if there is any painted embellishment on the hat. Likely this is the best I can do, apologies. I have enjoyed reading the interesting – and sometimes cheeky – contributions of others.

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    • And a beautiful hand-painted dress worn by Lady Kitty Spencer at the same event. Again, no luck with the hat!

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      • This is such a stunning outfit. She’s a beautiful woman anyway, but elevated into breathtaking by this bold yet so very cohesive look. Just amazing.

  3. This hat by John Boyd was worn by Princess Diana in Tasmania on March 31, 1983, during the Prince and Princess of Wales’ extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand. I believe the gold edging on the white leaves may be painted. There are better photos of this hat showing more of the gold, but none I could find that could be embedded. The same hat was worn again on April 26 in Auckland.
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  4. I found another painted hat! This was worn by Princess Anne, also. Embed from Getty Images

  5. Just came across this lovely hat, which now I look again seems to have had a bit of a spray paint job on the fabric wrapped around it to match the dress. Hadn’t noticed that detail before. Embed from Getty Images

  6. Stretching the theme somewhat, there are outfits inspired by painters…

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    Van Gogh (I’m sure this has been work with a hat, but can’t find it….)

    • These are great, JamesB. It also brings to mind one of my favourite of all royal wedding ensembles- the Duchess of Cornwall’s hand painted blue wedding coat by Robinson Valentine. It’s exquisite and the sprayed gold Philip Treacy headpiece made for a fantastic pairing.
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    • Princess Haya in a Van Gogh dress at Ascot, 2014.

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  7. After searching “paint” here on the blog, I found a good one! For Prince Gabriel’s christening, Princess Sofia wore folk costume from Dalarna, the area where she was raised and the duchy of which Prince Gabriel was named Duke at the time of his birth. The cap is beautifully painted.

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  8. Interesting post and some good contributions!
    My favorite is Princess Anne’s hat. The painting is exquisite and the shape of the hat , as well as the color, is perfect for her. I imagine that the hat will make another appearance one of these days.

  9. If you look closely, the feathers on this Jane Taylor hat, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge to Ascot in 2015, are splattered with gold paint.
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    • Do you think the edges of these feathers have had a touch of paint too? Embed from Getty Images

  10. As there seems to be so few, i thought would include a near-miss, especially as a) i dont think ive seen it before (its from 2008), and b) theres a painting in the pic! From behind i thought the crown had some sort of paint effect, but alas from the front my hopes appear dashed…

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  11. For the 20th anniversary of the reestablishment of Scottish parliament, Queen Elizabeth wore a purple hat made by Rachel Trevor Morgan. The straw flowers have beautiful, subtle mixed shades that look hand painted.

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    • Oh I had t thought of painted flowers. If you look carefully here the silk flowers are hand painted. Embed from Getty Images

    • Fabric flowers are usually referred to as “hand dyed”, though one could argue that hand painted is equally true, for it is done by hand, with a brush.
      To me the difference would be in the detail: if the fabric is coloured in different hues, I think I would say “dyed”, if there are details like stems or veins, I would say “painted”.

      Feathers are dyed: they have to be immersed in a in a solution of dye, water an acid. But they may also be sprayed, with metallic gold or silver spray for instance.
      My only experience with colouring crin is from the 1980’s, at my first employer’s, Jean Barthet. We used spray cans, out of the kitchen window, spaying the window sill at the same time! The result was, mmm …. maybe best left in the ‘80’s.
      Crin originally was horse hair, but modern crin is made from plastic so I
      don’t think it can be easily dyed.

  12. While trying to briefly search for royal hats with painted trim/details (alas, with no luck), I did find these two photos of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and Prince Eugen of Sweden painting while wearing hats:
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    The only other paint-adjacent or paint-connected hat I could think of was this one by royal milliner Stephen Jones: (sorry, couldn’t find an embedable photo of this palette hat). A similar hat (perhaps by Jones) was seen (unfortunately not on a royal) at Ascot in 2011:
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  13. So the other one I was thinking of was this beaut. However I’m unsure if it’s painted, probably dyed. But the ombré effect does give it a painterly effect doesn’t it… Embed from Getty Images

    • Probably the same technique but this one looks like someone’s done a spray job on it too… Embed from Getty Images

      • It certainly has an airbrushed effect. I wonder if this one is hand painted, because the ombre effect follows the heart shape so precisely. I can’t imagine dying the fabric in this shape would be possible!

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    • Also this one, worn in Belgium in 2014. Hat by Jane Taylor.

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  14. Technically, it’s a painted embellishment…….(MrFitzroy ducks for cover….)

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    • Oh yes! Not sure I’ve seen a pic of the other side of this one… Embed from Getty Images

      • Here’s a front view of this hat- great catch with this one!
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  15. Ooh I wondered if you’d go there!! This one will be a challenge… I immediately thought of this lovely hat worn by Fergie in Canada in 1987, which had a light spray of green and pink. Embed from Getty Images

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