Hat From the Past

Royal Hats 79 years to October 31, 1951 when Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Washington D.C., the young princes in a draped hat with both distinct shape (I see bunny ears) and trim- note the peek of pompom veil and wonderful diamond ivy leaf clips.

Embed from Getty Images

Thanks, Jimbo, for help researching this hat!

Photo from Getty and social media as indicated

17 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

    • Agreed- cat ears, not bunny ears. Even more Halloweeny! Although, American readers- when do you first remember celebrating Halloween? I don’t think it was widely celebrated, even in America, in 1951.

      • The first year i went out was around 1963, as a female gypsy – no wise cracks, please. In 1964, I was Uncle Sam, thanks to my mother’s sewing talents! The top hat was fantastic looking, but not very comfortable. (HQ, check your email sometime today, if you’re able to.) As was our tradition, when we got home from begging, dad would make us dump out all the candy on the living room floor, and he took every Butterfinger candy bar, telling us they were bad for our teeth. We believed him!

      • The earliest Halloween I remember celebrating was in October 1958 — I can say this definitively because I can still picture the costume parade in my school’s playground, and we moved to a different town in February 1959, so I would have then gone to a different school. I wore a cowboy costume made for me by my grandmother, who was a professional seamstress, so the costume was quite good, though I wasn’t particularly interested in cowboys, that was just what she felt like making. The young man who won the best costume prize was “dressed” as a mailbox — the freestanding type that stands on street corners. His father made it for him. It was a hollow shell constructed of cardboard accurately painted with a metallic paint that made it quite shiny, complete with feet which touched the ground when he crouched down a bit, and a pull-down flap for inserting the mail. (He was taller than it, so when he walked around, he was inside and it sort of balanced on his head and he could see out of the pull-down flap.) To test it out, he brought it to a busy corner near the school and sure enough, a lady came and inserted some mail! I really wish digital photography had already been invented back then! (Don’t worry, we made sure that her mail made it into a real mailbox!)

  1. Thank you, Jimbo! Oh now we can see the details of black pompons on the coat and it makes sense how it’s tied together with the veil. Wonderful.

  2. Thank you, Jimbo. This took me back to watching National Film Board documentaries in school assembly!

    So many interesting hats. I was wondering if the hat in question was a bit of a play on ones worn at the time of American independence. From certain angles it had a bit of that feel.

  3. The coat is bright red, and the hat is black. Great shots of it in the video at 36:40 to 38:27 in the USA. At 49:50, Elizabeth is wearing a red hat, possibly the one made for the coat. There are many b/w photos of that combination available. Enjoy the entire 51 minute video – it’s beautifully made.

    Embed from Getty Images

    • I agree mittenmary. I adore the veil, but not crazy about the hat shape.

      Jimbo, that video is a treat! Thank you for sharing!

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