This week’s discussion question is one recently suggested in a comment thread: which royal hats are/have tartan or plaid? I’ve started us off with a young Prince of Wales in his namesake tartan.

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Image from Getty as indicated

53 thoughts on “Plaid?

  1. Is it too late to contribute the most beautiful glen plaid?

    March 19, 1995: South Africa
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  2. Late entry from Princess Laurentien:
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  3. Queen Elizabeth wearing a lovely plaid frock in Tonga, 1977 — with a hat trimmed in the same fabric.

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  4. This is a stretch but can we count windowpane lattice woven straw as a sort of plaid?!
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  5. This is a more recent one, and you have to squint, but has a bit of the plaid from the coat trimming the hat…

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  6. This is great fun but all those flat caps are tweeed, which isn’t tartan. It’s a subtle difference and possibly not non outside the uk. Tweeed is tweed and tartan is tartan

    • But a tweed can include plaid, yes?!
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  7. Despite the frequent use of patterned material for Japanese imperial hats, very little of it is in plaid.

    Empress Emerita Michiko had a couple of her signature cocktail hats with plaid fabric bows, one with black & white ( and one in dusty rose grey ( Michiko also had a couple of very clearly plaid turbans way back in her crown princess days:

    Empress Masako has a burgundy hat with a plaid (plaid-adjacent?) hatband: A bit unclear if this pale mint green hatband is in plaid, but it looks at least plaid-adjacent:

    And finally Princess Akiko wore a bowler-like hat with a large plaid hatband back in 2018:

    (Apologies, no embeddable photos unfortunately!)

  8. Lady Louise in her carriage-driving kit:

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    • Great catch MittenMary! MrFitzroy is always so charmed by her snood, had never noticed the hat pattern before.

  9. After a long and ultimately fruitless search for the holy grail of HM wearing a plaid headscarf… MrFitzroy did find a bit of a consolation prize….tartan upholstery in one of the state landaus! And an image of The Queen and Princess Margaret in Scotland that was too adorable not to share. Their outfits and hats are wonderful, but those little sprigs of heather they are holding… adorable is that? Forgive the step away from the topic at hand, but this fits the spirit, if not the letter!

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  10. An usual use of houndstooth:

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  11. We’ve had a few Danish royals in plaid. Here’s one more:

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  12. Is this a Stetson? It feels like it could be worn to a hen do! Embed from Getty Images

  13. Here are sweet plaid caps on Prince Edward, Peter Phillips and Prince William
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  14. From a Scottish Clan website,
    “Plaids are any crisscross patterns of two or more colours;
    Tartans are plaids with a name to identify a community;
    Checks are plaids with a regular pattern, usually of only two colours.”

    It can get even a bit more complicated:
    “Plaid sometimes describes the crisscross pattern of tartans or similar; and
    plaid can also mean the fabrics or cloth woven in those tartan-style patterns; and
    for Scots the plaid is mostly a type of traditional garment worn in various styles, such as the belted plaid, fly plaid, arisaid plaid, shepherd’s plaid, and piper’s plaid or drummer’s plaid.”

  15. Princess Alexandra looking chic as ever, here in houndstooth. Embed from Getty Images

  16. I hope this one counts. Have we done a “fur hat” exploration yet?

    December 25, 2010
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    • I think we did fur hats in the Christmas Hat exploration. I didn’t know that this one had the same material as the coat. That was a great find (and sneaky too!)

  17. Everyone’s posted all that I can think of! It seems as though there’d be plenty from the Braemar Games, but it’s as Mr. Fitzroy has said — tartan everything except the hats.

    This one is subtle, but I think it counts as plaid:

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  18. A very young Prince Arthur, Grandson of Queen Victoria, and future Duke of Connaught.

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  19. There are certainly no shortage of tartan coats, wraps, kilts and jackets in the archives! Tartan hats are a bit more of a unicorn — but here are Zara and Harry……

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  20. Prince Philip

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    • Oops…upload error. I meant to add this one of Prince Philip:

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  21. Prince Charles:

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    • Same hat as the first photo above but with the beard and checked jacket is a memorable overall look!
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      • Yes, I saw this photo, and noticed they were the same (even the jacket!). So, question is “beard or no beard?” Looks handsome either way 🙂

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    1989 Braemar Games
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    March 31, 2019
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    August 31, 2017
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    March 17, 1977
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    August 6, 1992
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    February 3, 2020
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    • This is the other one of Diana’s I found… Embed from Getty Images

    • Wonderful assortment Jimbo! Well done! Princess Margaret’s helmet, and The Princess of Wales saucer were the first hats I thought of!

  23. This one from Princess Benedikte was the first that came to my mind:
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  24. So I have been doing a bit of research on this topic (I really do need a hobby!) it’s an interesting topic… where does tartan become checked, or indeed gingham. Well we got all of that from HM and her mother in 1976!

    This plaid one is very chic!
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    Checked on the Queen Mum – I like her in this!
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    And then there’s a bit of gingham…
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