One of Queen Elizabeth’s most important ceremonial functions as a constitutional monarch is to preside over the state opening of parliament. She does this most years, travelling to the Palace of Westminster via coach to deliver a speech, looking most regal in the sparkling Imperial State Crown and ceremonial robes.
This year’s ceremony was significantly scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of a white gown and diamonds, the Queen fulfilled this duty in a repeated grey hat with flared crown covered in silk cloque fabric and a mushroom shaped straw brim overlaid in pleated crin. The hat is finished with a grey goose feather mount and vine of gold silk flowers that wrap around the front that echo the floral applique around the neckline of her coat.
The pleated brim gives great contrast to the piece, visually separating the hat crown and coat, which are in the same fabric. The colour is not my favourite on Her Majesty but was another masterful choice, standing out against the red and gold backdrop of the House of Lord’s Chamber.
Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 20, 2019
The Duchess of Cornwall used the occasion to debut a new hat. In ivory straw, the asymmetrical crown is balanced by a wide, gently sidesweeping brim. The sleek design is austerely trimmed with a padded oyster silk hatband.
The hat is a more streamlined design than we usually see on Camilla but one that pairs beautifully with the white and oyster diamond patterned coat. Would I love to see her embrace colour in her summer wardrobe? Absolutely! But I also can’t argue about the subtle, restrained elegance of this look for her.
Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Bruce Oldfield.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
What do you think about these hats today?
Images from Getty as indicated