Ascot 2021 Day 1: Earl & Countess of Wessex

The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended Royal Ascot today, the Countess in a beautiful hat first worn nearly a decade ago.

Described by the milliner as “a large petal disc,” the buff pink design follows an asymmetrical wave (or petal!) shape and is trimmed with a large silk rosette and curling quills. Many of you will remember its initialwearing at the Tindall’s wedding in July 2011.

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The design has beautiful scale, presence and movement, its neutral colour softening its statement just the right amount. I think it suits Sophie so well. As much as I adore seeing new hats at the races, it’s also great to see pieces, such as this, we haven’t seen as much as they deserve.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by ARoss Girl x Soler (Amanda belted silk crepe de chine maxi dress)
Previously Worn: June 3, 2014; July 30, 2011

Prince Edward repeated his black silk top hat which, as always, was gleaming. The hat’s proportion and height suits him so very well (and his printed tie adds that note of whimsey he often brings to the races!).

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What do you think of this pair of hats today at Ascot?

Images from Getty as indicated  

20 thoughts on “Ascot 2021 Day 1: Earl & Countess of Wessex

  1. Prince Edward has the best men’s top hat I’ve ever seen! It gleams in the sunshine which shows that he has a superior valet who should be proud of himself for doing his job so well. It fits his head perfectly and his ties also add interest and whimsy to his ensemble. Bravo!

  2. This is a marvelous hat and I’m so glad to see it brought out again for another public showing. I can’t say as much for the dress – with respect, this dress looks to me like a nightgown. The hat is so much better balanced by the wider collars of the previous knee-length dresses worn with it:
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    (Sorry, couldn’t figure out how to make those into a slideshow!)

    Edward’s top hat is also marvelous and as mentioned by others, one of the best seen at Ascot Day 1.

  3. Love her hat, so nice to see it again. And I like the dress, but I think I would use a wider belt, rather than the narrow one that ties, as that would give more shaping to the waistline while still retaining the soft lines of the dress. His hat is superb.

  4. It’s a lovely hat, a real statement piece worthy of a royal head. I love this soft colour on Sophie but, in contrast to my feelings about Zara’s dresses, I wish she’d wear her skirts a bit shorter. To begin with, I thought she had worn another trouser suit to Ascot. Sophie’s not overly tall and these long skirts don’t help ‘lengthen’ her (say I, as a shortie). This Ascot outfit is a lovely look, a nice look but not the ‘wow’ that she can do so well. Looking forward to seeing more.

  5. I loved this at Zara’s wedding and I still love the hat, but I don’t think this dress pairs well with it, and it makes for a whole lot of beige in a way the textured Bruce Oldfield outfit at this hat’s premiere did not. I think something more structured (and preferably in a contrasting color, like blue or purple) would suit the styling of this hat better (or bring back the original outfit!). Ultimately like HatQueen said, it’s great to see new hats, but repeats like this are often just as exciting!

  6. Is it too soon to pick my favorite repeated hat of the year? Love the shape of this one, and it’s so flattering how it frames her face. Not a fan of the dress, alas.

    And did anyone else notice the woman walking next to Sophie? Her hat reminds me of this one of Princess Haya’s. Do you suppose we’ll see her this year?
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    • With Princess Haya’s former husband so involved in horse racing in the UK, I can’t imagine we’ll see her at racing events like this again for a long while. I think we all feel her absence as her Ascot hats were fantastic!

    • According to a caption I saw on Getty, she is the Countess of Derby. The hat is not one of my favorites but Sophie wears it well. The dress – if the neckline was round instead of a v-neck, it would look like a monk’s robe.

  7. The hat is beautiful and so is her hair. Shoes and bag likewise. But the dress? What a horror – if the bodice fit better with some decent underpinnings and more fit at the waist we’d have a better (and different) dress. The deep ‘v’ neck, extra long sleeves and over long belt just means that the eyes are being drawn downwards. The colour is lovely and suits her well. My advice is get back to Bruce Oldfield for some decent tailoring.

  8. So great to see this hat come out of storage again. It’s lovely! I’d chop at least 6 inches – maybe a foot – off the skirt, and I’d wish it to be a few shades of a darker blush. Ed’s top hat is so polished, you can tell it’s been well cared for and it fits him nicely. He always brings a fun tie, which I love.

  9. I loved seeing this hat again, and I much prefer it with this dress. Like others, I thought the dress was a jumpsuit at first, but I like the length. I just wish it was a tad more tailored on the top. The hat is quite a timeless piece and still in fabulous shape. I thought the Countess of Wessex looked incredible.

    I also think Prince Edward’s top hat is lovely and very shiny! He looked very dapper.

  10. The Earl of Wessex has one of the finest top hats I’ve ever seen. I’d really, really love to find a topper that nice. The man from whom I purchased my hat(s) says about a hat like that, “you’ll want to put that on your insurance for sure!” Oh, to have a hat like that.

  11. I think she looks incredible. I thought that dress was a jumpsuit at first, but I like it either way. It’s monochrome dressing done so well.

    And I gasped when I saw the hat again, it looks as good all these years later. BTW, she did actually wear it another time, so the a spotted skirt suit I seem to remember. I have no more info on when alas!!

  12. That’s a whole lot of beige on Sophie, but the hat is great! I would cut the skirt shorter, but the hat is perfect.Edward’s top hat looks fine too, but I’m no expert on toppers.

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