Ascot 2021 Day 1: Princess Anne

The Princess Royal attended the first day of racing today in a new hat with sloped crown and contoured brim, trimmed with a fan of pleated crin, a spray of pearls and a ruched navy silk hatband. The hat is made of layered navy and purple straw which give lovely dimension to its colour.

Embed from Getty Images

Interestingly, Princess Anne has another hat in the same, distinctive shape, shown below at Ascot in 2016.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

I’m not keen on the angular crown and find the brim contour a bit awkward; I think a gentle sidesweep would work better. I also think the ruched hatband is a dated touch – how much crisper and more refined would a sleek silk ribbon hatband be? That all being said, it’s lovely to see Princess Anne in a new hat and I applaud her navy column dress, printed jacket and matching pashmina. These new pieces are fantastic on her.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown. Dress, jacket and shawl by Shibumi
Previously Worn: this hat is new

What do you think of Princess Anne’s new hat?

Images from Getty as indicated  

20 thoughts on “Ascot 2021 Day 1: Princess Anne

  1. I am afraid I really do not like that hat at all. It looks like she pulled it out of a junk shop! The band ruins it and the fan on the side looks out of place and the contours of the hat just make it look like it has been bashed. Oddly, the same design in the aqua/pale blue version is a million times better. The rest of her outfit is OK but not very Royal Ascot.

  2. Anne looks great, and I love the pattern on her jacket and pashmina. But, and you know there’s a but, I wish the colour of the ensemble wasn’t quite so dark. It doesn’t give off the summery vibe I expect from Ascot. Okay, we’re here for the hats. I love the cheeky fan detail on the side, it’s quite perky and cheering. On Anne, I generally like the more casual hat bands as a rule, but I agree with HQ that a sharper profile would have been better. A new hat and a new outfit! I do love her unpredictability.

  3. Grateful to Anne for bringing some saturated color to the races in a great outfit (and fun mask). From a distance the hat is a nice one, but up close its details let things down unfortunately. The ice blue one looked more refined, but as Wies observed, these both look more like RTW or partially premade designs than couture, but I suppose that also fits Anne’s traditional thriftiness. 🙂

  4. Like the jacket and dress but not the hat. The angled crown harkens back to so many of her mom’s hats that I loath. The deco on the hat brim looks like it was picked up at a party store in a pack of candy cup decorations! Color is nice however.

  5. I love the jacket but I am not so sure about the hat. I think it is the hatband which looks messy and the hat looks sort of plonked on her head. The hat from 2016 is much nicer worn at more of an angle.

  6. The colour and scale of this hat look very good on Princess Anne and I love the dress and coat. But the quality of the hat is rather doubtful. The blocking of the sinamay is not great, the silk hatband looks, well… amateurish, and the brim binding is machine stitched. This looks to me as a ready to wear basic shape, as sold by wholesale suppliers of millinery materials, “embellished” by someone who is not quite a milliner. I suspect the pale blue version of this hat was made along the same lines, by the same person.

    • A closer look confirms this:
      The silk hasn’t been cut on the bias and the pleated crin of which the fan element is made, still has the pulling thread at the edge. This rather looks like a DIY project I’m afraid!

      • Very interesting to read your insights, as always! I think the striking dress and jacket make the hat look better than it is.

        • It probably was! That is why it looks so curiously outdated: these factory-pressed shapes (as I suspect this is) don’t change much over the years. They are made on aluminium hat blocks and aluminium blocks are expensive (even more expensive than wooden ones)’ so they are used for decades. I found it less bothering on the light blue version (though the trimming also had a distinct party store candy cup decoration vibe about it, as Beachgal so aptly expressed it!), as it was worn at a better angle. This hat is worn straight, because of the sun glasses.Placement is everything!

  7. Whoooo something new! And it all looks lovely on Anne. I know this hat is new to us, but I don’t wonder that she didn’t have it made at the same time as the other one and just hasn’t worn it “in public” til now? The wide hatband seems a bit dated now. But I shall quibble no more, because the overall look is really fab.

  8. What a fantastic look on Princess Anne, and it’s all new! The hat is a great color on her. I’m not a fan of the hat band, but her shawl and coat are fabulous.

  9. I like the hat. Is the outfit really new? I’d lay odds (pardon the racing pun) that I’ve seen this outfit before. I’ve definitely seen the shoes before.

  10. The outfit is fabulous – so flattering on her, one of her best looks in a long time. Really not sure about the hat though, for me it’s the ruched band that lends it a homemade quality; if that were streamlined this could be a much better complement to her outfit.

  11. I love the outfit but I’m not crazy about the hat. I don’t care for the pleat in the brim, to my eyes it just looks squashed, an impression not helped by the untidiness of the hatband. Also, I love that Princess Anne wears here sporty sunglasses with her formal daywear looks. It seems very her!

  12. I think this is the most successful new outfit Princess Anne has worn for a while – the shift dress and box jacket are lovely, and the hat complements the ensemble very well. I accept your criticisms of the hat’s design, especially the ruching, but the whole look is very good.

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