Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day Hats Part 1

With news that the Queen is expected to attend church publicly this year on Christmas Day, I thought it would be fun to look back at her past “Chapeaux de Noel.”

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1968, 1970, 1975 and 1980

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1982,1983, 1984, 1985 (see 1986 here) and 1987

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1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1993

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1994, (see 1995 here) 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999

It’s a mostly jewel-toned choice with a few orange ensembles thrown in to spice things up and the unexpected pink beret in 1982. The earlier designs follow her preferred shapes in different decades- brimless through the 1960s and 1970s and a sprinkling of a few short brims in the 1980s. The larger brims of the 1990s, like the green one chosen in both 1995 and 1999, are all swept off the face.

For sheer fun, the first group of hats are my sentimental favourite for their bolder scale, texture and pattern (that red floral in 1970 is all kinds of fantastic!). Next week, we’ll look at all the Christmas Day hats from this century. For now, which one of these earlier designs stand out most to you?

Images from Getty as indicated  

17 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day Hats Part 1

  1. The Queen’s 1994 hat is her third, if not fourth, pairing with the beautiful purple Hardy Amies coat. Here is little featurette of its several combinations to admire.

    October 23,1990: Italian President State Visit
    October 16, 1989: Malasia (same straw hat debut?)
    January, 1992: Dersingham
    November 19, 1993: Winchester (same hat, altered?)
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  2. I’m quite surprised to see so many orange hats here, it’s nto a colour you think of her wearing taht often, but I guess when you’ve had as many hats as she does, it’s bound to come round every so often! THe 1968 with the fur trim is actually quite a hit, as is Anne’s funky striped coat in the background. I also love the flowery helment (which does feel a bit summery) and the red and black striped number.

    I do think a look at her recent titfers though will show that her hat game did get much better in this century.

      • This is the closest I could come up with. Summery, yet she had a light coat on, and the gents were sans coats on that rainy Christmas day in 1986. We may never find out.

        November 16, 1983: Bangladesh
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        • Interesting. A few factors make me think this isn’t the same hat- the 1986 Christmas hat’s hatband is not striped, there doesn’t seem to be colour difference between the crown and underbrim and I think this brim is slightly longer – but it’s so hard to tell with the black and white 1986 photo. At the very least, they look to be off the same hatblock with that distinctive crown pith helmet pinch.

  3. Thanks, HQ, for the delightful pre-Christmas Retrospective! A couple things came to mind upon examining these hats: Yes, red and green were the primary colors worn (6 each), with 4 blue/purple numbers, and 3(!) orange beauties. I love the 1996 pumpkin ensemble. Of the 19 presented, ALL were either brimless or upwardly brimmed. And QEQM appeared in SIX different shades of the same hat! Amazing.
    One year, HM went to the Christmas Eve Service instead of the morning service. Getty described it as black and red. My aging eyes see more of a burnt orange and navy. Either way, the ensemble is unique and a true stand-out! Happy Holidays a week early, friends!

    December 24, 1989
    May 20, 1988
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    Enjoy a short video from Christmas 1990. It is a delightful and somewhat amusing snapshot of a real family (albeit dressed to the nines) getting organized for the family portrait. HM in a beautiful blue beret, and Diana in an infamously recognizable ensemble.

    PS HQ, I did locate 1986, but it’s not very good, and I have found no other outings of it yet. I’ll keep plugging at it, if you’d like.

    • Princess Elizabeth: December 25, 1936
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      • First- this 1936 photos is such a brilliant find! Thanks, as always, Jimbo!

        Thanks so much for clarifying the 1989 hat (no wonder I couldn’t find one worn on Christmas Day that year!). And by all means, please do share what you’ve found from 1986! I’m very curious and I’m guessing other readers are as well!

        The 1990 video above was taken after Princess Eugenie’s christening, held just before Christmas at Sandringham. It’s a great look not only at hats at the time, but some of the personalities wearing them!

  4. A fascinating review from which the thing which immediately drew my attention was how nice/relaxing it was to see her wearing contrasting colours & textures in 1987 where she wore the very elegantly shaped grey-green hat with a muted colour trim combined with the fur coat. She really should do it more often.

  5. I love the fun orange from 1996 and the pink from 1975. I like all the interesting shape variations in this early bunch.

  6. Great retrospective! One stood out in a not so good way; that green oversized beret (?) from 1997 repeated 1999. Hideous!
    The lovely purple hat from 1994, in satin and velvet, was so much better!

    • I think the green hat is a toque (brimless hat). The problem, I think, is mainly in the way it cuts the forehead: in a straight line. Not flattering for Queen Elisabeth.
      I too like the purple satin hat much better and I think the little green velvet tambourine shape from ‘87 is quite cute.

      • Thanks for putting me right on the style, Wies. I agree the straight line across the forehead, without the softening curve of a brim, is not flattering for HM.

  7. This is a really fun post! For me, the light pink coat and hat in 1982 with the black accessories and the Victorian Bow Brooch (I think) is so stylish. That hat is an unusual choice, but the trim makes it for me. It has movement, and I like that. I also like the pumpkin hat from 1997–also loving the trim. I’m surprised by how solid and monochromatic everything is–almost no patterns or textures of any kind. I was hoping for a festive plaid or tweed somewhere!

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