Milestone Birthday: Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated her 40th birthday yesterday. We mark this milestone with a look back at some of her hats and headpieces:

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 1 designs by Viven Sheriff, Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. Jane Corbett, Rachel Trevor Morgan, Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.
Gallery 2 designs by Gina Foster, Jane Corbett, Jane Corbett, Lock & Co., Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.

Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 3 designs by Jane Corbett, Jane Taylor, Jane Corbett, Rachel Trevor Morgan, Jane Taylor

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 4 designs by Whiteley, Vivien Sheriff, Jane Corbett, Lock & Co., Whiteley
Gallery 5 designs by Gina Foster, Jane Taylor, Jane Taylor, Jonathan Howard, Lock & Co.

 Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 6 designs by Jane Taylor, Jane Taylor, Jane Taylor, Jane Taylor, Lock & Co., Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.
Gallery 7 designs by Lock & Co., Lock & Co., John Boyd, Philip Treacy, Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.

Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 8 designs by Jane Taylor, unknown, Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co., Jane Taylor, unknown

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 9 designs by Jane Taylor, Lock & Co., Lock & Co., Lacorine, Gina Foster
Gallery 10 designs by Lock & Co., Juliette Botterill, Jane Taylor, Sean Barrett, Jane Taylor

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Gallery 11 designs by Philip Treacy, Lock & Co., Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co., Rosie Olivia, Juliette Botterill
Gallery 12 designs by Philip Treacy, Philip Treacy, Hicks & Brown, Sally Ann Provan, Philip Treacy

It’s a fascinating evolution of millinery styles that sees go-to shapes following millinery trends of the time (hello beret perchers and halo bandeaux!). A mix of designs from different milliners brings diverse trims and slightly varied scale into Kate’s millinery wardrobe, as does a growing confidence in personal style that naturally happens as one moves through the first two decades of adulthood. Kate and her stylist have an excellent ability to choose hats well suited to the occasion to which they are worn and this keeps us all excited to see what new hat she will debut next.

There are some sentimental favourites in Kate’s millinery past- the cream Gina Foster ‘potato chip’ and mulberry Jane Corbet ruffled trilby in Gallery 2, the pink swirled Jane Taylor in Gallery 9 and the pale blue Philip Tracy saucer in Gallery 12. Which hats from Kate’s past stand out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated

18 thoughts on “Milestone Birthday: Duchess of Cambridge

  1. The thing that strikes me most in this splendid retrospective is that there are virtually no hats that I dislike or that really don’t suit her. They aren’t all equally fabulous, but overall, the quality and attractiveness quotient are really high. Like others, I’d love to see Kate wearing more hats with larger brims. The other thing I note is that although I think Kate’s overall styling has got sleeker, in terms of hats alone, there are some really corking hats among her early ones, she didn’t have to go through any sort of “finding her style” or “finding her milliner” period before coming up with the goods.

    I love several of these:
    the black Silvia Fletcher in Gallery 1
    everyone’s deserved favourite Gina Foster in Gallery 2, and everyone’s other favourite, the mulberry Jane Corbett,
    the tear drop Jane Taylor in gallery 5
    the Jane Taylor with the ombre swirly trim in gallery 6
    the romantic Philip Treacy in gallery 7
    the lovely coral Jane Taylor with the layered serpentine trim in gallery 9
    the gorgeous berry-coloured Philip Treacy in gallery 11
    the lovely pale pink Juliette Botterill in gallery 11
    the cream / pale yellow Philip Treacy in gallery 12

    • PS just to add that I think the last picture of gallery 3, with the Jane Taylor calot and the dress with the squared pattern are the epitome of an outfit being more than the sum of its parts. While both the dress, the hat and the hair are perfectly acceptable, I don’t think any of them are outstanding, whereas I think the overall look is really memorable.

  2. Splendid assortment, reflecting Kate’s growing sophistication and confidence. Like JamesB, I’d like to see some of these repeated with different ensembles. I’d especially like to see the pink swirl-trimmed percher and the pale blue Juliette Botterill in #10 remixed.

    And I’d love to see the mulberry trilby and the potato chip again!

  3. What a superb retrospective: thanks very much.

    The Treacys are all gorgeous and I also like her in the pushed back, pill-box styles as well as the # 4 Lock & Co. from Gallery 2.

    I, too, would like her to wear more examples with wider brims à la Boyd & Treacy but not the #3 Lock & Co. from Gallery 9 which is not very flattering.

  4. An amazing selection of styles and colours over 10 years. Thank you Hat Queen. I too look forward to seeing wider hats and brims on the Duchess as the years unfold. The grey John Boyd hat is my favourite too.

  5. Seeing then all together reminds you how much of a style evolution there’s been for Kate, but how slow and subtle it has been. The general essence of her style remains; it’s classic with block colours and florals and monochrome outfits. But the hand is much more deft; over the years there are fewer fussy trimmings, shapes are bolder and the overall look much more polished.

    That said there are some favourites from across the decade. The mulberry and crisp hats (I’m a Brit it’s what we call ‘em!) in #1 were early signs of fabulousness. The Philip Treacy saucers with roses in #7 and #12 are both stellar hats; the pepto Bismal swirl in #9 and the maroon percher in #11 are personal favourites.

    So many of these hats have only been seen once and a few neutrals have been absolute workhorses. I hope we get to see some more of them mixed and matched; she’s good at reusing pieces in different ways. A fantastic retrospective of some really beautiful hats.

  6. I didn’t realize Kate had so many hats by Jane Taylor! I agree with Jake that I would like to see more brimmed hats on Kate. I would love to see some picture hats on Kate a la Maxima!

    A few of my favorites are the red Jubillee hat in gallery 2 and the blue Canada hat in gallery 8 both by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Co. I also really like the side saucer by Jane Taylor in gallery 6 and the two pale blue hats in gallery 10–one by Juliette Botterill and the other by Sean Barrett.

  7. Kate has worn so many good hats over the years, and unfortunately most of my favorites have not been repeated! The Gina Foster emerald green beret percher of course ranks in the top 5 for me (Gallery 9), alongside the John Boyd grey portrait hat (Gallery 7) and the true blue Sylvia Fletcher Lock & Co. disc hat worn in Canada (Gallery 8). While the overall styling would likely be better today, the red cocktail hat with maple leaf detail worn to Canada in 2011 (Gallery 1) holds a special place as a nice tribute to the nation (even though I’m not Canadian) and also (I believe) Kate’s first foray into a brightly colored hat.

    Pre-Duchess days saw Kate in another old favorite from the Order of the Garter ceremony in 2008:
    Embed from Getty Images

  8. I think your comment about confidence, HQ, is very pertinent. The Duchess now shows this in her hat wearing. It would be interesting to see some of the earlier wardrobe additions return with this added sense of style.

    I think too how the Duchess now styles her hair depending on the hat adds a great deal to a stronger overall appearance.

    Many fine hats here, and actually more variety than I had realized. I would like to see her experiment more with wider brims.

  9. What a fabulous retrospective! There is such variance in style, color and texture.she really has an impressive millinery closet.

    Favorites for me are the mulberry Jan Corbett in Gallery 2 I wish she’d wear again!

    The black Rachel Trevor Morgan beret percher in gallery 3.

    Jane Taylor’s navy saucer in gallery 6.

    Gallery 4’s Jane Corbett navy beret in slide 1.

    Gallery 6 navy Jane Taylor.

    Gallery 7 green Locke and Co and blush Philip Treacy (stunning).

    Gallery 8 sapphire blue Locke and Co she wore in Canada.

    The fuschia Philip Treacy she wore to Princess Eugenie’s wedding (gallery 11) is still one of my favorite hats ever. Just a perfect color, texture and shape on her.

Leave a Reply to Erin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s