Inventory: Countess of Wessex’s Deep Pink & Burgundy Hats

To mark the Countess of Wessex’s birthday today, we’re peeking into her millinery closet for a look at all of her dark pink and burgundy designs:

1. 2.Embed from Getty Images 3.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Jess Collett; unknown; Philip Treacy
Introduced: April 23,  2000; April 11 , 2004; March 15, 2006

4.Embed from Getty Images 5.
Designer: both are Jane Taylor
Introduced:  June 21, 2017; December 25, 2019

There is a marked change of shape and style between the first three and final two hats, not surprising as more than a decade separates the two groups! While the early bold shapes are lovely to revisit (and a good reminder of how brave Sophie’s early hats were!), that spectacular bergère from Ascot in 2017 steals the show for me.

Images from Tim Graham Photo Library and Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty; Getty as indicated

8 thoughts on “Inventory: Countess of Wessex’s Deep Pink & Burgundy Hats

  1. Thank heavens! Dear Hat Lady:
    I can’t express how elated I was while reading your comments about Instagram! Everyday without fail for SO many years now, I look forward to seeing your website and, without fail I check royalhats.net!! But I cannot and never will join Instagram,Twitter and the lot of them!! Today, I am elated to read your comments regarding joining Instagram and, in fact, so many of my friends are thrilled that you finally recognize not everyone joins these medias!! My dear HatLady, I speak for for all of my friends here in the United States who so enjoy your fabulous website. Of course we love hats and fashion. We also happen to be history buffs of WWII era, 30s and 40s, and England’s RoyalFamily and families’ lineage. We love learning and seeing photos of all European royalty too…all because of you! Thank you, thank you!

  2. Yes, I agree. I love the Countess’s 2017 bergère. I recall watching Royal Ascot at the time and thinking what a stunning hat it was. This colour really suits the Countess.

  3. Another vote for the 2017 bergère — what a standout! I’d love to see it again, although with a different dress. And I’ll put in a word for the Jane Taylor bandeau: although many of us are weary of this style, this one is better than many, with the padding and the veil making it more of a hat than a headband.

    But my biggest takeaway is that these shades are gorgeous for Sophie! They complement her coloring and give a pop to the neutrals she favors.

  4. I’m actually surprised that only five hats made it to this inventory; I expected more burgundy examples after almost 22 years.
    Yes, the 2017 is the winner, although many of the photos show Sophie holding onto it, afraid of becoming airborne. It must have been quite a feat keeping that huge brimmed beauty in place – elastic bands under her hair, pins/combs?
    While the first three early hats were all over-the-top, (pun intended) I agree with TrickyMum who said the first one was a stunner back when.

  5. The 2017 is definitely the winner of this group — personally, I didn’t care much for any of the first three even back when they were more in style. I wish the Countess would wear burgundy more often, as it looks great on her!

  6. Sophie is a great hat wearer and certainly embraced the fun vibe of Royal Ascot, especially in her younger days – everyone should experiment with their style when they are young.
    I concur that the 2017 bergere gets the win, but that first hat was a stunner in its day.

  7. We’ve said it here often before, but Sophie’s style transformation has been to a much more streamlined and sophisticated look. The early shapes were indeed creative and often exaggerated. But they overwhelmed her a bit, and look quite dated from this distance. About 10 years ago she clearly got a new stylist (or just found a new milliner!) and the styles since then, while no less creative, are more subtle and refined and just so much more her and suit her features.

    She suits this colour family, but as you’ve said the star of the show is that oversized boater; I’d love to see this again with a different outfit, it’s such a fabulous hat.

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