Return of Buckingham Palace Garden Parties

After a two year pandemic hiatus, Buckingham Palace garden parties resumed this week! The first one, on Wednesday, was hosted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and attended by Princess Anne who all braved less than ideal weather.

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At first glance, I thought the Duchess of Cornwall had finally granted your wishes and repeated the much admired blue hat worn to this same event back in 2015. A closer look below (new hat on the left, 2015 hat on the right) confirms these hats are a slightly different colour with different brim finishes and trimming:

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The hat making its debut this week follows the same shape with wide bias brim that grandly sweeps up over the design’s rounded crown. An extra wide stripe binding the brim accentuates its shape as does the streamlined trim- just a hatband that crosses over in an X on the back of the brim. The hat and embroidered coat are clearly custom designed to compliment each other, which they do. Yes, we’ve seen this shape many times on Camilla but it clearly works for her and the colour is magnificent.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prince Charles repeated his antique black silk top hat.

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Princess Anne repeated her muted teal sinamay hat with rounded crown and high, sidesweeping brim embellished with a darker teal slim silk hatband and curling, multi-looped straw bow interspersed with trimmed feathers. If it doesn’t look familiar, don’t worry- Anne’s dark green umbrella casted a grassy- hue over it!  This time out, she paired it with a patterned red coat instead of the matching muted teal one we’ve always seen with it in the past.

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Designer: Amy Morris-Adams
Previously Worn: This hat is new

On Thursday, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence hosted the annual Garden Party for The Not Forgotten charity, of which the Princess Royal is patron.

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For the event, she wore a new lilac sinamay hat with brim slightly raised around the back. The hat is trimmed with a ruched lavender silk hatband. The colour is pretty, as is the scale. The hatband falls short for me and I wish we could see the hat’s trim around the back.  I suspect this is a ready-to-wear produced piece, as it lacks the finesse of Anne’s other handmade hats, such as the one above.

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How wonderful is it to see garden party hats again?! What do you think of this quartet of hats worn this week?

Images from Getty as indicated  

10 thoughts on “Return of Buckingham Palace Garden Parties

  1. You explain it quite well, Jake. And milliners do intent their creations to be worn in a certain way and actually wince when they see pictures of their clients wearing them backwards! Though I think in this case nobody cares (no milliner anyway), for this is most certainly a ready to wear hat which, though bought in the UK, may very well have been manufactured in China.

  2. Lovely to see the return of the Royal Garden Party. Really interesting and fun to read the previous comments.

    I like the Duchess’s new blue hat especially the back view. I feel it deserved a sassier/sharper look to go with it.

    The Prince of Wales looks very dapper. The style of his morning dress compliments his silk top hat.

    I like both hats of The Princess Royal. I like the green one worn at this jaunty angle.
    The lilac one is lovely with this coat and dress. In this case I like the bow worn at the back or front.

  3. I too thought Camilla had finally dug the blue bin lid hat out, but no – yet another racer of her getting a new hat that’s just like one of her other ones. I just wonder if she forgets she has them? Never mind, it’s lovely and she looks great, hopefully this one will get a bit more wear!
    Anne looks fab too, she’s a Queen of mixing and matching and both of these are excellent examples of her skill at shaking things up.

  4. OMG, the first images I saw from the first garden party did not show Camilla’s hat very well and I was hoping and praying it was a repeat of the blue wood shaving hat, but alas it was not meant to be! 😦 I do think this more saturated shade is beautiful on her (finally some bold color for spring/summer), but I am a bit sad at the very subdued trim on this hat, which seems to be a recent trend for Camilla’s new hats. The coat is gorgeous! Charles looks sartorially spectacular as usual, and it was nice to see him keep his top hat on, which isn’t always the case. The umbrella does play havoc with the coloring of Anne’s hat, which in turn makes it feel like this hat is at odds color-wise with the rest of her outfit, but I will assume it worked in real life. Glad to see a little mix and match here with hats and clothes.

    Anne’s lavender/lilac portrait hat is actually a repeat that’s at least 20 years old (no surprise!). I can’t imagine this hat not being RTW based on the finishing; not that RTW hats can’t be worn by royals and it does fit Anne’s known thriftiness. This time she is wearing the hat backwards, and while I’m not opposed to wearing hats in different positions, the seam at the back of the brim is quite obvious to me and that makes it feel awkward every time I look at this hat. She wore it backwards at Ascot in 2002:
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    . . . and as originally intended to Ascot in 2011:
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    It is nice to see this hat paired with a different outfit and think the hat works better for this occasion than the original headpiece.

    • Jake, I hope this question does not come across as disrespectful, but how do you know which way is “as originally intended” and which way is backwards? Personally, I think all three different positionings of the trim look equally interesting, and it’s clever of Anne to change it up in that way.

      • I was trying to find the best wording, but when I said “as originally intended”, usually milliners/hatmakers have an idea of how their creations will be worn (i.e. what is the back and what is the front, although someone like Wies can speak to this better than I can). Hopefully I can explain things well enough, but on this hat, you can see with the bound brim edge has a small overlap, which in the first photo of my previous comment comes off as darker than the rest of it and can be seen right above and in between Anne’s eyes. If you click on the last photo of the first gallery of this hat in this post, you can even make out the stitching of the seam; such a seam usually indicates the back of the hat (often most obvious on HM’s fabric-covered hats) and will often correspond with the designer’s tag (similar to the “back” of clothing). Overall I like the look of this hat worn “backwards” and Anne has worn others hats in different positions with varying degrees of success, it’s just that this time the seam feels rather obvious to me, and that’s what bothers me. Hope that makes sense!

  5. Camilla: Best COLOR of the day. The hat is business-as-usual, but very nice.
    Charles: Best HAT of the day. It looks like he’s shed a few extra winter pounds. He looks fantastic in his last photo.
    Anne: Best COATS of the days. The attention grabbing patterns are super.

  6. I was thrilled to see the rewear of the MIA hat from the 2015 garden party, only to find its a new one. Sure its the same colour but hey if the Duchess can have x4 almost identical navy straw hats, then why not get another periwinkle one??? Anyway love love love the gorgeous hat and the whole ensemble – the hat’s proportions are perfect for her and looks beautifully finished. The coat fits like a glove (and lovely nude heeled pumps for a bonus!).
    Princess Anne looks wonderful in her outfit too, blended from 2 different looks. She does have some great pieces in her wardrobe but just needs to get rid of some of the tired and less classic older ones!
    new lilac hat good. old outfit not so good.
    But Big hooray for the summer hat season !!

  7. True, the color of Camilla’s is glorious (and it’s a new hat!), but she has SO many of this design. If Anne’s hat is truly muted teal to match the dress and pick up the color in the pattern of that beautiful coat, I love this pairing!

    Interesting that Anne did not repeat the hat that went with this ensemble at the Cambridge wedding Embed from Getty Images I think this minimalist design is an improvement, even with its shortcomings as mentioned by HatQueen.

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