Today saw the return of the Most Noble Order of the Garter Ceremony at St. George’s Chapel. Held every year on the Monday before Royal Ascot, the The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago as a personal gift of thanks from the sovereign for those who have held public office, made a significant contribution to national life or been of personal service. After lunch at Windsor Castle, the twenty-four Knights and Ladies of the order process down the hill to St. George’s Chapel, each dressed in elaborate regalia, velvet robes and Tudor-style hats with tall white ostrich plumes. It’s quite a spectacle.
The Prince of Wales, Princess Royal, Earl of Wessex, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of York, Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra are all royal members of the order.
They were joined for the first time by the Duchess of Cornwall, who was appointed to the order today.
Several royal spouses attended the service as well. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a new hat described by the designer as a “Beautiful teardrop hat. Woven straw base. Adorned with an array of silk roses, rosebuds, leaves, and silk abaca bow.”
The beret has a lovely shape and this periwinkle blue shade is just splendid. Kate often uses the coat dress + percher hat formula and while I’m always up for experimentation, I can’t argue that it remains a great look on her.
Designer: Floral Leaf Teardrop by Juliette Botterill.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The Countess of Wessex repeated an ecru straw, oval saucer hat with sharp sidesweep trimmed with white, cream and ecru feathers placed on both sides of the raised brim.
Photos today hint at a lovely sparkling sheen in the straw, which I suspect brings the hat to life when seen in person. I’m still on the fence about the feather placement, which has never seemed quite right to me.
The Duchess of Gloucester repeated the blue sinamay hat with wide pleated brim she has worn several times recently. Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence repeated his black silk top hat.
This is always a lovely kick-off to Ascot week and after a two-year hiatus, it’s so great to see the full event return. What do you think of the hats today at Windsor?
Images from Getty as indicated