Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

Thanks to Jimbo for providing the introduction and background research for this “Monday Multiples” series.

Jimbo’s Introduction: Queen Elizabeth saves the color black for the most solemn, somber, sad occasions – funerals and remembrances. At memorials, Her Majesty wears black and white, grey, navy, or even purple. Clearly, the heavy wool coat featured today is more suited for practicality than fashion (November in London can be blustery, windy, and downright bone chilling) As always, the queen’s hats take center stage, and this sextet of millineria will leave no one disappointed.
My favorite ( Look #3 from 2005) first premiered on September 14, 2001, at a St. Paul’s Cathedral memorial service for the September 11, 2001 New York terrorist attack.

Look #1: With a an angular cloche variation with slanted crown and upturned brim with multi-wrapped silk hatband, shown here on February 14, 2002 at Great Ormond St Hospital’s 150th anniversary celebrations, five days after the death of Princess Margaret

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Look #2: With a tall, fluted-crown cloche hat trimmed with a wide silk hatband and spray of feathers worn November 14, 2004 on Remembrance Sunday.

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Look #3: With a velvet crown and straw brimmed hat with large, sweeping black and cream quills, worn on May 11, 2005 for a St. Paul’s Cathedral memorial for victims of the December 2004 tsunami in South Asia.

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Look #4: With a fluted silk pillbox trimmed with a ring of braid on the crown, a silk bow and spray of feathers worn November 10, 2005 to the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance.

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Look #5: With cloche variation with silk covered crown, felt brim and tall, sloping felt wrap around the crown, trimmed with a knotted bow and curling quills and worn November 9, 2014 for the the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. The hat was designed by Angela Kelly and made by Stella McLaren.

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Look #6: A black felt hat with indented crown and raised kettle brim simply trimmed with layered, raised hatband knotted at the front, worn November 12, 2018 on Remembrance Sunday. This hat was also designed by Angela Kelly and made by Stella McLaren.

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Thanks, Jimbo. I’ve also always liked the hat in Look #3 for its interesting mix of materials (the straw brim really lightens the look). Dear readers, which pairing of coat and hat do you prefer most?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Imperial New Years Poetry Reading 2020

Members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the annual New Years poetry reading yesterday at the Royal Palace in some colourful and interesting hats.

Crown Princess Kiko repeated a mint green silk covered bumper hat, trimmed with a diamond of the same woven lattice silk as the bodice of her gown.  Princess Mako repeated a pale, ice blue silk floral jacquard covered calot hat with narrow, upturned, cuffed brim. Princess Kako repeated a royal blue silk bumper hat with beaded edge on the top of the upturned brim.

Princess Nobuko wore a new apricot silk covered bumper hat studded with tiny sparkle beads. The silk on the bumper brim is covered in bias stripes, giving a subtle diagonal movement to the design. Princess Akiko topped her cornflower blue gown with a matching hat. The hat’s button crown is covered in what looks like appliqued silk in the same hue, and a slim bumper brim circles the design.

Princess Hisako wore a new hat with saddle shaped brim covered in cream silk and an avocado green narrow crown embellished with the same applique cutouts as on her coordinating gown. Green silk flowers and leaves cascade from below the brim’s raised back – a design feature I don’t recall seeing before on a royal hat. Princess Tsuguko also had a new headpiece in teal, gold and taupe with peach silk roses.

This event usually shows us some of the most colourful and memorable Imperial royal hats of the year and yesterday did not disappoint! Which ensembles stand out to you most here?

Photos from social media as indicated

2019 Royal Hat Stats: Monarchs

Yesterday, we looked at the combined number of times royal houses saw one of their member wears a hat or headpiece last year. Today, we’re looking which queens/consorts donned a hat most often. Again, the measurement is number of  times a hat was publicly worn on each of these very regal heads (click on the graph below to open a larger version):

Somehow, these numbers are far less surprising to me… except for the Grand Duchess. She usually participates in a state visit or two but was sidelined with knee surgery this year, so her single hat outing is lower for her than a typical year.

What do these numbers indicate to you?

Stay tuned next week- we’ll look at the number of hats individually worn by other royals and see who added the most new millinery designs to their wardrobe in 2019.

2019 Royal Hat Stats: Royal Houses

From time to time, questions arise here about which royals wear the most royal hats. I’ve pulled together some statistics from 2019 for us to discuss this week and next, starting with hats by royal house; the measurement here is the combined number of times that each royal member of house wore a hat/headpiece (click on the graph to see a larger version of it):

I’m sometimes asked why I cover so many Imperial royal hats and the answer lies above- it’s because we see them most frequently. I recognize there are some grey areas in these metrics (I’ve included Queen Elizabeth’s photographed church outings and counted hats worn to weddings even though they are, arguably, not “public” events and am limited to counting the Imperial royal hats covered in the media- and suspect there are more actually worn) but even with a degree of error, these totals give us an idea of hat wearing realities for different royal houses.

For another perspective, this averages out to us seeing a Danish and Dutch royal hat worn roughly once a week, a Belgian royal hat worn once every other week in comparison to six Imperial and five British royal hats a week. It’s a significant difference of frequency.

Do these numbers surprise you as they did me?! Stay tuned tomorrow- we’ll compare number of times each of the queens/consorts wore hats last year. Some of the results will surprise.


Imperial New Years Lectures 2020

Members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the annual New Years lectures on Tuesday at the Royal Palace.

The Akishino princesses all repeated silk covered hats, Princess Kiko in an ivory bumper hat with gold threaded brocade fabric covering the crown; Princess Mako in her peacock blue wide bandeau with large diamond pattern and multi side bow; and Princess Kaiko in a buttercup yellow bandeau with silk blossoms on the side.

Princess Nobuko repeated an aubergine silk bumper hat with beaded split brim. The colour is divine and I adore the subtle bit of sparkle dressing up the split brim. Princess Akiko repeated a pale blue Breton wrapped in an ostrich feather hatband and frothy veil. Princess Yoko wore an ice blue silk covered bumper hat studded with pears that I don’t think we’ve seen before.

Princess Hisako repeated the peach hat that wowed us at the Imperial inauguration. This improved view of the piece shows it to be a boater base covered in apricot silk. The beaded applique around the neckline of Hisako’s gown is repeated on the top of the crown and the brim is overlaid in ombre dyed layers of silk (maybe layered with crin?). Silk calla lilies in the same ombre shades adorn the side of the hat, studded with pearls. Princess Tsuguko repeated a headpiece of overlapping silk leaves in various shades of purple, trimmed in gold, anchored around the back of her head.

We see few royal events attended in traditional court dress which is a shame, because the combination of gown and hat can be spectacular. Which ensembles stand out to you most here?

Photos from The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; and social media as indicated

Danish Queen Opens Hospital Wing

Queen Margrethe officially opened the new North Wing at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen yesterday. For this event, she wore a new ensemble and hat in denim blue. Covered in the same finely woven wool as her jacket, the hat features a low-profile rounded crown and moderate sidesweeping brim. The hatband and side bow are in the same checked tweed as this ensemble’s skirt.

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Niårige Alma, der for tiden er patient på Rigshospitalet, bød i dag Hendes Majestæt Dronningen velkommen til den officielle indvielse af første fase for Rigshospitalets nye bygning: Nordfløjen. Bygningen er en behandlingsbygning, som fremover skal benyttes til blandt andet behandling af patienter med brandsår, epilepsi samt kritiske hjerne- og nervesygdomme. Første spadestik til Nordfløjen blev taget i januar 2014, og i dag overværede Majestæten indvielsen af bygningens første fase. I forbindelse med indvielsen fik Dronningen forevist Nordfløjens fire kunstværker: Et roterende værk af Olafur Eliasson, et mosaikværk af Erik A. Frandsen, et 40 meter højt vægmaleri af Malene Landgreen og et 110 meter langt kunstværk på bygningens facade af Eva Schlegel. Dernæst besøgte Hendes Majestæt også en af de sengestuer, som fremover vil huse patienter i den nye fløj.

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It’s a great shape, proportion and colour on Margrethe, and I particularly like how the hat is designed to be worn at a jaunty angle. It is beautifully executed (no stitch or pucker to be found) and while I usually prefer hats in different materials to the clothing they are paired with, this look feels more coordinated and less overly matched, I think, thanks to the two fairly muted fabrics.  Jump over to this gallery for some better photos and views of this design.

Designer: Mathilde Thoe Førster
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Mathilde Thoe Førster started making hats for Queen Margrethe last year and has produced some beautiful pieces. Most milliners don’t provide behind-the-scenes peeks at royal hats, and I greatly appreciate that she does! What do you think of this addition to Queen Margrethe’s millinery wardrobe?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1969, 51 years ago, and a return to London from Christmas break at Sandringham. Princess Margaret’s fur pillbox is a familiar winter hat but it’s the unusual shape of Lady Sarah’s velvet covered design that stands out as particularly interesting.

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Photo from Getty as indicated