This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko in a charcoal cloche with wide burgundy hatband on Monday for the National University Rugby final

Nicholas and Alina Medforth-Mills and Princess Tatiana of Greece shared snaps enjoying time outdoors in warm knit winter hats
Buckle up- there’s a long parade of new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Adore the graphic and colourful hatband on this lemon-lime felt split-crown fedora by US milliner Kristin Silverman
Wonderful hand painted flowers on this pink leather bandeau by Australian milliner Milano Imai
Ivory straw hugger wit black dotted veil studded with feathers by Irish milliner Marie Galvin
Lovely shapes on this blue cloche with leather bands and this felt floral-trimmed bandeau by Italian brand Nadine Millinery
Statement leopard print fedora with asymmetrical brim by British milliner Carrie Jenkinson
Channeling spring with this floral embroidered bandeau from UK brand Emily London
Fantastic texture on this handwoven (not knitted!) wool beret by American milliner Jennifer Hoertz

The prettiest picture hat in layered grey and aqua straw with stacked hatband and lilies by British milliner Kerry Kernan
For our dear gents, a handsome olive Pork Pie hat with lighter green hatband & wind cord by Hornskov København
Dimensional laser printed flowers on the brim of this electric blue Garbo hat by Italian brand Borsalino
Black bound ivory felt cloche with flyaway cutout brim and back twist by Romanian brand Decorina
Deep red velvet bandeau with statement side silk flower and veil by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Ivory felt embroidered fedora with yellow and peacock blue layered hatbands by American milliner Cassie MacGregor
Absolutely wonderful ribbon pleating on these colourful berets by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit


Palest slate blue wool beret with lace applique, embroidery and dimensional silk flowers by French brand Katoushti
Black and tan woven boater with pearl brooch studded hatband and statement bow by British milliner Felicity Gee
Firey tropical floral trim on this ivory straw saucer hat by French milliner Céline Tastevin
Gold lattice embroidered halo bandeau headpiece trimmed in pearls by British brand Stephanie Elizabeth Millinery
Adore the curving seams on this red wool cloche with leather panels by British milliner Karen Henriksen
Sleek petrol blue felt fedora with side knot and saucy angled brim by American milliner Laura Del Villaggio
From British milliner Yuan Li, an uplifting message in ombre-dyed rainbow straw

Charming photos of King Haakon and Queen Sonja (at home like all the rest of us!) released to mark the 30th anniversary of the King’s accession today.

Have you seen Carolina Piteira’s recently completed portrait of Queen Elizabeth? It’s so lovely.

Images from social media as indicated

Hat Types: The Beret

Characteristics: a beret is a soft, round hat with a flat crown which is worn tilted to one side of the head. Usually made from from wool, felt, knitted/crocheted cotton, leather or acrylic, the base of a beret snuggly hugs the wearer’s head. While a traditional beret is round, soft and flexible, we also see rigid versions blocked in felt or straw. These blocked versions often follow more oval, teardrop, or triangular shapes which give them that characteristic “tilted to one side” beret look.

History: Hats similar to the beret have been found in Bronze Age (3200-600 B.C.) tombs and on paintings and sculptures across Western Europe from 400 B.C. through the 13th century, a longevity sustained over the centuries by the availability and cheap cost of wool and the simple style of the hat. By the by the 14th and 15th century, wool berets were commonly worn by the lower classes of society, particularly farmers and artists. Rembrandt was known to often wear a beret hat, which features in most of his self portraits.

The French word “beret” was first documented in 1835 referring to a flat, woolen cap worn by Basque peasants. During the Second Carlist War in Spain (1846-1849), the beret was first politicised when Carlist leader Tomas Zumalacarregui took to wearing one in red. In France, the hat’s military association grew when elite members of the French Army began a long-held tradition of wearing a blue beret. In the 1950s, the U.S. Army’s Special Forces adopted green berets, for which the group is now referred. Today, we see berets the military uniforms of numerous nations.

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The beret first became fashionable during the roaring 1920s, becoming the epitome of Parisienne bohemian chic; by 1928, factories in France, Spain and Italy were manufacturing millions. New wave French film brought a revival in the 1960s, a revival that took a revolutionary turn, first on the heads of Cuban leaders Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, then through the 1970s on on members of the Black Panthers, Brown Berets Young Lords Party and Guardian Angels.

The beret came back into fashion popularity in the 1990s free of its former statements of social class, art, political ideology, black pride, revolution or vigilante organization. The past decade, embellished beret percher designs have dominated millinery fashion, topping heads at racing and royal events around the world.

Royals Associated with this Hat Style: No surprise, this long-standing hat style is among the most widely worn across all royal households. Click on the photos below to link back to feature posts and original photo sources for each hat.

Traditional Soft Berets:

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Hats by unknown, Stephen Jones, unknown, Stephen Jones, Dior, Fabienne Delvigne, unknown, unknown

Blocked Berets:

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Hats by Stephen Jones, unknown, Stephen Jones, Whiteley, Frederick Fox, Dior, Gina Foster,
Philip Treacy, unknown, Fabienne Delvigne, Philip Treacy and Emily London

Embellished Beret Perchers:

Hats by by Philip Treacy, Philip Treacy, Philip Treacy, Juliette Botterill, Jane Taylor, unknown, Philip Treacy
Hats by Rosie Olivia, Whitely, Amy Morris-Adams, Philip Treacy, Philip Treacy, Rosie Olivia, Jane Taylor
Hats by Philip Treacy, Philip Treacy, Juliette Botterill, Susanne Juul, Eudia, William Chambers and Juliette Botterill

What do you think of the once lowly beret hat? What is your favourite beret hat to don a royal head?

Images from Getty as indicated and:
Soft berets images from: Pascal Le Segretain, Patrick van Katwijk, The Asahi Shimbun and Photonews via Getty Images
Blocked berets images from: Tim Graham Photo Library, Valery Hache/AFP, Pool/Max Mumby, Patrick van Katwijk, Rune Hellestad – Corbis/Corbis, Photonews, Samir Hussein/WireImage and Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images
Embellished beret perchers images: Freek van den Bergh/Pool, Chris Jackson, Mark Cuthbert, Andrew Matthews/PA Images, Max Mumby/Indigo, Ragnar Singsaas, Max Mumby/Indigo, Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images; Corbis; Gareth Fuller/WPA Pool, Chris Jackson, Chris Jackson, Samir Hussein/Wire Image, Chris Jackson, Max Mumby/Indigo, Julian Parker, Samir Hussein, Julian Parker/UK Press, Patrick van Katwijk/Wire Image, Max Mumby/Indigo, and Andrew Matthews/PA Images 

Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to early 1967 and this lovely photo, shared this week by Pieter Van Vollenhoven to celebrate his and Princess Margriet’s 54th wedding anniversary. Taken in the days before their January 19, 1967 wedding, this shot captures a most memorable floral pillbox on the Dutch princess.

Photo from Getty as indicated

Inventory: Duchess of Cambridge’s Grey Hats

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated her 39th birthday over the weekend. To mark this event, we’ve diving into her millinery closet to inventory her grey hats. Here they are, in order of introduction:

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan; Jane Corbett; Jane Corbett
Introduced: June 13, 2011; June 16, 2012, September 29, 2012

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Designer: Jane Taylor; John Boyd
Introduced: April 20, 2014; March 14, 2016

It’s a diverse group from a wide array of milliners that covers multiple shapes, scales and mixes of material. There’s something about each design here that makes it sing- the feathers and overlay trim on the first saucer, the lace applique on delicate #3, the wonderful bows on #2 and #4, and the sleek sweeping brim of #5. Grey is is not my favourite shade on Kate but these hats, thanks to their great design and excellent execution, each work very well for her.

What are your thoughts about this group of hats?

Photos from Ikon Pictures/Shutterstock and Getty Images as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1983 that saw Princess Alexandra visit RAF Benson in Oxfordshire in a fur-trimmed hat and coat fit for a snow queen.

Thanks to reader Jake for suggesting this hat!

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Photo from Getty as indicated