Seeing Double: Duchess of Cambridge

Royal HatsWhen the Duchess of Cambridge arrived for the first day of racing at Royal Ascot this year, some of you had an immediate sense of deja vu. You were right- she wore a similar version of the same hat for Trooping the Colour on June 11, 2016. Here’s a number of side-by-side views to compare:

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Between deceiving camera angles and the slightly lower angle Kate has placed the blue hat on her head, differences between the two designs, aside from colour, are very difficult to decipher.

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While some photos suggest the hats are a slightly different shape, they are both clearly round and, I’m guessing, created from the very same hat block.

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I often find it puzzling when a royal opts for the same hat in two versions but this pair somehow makes more sense- perhaps it’s the colour difference, that while subtle, lends the hats to very different pairings. Perusing through Philip Treacy’s Spring Summer 2019 collection, I honestly couldn’t find a style to pair with this blue skirt and blouse (everything was either too fussy or too stark) that would make a better compliment that this design.

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Which version of this hat do you prefer?

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Photo from Getty as indicated

Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

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

Jimbo’s Introduction: Mixing hats with different outfits is not a new millinery phenomenon.  Queen Elizabeth, everyone’s favorite and most prolific royal hat wearer, was leading the way 20 years ago!  Here is the same hat, worn with a different ensemble each time.  Granted, not the most fascinating of designs, this tan straw go-to hat could have been intended as the grab-the-closest-hat-hanging-by-the-door-as-you-make-a-mad-dash . . .  we all have one!

Hat: Almond braided straw with upturned kettle brim, trimmed with a multiple strand plaited hatband and rolled circle button at back. Designer unknown.

Look #1: With a pale turquoise tailored suit with stitched lapels worn on April 19, 1999 in Seoul, Korea, on March 29, 2000 in Launceston, Tasmania and on a March 22, 2001 visit to a London publisher.

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Look #2: With a deeper turquoise wool bouclé coat worn to welcome a Chinese state visit on October 19, 1999

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Look #3: With a black silk dress printed with ivory stemmed flowers worn November 14, 1999 in Durban, South Africa

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Look #4: With an ivory bouclé double breasted coat with brass buttons and a taupe silk dress with ivory polka dots worn October 12, 2000 in Manchester

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Which outfit do you prefer most with this neutral hat?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

On Tuesday, the Prince of Wales visited the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles at Sir John Moore Barracks in Folkestone to celebrate the Battailion’s 25th anniversary and present operational medals for their recent deployment to Afghanistan. His uniform and cap reflect his ranking of Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment.
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Princess Mako in a white silk covered bowler hat with blue stitched hatband on Wednesday for her arrival in Peru. The finishing on this hat is impeccable- not a pucker or stray stitch in sight
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Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria in traditional folk head scarves on Thursday to present the Öland Inhabitant of the Year Award at Solliden Palace.
On Thursday, Princess Alexandra wore her new-ish hat to the Thrive Flower Show in Reading. In almond textured straw, the classic design features a cartwheel brim and twisted bow at the side. It’s nice to see Alexandra in a hat without an elevated crown!
Also on Thursday, Crown Princess Kiko attended the 55th Blood Donation Promotion National Convention in Kanazawa in a pale blue silk jacquard covered hat with layered hatband and kettle brim.
The final hat on Thursday (busy day!) was on Princess Hisako. She attended the annual Innovation Awards for Advanced Technology ceremony in a pale lime textured suit with hat covered in the same fabric and a stitched white kettle brim with trilby-style higher upturn around the back.
You might have noticed this week that Royal Hats is now found on Instagram here. Don’t worry- there’s nothing there that isn’t already here on the blog!
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Incredible statement hat with ombre hand dyed feather stars by Australian milliner Kate Ghedina
Stunning colour gradients on this sinamay hugger with handpainted lotus flower by Dutch milliner Mirjam de Rijke 
Natural straw boater with wonderful black vintage lace printed with stars
by UK brand Mind Your Bonce
Charming Wimbledon-inspired strawberries and cream swirled design by British milliner Anne Tomlin
Such interesting colour pattern on this teal straw boater by Australian milliner Stephanie Spencer
Fascinatingly organic (and rustic!) texture on this hat by Parisienne milliner Veronica Marucci
Lovely movement on this raspberry pink headpiece by Italian millinery brand Gallia and Peter
Gold beaded ivory silk cap with pleated crin soaring swirl by French milliner Sylvia Martinez
Navy kokoshnik bandeau with geometric cutouts by Australian milliner Lauren Ritchie
Such interesting texture on this gold braided straw and leather percher by British milliner Karen Henriksen
Pink straw bandeau wrapped in diamond veil with lavish floral trim by Australian brand Locopa Designs
Another 3D carved wonder, this time in brilliant red, gold and purple, from Australian brand Taboo Millinery
Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit keeps knocking it out of the park with new designs, including this beautiful pink straw picture hat with a fantastic brim shape, beautiful trimming and impeccably finished silk binding. Utter perfection.

Wonderful family shot of the Belgian royal family, taken to celebrate King Albert and Queen Paola’s diamond wedding anniversary
Relaxed shots of Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid and Prince Sverre who are enjoying their annual summer vacation on the Norwegian island of Dvergsøya
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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Largest Hat Flower?

During last summer’s lull of royal hats, we explored some of the extremes of Queen Elizabeth’s hat closet (biggest bows, tallest crowns, widest brims). We’re going to continue with similar weekly questions this summer, beginning again in Queen Elizabeth’s wardrobe but don’t worry- after this, we’ll dive into all other contemporary hat closets as well.

We kick things off today with a garden theme: Which one of Queen Elizabeth’s hats hosts the largest flower?

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Day 2 Of Belgian Visit To Germany

The second day of engagements in Germany saw the Belgian king and queen visit Lutherstadt town hall, castle church in Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, master houses of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropiusm, and a Belgian chemical company.

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For these events, Queen Mathilde repeated pale pink calot trimmed with a multi-looped bow on the side. I believe the calot base is covered in fabric, with an overlay of textured, widely woven sinamay-like material.

The rustic woven overlay on the hat gives it a less formal, almost bohemian feel that pairs so well with this floral dress. The hat isn’t perfect (I’m not sure the bow looks great from all angles) but the overall look here is a lovely one on Queen Mathilde.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Giambattista Valli
Previously Worn: May 19, 2016

What do you think of this hat today on its second outing?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Top Royal Hats: Ascot 2019

Despite stiff competition, you had some clear ideas about your favourite royal hats at Royal Ascot this year, dearest readers. Here are the results for favourite repeated hat and favourite new designs worn at the races this year:

Princess Alexandra’s pink straw picture hat with bow and feathers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn on Day 1

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Autumn Phillips’ lattice straw saucer trimmed with flowers and feathers by Sally Ann Provan worn on Day 5
Queen Máxima’s tawny pink straw saucer covered in feather flowers by Berry Rutjes worn on Day 1

Jump over to the poll for favourite new hats here and favourite repeated hats here to see the results in greater detail.  
Photos from Getty as indicated

Queen Elizabeth Visits Cambridgeshire

Queen Elizabeth was in Cambridgeshire today to visit Queens’ College Cambridge, open Royal Papworth Hospital’s new facility  and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). Like her grandparents on their first visit to the charity in 1921, she celebrated by planting a tree.

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For this day of engagements, she repeated a coat and hat in bright pink textured silk wool cloque fabric. The hat features a tall, slightly forward sloping crown and a modestly sized upturned brim (straw on top, fabric covering the underside) that raises on one side in a gentle sidesweep. It is trimmed on the brim’s lower side with pink and purple silk snakeshead fritillaria flowers and green feather leaves. A slim fabric covered hatband completes the design.

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The Queen is a master dresser and chose well today- the colour stands out beautifully against the plants and grasses at NIAB and makes me like it more than I did at its first outing! The floral trim is wonderful as is the colour, and I really like the way the coat’s double collar frames the face and balances the width of the upturned brim. If I were to change one thing it would be the crown shape, which is a bit awkward, but it’s a minor issue.

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There was recently a discussion in the comments here about how few hats we see with a full view of the dress they were designed to pair with- here’s a rare treat! Of course, this ends up being the one dress that I don’t think is a great pairing with the hat and I much prefer the hat with the coat!

Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 22, 2017

The Queen was joined for part of the day’s engagements today by the Duchess of Gloucester, who repeated her taupe straw formed beret hat with stem.

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Designer: unknown. My guess is still Lock and Co.
Previously Worn:
July 11, 2018;  March 9, 2017June 18, 2015June 15, 2015November 6, 2013June 19, 2013June 5, 2012

It’s been two years since we first saw Queen Elizabeth’s pink hat- what do you think of it today on it’s second outing?

Photos from Getty as indicated