Hat Quandry At Polo

While we’re waiting for today’s events to be underway at Royal Ascot, I have a hat quandary for you to ponder.

Last Sunday, the Queen attended the Queen’s Cup Polo Final at the Guard’s Club in Windsor. She wore, what at a very quick glance, I thought was a much admired, repeated coral pink hat trimmed with a distinctive straw rose.

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Because I’m a bit distracted this week, I didn’t think much about the hat. During Monday’s Order of the Garter post, however, several of noticed changes from its previous outing. This piqued my curiosity so I went back to this hat’s last appearance on March 10, 2014 for some side-bypside comparisons.


March 10, 2014 photos on the left; June 16, 2019 photos on the right


Even with less than ideal photos, there are some clear differences. Most obvious is the new brim and hatband. The flowers are different but the very similar petal individual shapes lead me to suspect that the flower has simply been rotated 180s and is, essentially, now upside down.. The hatpins are different. Finally, the crown on this week’s hat is a shorter version of the same formed shape- the space between the middle pleat (just about the hatband) and the top is smaller in the more recent version. This shape change on the crown suggests to me that we have a new hat, maybe with some recycling of the old hat’s trim?

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn:March 10, 2014; October 29, 2013October 1, 2013;  May 17, 2012

What do you say, dearest readers?

Royal Ascot Day 2: Wrap Up

Today at Royal Ascot was light on royal attendance, with just the Aga Khan (photographed below with racing journalist Liz Price in a navy feather covered hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan) and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (and his entourage) in addition to the royals we’ve already covered today. I’ve missed seeing Princess Haya this year- hopefully she’ll make an appearance tomorrow. And- jump over to last night’s wrap up to see a photo of Princess Alexandra, who attended yesterday but eluded most photographers.

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The day of the races also saw a few hats atop noble and notable heads in today’s carriage procession:

Countess Mountbatten of Burma repeated the stunning silver sidesweep picture hat by Dillon Wallwork that she first wore to her daughter’s wedding in 2016

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Viscount Brookeborough, the Queen’s Lord in Waiting in the first photo; Lord de Mauley, Master of the Horse and Lieutenant Colonel Charles Richards, Deputy Master of the Royal Household in the second

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Viscountess Brookeborough in a  white straw brimmed hat with bright blue piping and Lady deMauley in a beautiful grey straw percher pillbox by Dillon Wallwork

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And finally, here are all the non-royal hats that caught the attention of our guest milliner, Wies Mauduit, and myself:

Glasgow milliner William Chambers and his partner Niall Walker in traditional Scottish attire (this made us both smile!)
Hat shop owner Elizabeth Hughes in a peacock teal blue Juliette Botterill flower trimmed saucer. LOVE the colour!
Milliner Rachel Ellis Oates (Hatonista) vibrant blue and yellow butterfly headpiece of her own design (closeup here)
Charlotte Hawkins in a pale pink saucer with soaring pink and grey feathers from Vivien Sheriff
Milliner Lisa Tan’s straw boater with layered rainbow brim
Unnamed racegoer in this oversize pink waved disc with twist and floral trim from Guibert millinery
Chi Ling Lin in a mushroom brimmed hat in classic black and white
Alexandra Dudley in a wonderful red hugger percher with oversize poppy by retired milliner Gina Foster
Francesca Cumani in a pale pink button percher with cherry blossom trim from Fi Graham Millinery
Milliner Louise Walton in a wide brimmed navy straw hat with turquoise binding and feathers
Chez Liebenberg in a bright pink elevated saucer with flowers from Lizzie’s Hats
Striking burnt feather and sinamay bow headpiece on equine photographer Mathea Kelley
Author and instagram influencer Alicia Healey in William Chambers’ exquisite black veiled percher with roses
Isabelle Kristensen’s soaring headpiece by Ana Bella Millinery
Valerie Stark’s equally futuristic hat by Awon Golding. The colour and movement of the brim is rather captivating.
Editor Emily Nash’s charming cream teardrop percher with blue butterflies, also by Ana Bella Millinery
Tess Ward’s classic, wide brimmed, natural straw picture hat from Lock & Co.
Natalia Kapchuk in a cheekily political and patriotic Union Jack hat 

Ah Wies, it has been such a gift to have you join me today. You are truly a millinery master. Thank you for taking time from a very busy week to generously share your vast millinery expertise and experience with us!

Photos from Getty as indicated; Tim Rooke via Shutterstock

Top Royal Hats: March 2019

In preparing polls for some beautiful hats worn in April, I realized, to my embarrassment, that I’ve not shared the results for March polls for favourite repeated  and favourite new hats. These were close races but clear winners have prevailed:

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Queen Elizabeth’s orange hat with magnolia blooms and brown straw leaves by Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren) worn March 7 to the Science Museum in London

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Zara Tindall’s plum felt teardrop percher with feather trim by Juliette Botteril worn March 13 to the Cheltenham Races 

Jump over to the polls for favourite new hat here and top repeated hat here to see the results of these races in greater detail.  
Photos from Getty as indicated

Inventory: Crown Princess Mary’s Green Hats

Hello everyone! After a lovely break, it’s great to be back… even if the royal hats are scarce these days! Thank you so much for keeping the conversation going while I was away. On this quiet Friday, we’re going to look at another inventory of hats- this time, all of the green hats in Crown Princess Mary’s closet. There are just two so far:

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Designer: unknown; Neil Grigg
Introduced: May 12, 2004; March 10, 2005

While the first hat gets points for boldness, the more flattering and wearable design here is the second hat, which you can see from different angles here and here and here. Mary tends to stick to neutrals for her hats (the easier to mix them with different outfits, I suppose) so it’s not entirely surprising to see the green shelf in her millinery closet rather empty…. but we can still hope for some new additions here, right?!

Photos from Getty as indicated; Ryan Pierse via Getty

Inventory: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s Green Hats

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa celebrated her 63rd birthday on Friday and in honor of this milestone, I thought we’d put together our first inventory of her hats. My excitement for all things spring has me yearning for green so that’s where we’ll start:

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Designer: unknown; Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: unknown (this photo was taken Sep 19, 1993); Jun 12, 2004 

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne: unknown 
Introduced: June 23, 2006; May 30, 2011 

Designer: Philip Treacy
Introduced: August 30, 2014

It’s a bit of a hodgepodge, isn’t it?! Shades of avocado and lime can be tricky to wear and for half of the green hats to be in these shades- well that’s just brave. Disregarding the first hat (from so long ago it’s rather irrelevant now), the remaining three  are is different in shape as three hats can possibly be- something else that’s brave. I don’t think of the Grand Duchess as a particularly experimental hat wearer but this first inventory makes me wonder if I’ve been underestimating her. What do you think of her green hats?

Photos from Steve Finn, Ragnar Singsaas and Pool via Getty; Getty as indicated

Millinery Update & A Look Back

Back on January 16, Princess Akiko’s wore a blue silk veiled Breton hat that was admired by many of you at New Year’s Poetry Reading.

The hat popped up again last week at the official celebration of Emperor’s 30th anniversary on the throne:

Princess Akiko on January 16 and February 24

Something about this seemed familiar to me and set my millinery Spidey sense tingling. I enlisted the help of a Twitter colleague very knowledgeable about the Imperial royal family who came up with this BRILLIANT find:

My great thanks to Prisma for uncovering this surprise! This makes me want to dive into the Imperial royal photo archives and see what other instances of hat sharing we can find!
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Photos from Getty as indicated;  Sankei News and News 24 Japan

Queen Elizabeth’s Tallest Crowns

A few weeks back, one commenter suggested we search for the tallest crowned royal hats worn in recent memory. Since we’ve already looked at Queen Elizabeth’s widest brims and biggest bows, I thought we’d start in her millinery closet. So, dearest readers- which of Queen Elizabeth’s hats has the tallest crown?

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Photos from Getty as indicated