Order Of The Garter 2019

Founded by Edward III in 1348, The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry awarded at the Sovereign’s pleasure as a personal gift. Twenty four recipients of the order, known each as a Knight or Lady,  meet each year for a grand ceremony held int St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on the Monday before Royal Ascot begins.

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Members of the Garter wear elaborate robes and accessories for the Garter Service including a special hat. The hat, in the style of a Tudor bonnet, is made of black velvet with a voluminous, unstructured crown and flat brim. It is trimmed with the order insignia, white ostrich and black heron feathers, and slim cord wrapped around the base of the crown that extends to a pair of gold and royal blue tassels hanging down the side. British royal family members belonging to the order include Queen Elizabeth, who is Sovereign of the Garter, The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is also a member, did not attend the service today.

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King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and King Philippe of Spain were appointed as Supernumerary Knights of the Garter during state visits to the UK in 2018 and 2017; their attendance at today’s ceremony saw them officially installed in these roles and they wore the full garter regalia.

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Queen Máxima wore a tall, verical saucer hat in dusky pink straw trimmed with a mass of silk flowers and curling pheasant feathers on the underside of the raised brim.

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It’s a great look for the Dutch Queen. I really the slightly darker shade of pink on the hat and adore how its lines and lush trimming play so well off Máxima’s sleek caped coat dress- the pairing of the two items is fantastic. I’d like, however to change two things about the hat- first is the angle of placement on the head (tilt the top edge down a bit so it sweeps slightly more diagonally that so vertical) and the second is to tidy up the brim binding edge. Tweak these two things and a great hat would become a complete knockout.

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Designer: unconfirmed. My guess is Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Claes Iversen.
Previously Worn: This hat is new. Some suggest it is a reworked version of this Prinsjesdag hat but the straw bases are different shapes and colours.

Queen Letizia wore a kokoshnik-style bandeau headpiece in formed black straw, trimmed with black feathers and veil. It’s the first headpiece in this style we’ve seen on the Spanish queen and it suits her petite frame so well (not leaving the hat looking like it’s wearing her, as unfortunately is often the case). With her black and white printed dress, the headpiece tops an elegant ensemble that’s fantastic on Letizia.

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Designer: It is the “Black Peony” design from Spanish brand Cherubina
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated a hat in almond straw with off-center, peaked crown and side sweeping brim. A beaded straw hatband and side twists studded with ecru silk flowers complete the design. The beaded embellishment on the hatband and side twists add a subtle but welcome bit of sparkle to the design and while the colour is quiet, the scale and style make a great signature look for Camilla.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 19, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge repeated a black sinamay hat with upturned flyaway brim in windowpane lattice straw, trimmed with a curled black an ostrich feather. The brim shape on this piece gives the design a wonderfully light and airy feel and the hat was beautifully paired with Kate’s white coat dress with black trim.

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Designer: Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. It is the Lion Tamer design. Coat dress by Catherine Walker.
Previously Worn: July 1, 2016June 11, 2011

The Countess of Wessex repeated her natural straw saucer hat with lattice open woven brim  trimmed with a large coral feathers and tan twists. The hat’s shape, reminiscent of Dior hats in the 1950s, pairs so well with her full skirted ensemble. Bright coral is not an easy hue to wear and this ensemble is beautifully balanced between the vibrant skirt and the hat’s feathers.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: May 15, 2018 (it was also your favourite repeated royal hat in 2018!);  Oct 5, 2017June 20, 2017 i

The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her slate grey straw veiled pillbox hat. It’s a quietly classic design we’ve seen on Brigitte more than a few times but one she wears well.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 18, 2018May 19, 2018Jun 17, 2017Jun 1, 2017Jul 1, 2016Jun 12, 2016Jun 10, 2016

Zenouska Mowatt, on the far left below, topped her blue and yellow patterned dress with a navy straw bandeau. The bandeau’s wide curving base is trimmed with silk flowers and leaves on the right side.

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Designer: I suspect it’s the “Catherine in Midnight‘ by Laura Cathcart
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

The Order of the Garter service this year brought us a wonderful parade of hats to kick off Ascot week with a fanfare. What do you think of these hats in Windsor today? Which designs stand out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Funeral of Grand Duke Jean: Royal Guests

The funeral of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg was attended by representatives from nearly every European royal house, many who wore hats. Out of respect for this event and the Grand Duke’s memory, this post contains photos only (no commentary) and is not open for comments.

Monarchs from Denmark, Sweden, Liechtenstein and Norway:

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Spanish, Romanian and Greek Queens:

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Dutch, British and Norwegian Royals:

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Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian and Portuguese Princesses

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Jordanian and Moroccan Royals:

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Marlene Koenig, author of Royal Musings, published a full guest list here. Representatives from numerous abolished, lesser known European monarchies (mostly French, German and Prussian) were in attendance but have not been included here- you can see them at this comprehensive post over at Luxarazzi.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 3

We wrap up our nostalgic look back at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding on February 2, 2002 with a look at the royal hats worn by guests from Spain, Greece, Jordan, Great Britain, Monaco with a few extras thrown in.

Queen Sofia of Spain wore a cascading headpiece of golden beige organza leaves and roses. While the design looked transported from the 1960s, it linked well with her lace suit.

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Princess Cristina wore a heather purple felt brimmed hat trimmed with feathers in purple and dark grey. I’m still at odds about the feather placement- on one hand, it’s terribly messy but on the other, I like its exuberance and admire how the two shades link with her dark blue velvet and purple silk coat… a rather bulky item (it looked like a blanket) that hasn’t aged well. When a hat makes a coat look better, that can only be a good thing.

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Queen Anne-Marie of Greece topped her textured red coat with a matching hat. In a modified top hat shape, the felt design features a tall, flared crown with domed top, upturned rolled brim with downsweep on one side, a layered red felt hatband and brown mink pompoms. The mink trim links well with the mink trim on Anne-Marie’s coat without being overly matchy and those pompoms are whimsical and fun. This hat’s unique shape is very much of its time but I always thought it was a bold and brave choice for her.

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Princess Marie-Chantal followed the same formula as Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, topping her richly patterned brocade coat with a tall brown fur Cossack style hat. Unfortunately, the hat’s large scale completely overwhelmed her and I’m still trying to see how it relates to the red, magenta and gold printed coat (which it’s own, is gorgeous!).

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Queen Noor of Jordan wore an embroidered headscarf in white, an interesting colour choice for a winter event with her baby blue silk tailored suit. She is photographed below by the Prince of Wales who wore his naval uniform and cap. Princess Sarvath, Princess Badiya and Princess Sumaya are also listed on the guest list but I’ve not been able to locate any photographs of them.
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The Countess of Wessex wore primarily Philip Treacy millinery hats at the time and chose one in camel felt for this event. The design made its style statement primarily by shape, pairing a deeply pinched, tall stovepipe crown with an offset brim. The hat was minimally embellished with a slim hatband tied in a front bow. It’s another design very much of the time and looking at it now, seemed a little heavy for Sophie’s cream coat and delicately embellished dress.

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Prince Albert of Monaco wore military uniform with cap while his elder sister, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco, wore a grey felt cloche with extended brim and wide grey hatband. The hat’s classic shape suited Caroline well although I’m not sure about its pairing with her Chanel dress and coat, pieces that feel like they ought to be paired with something more luxurious and bespoke.
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Princess Míriam of Bulgaria topped her pink feathered skirt and fur collared jacket in a what looks like a headpiece of horizontally placed pheasant and pink feathers, placed on the back of her head.
Princess Inaara, wife of the Aga Khan at the time, wore a calot hat in large flowers with petals made of mocha and copper organza, velvet and crin (see closeup here). The mixed textures on the piece gave it some life and while it related well to Inaara’s fur trimmed camel cape, these combined less well with her mushroom grey tweed suit and earthy green blouse. Too many neutrals, I’d say.
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Other noteable guests included Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, who wore a traditional African printed capulana headwrap and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his wife Nane, who wore a brimmed hat in pale pink straw. 
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This wraps up our look back at this wedding! What do you think of this final group of hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Funeral of King Michael of Romania

Representatives from several royal houses gathered in Bucharest on Saturday for the funeral of Romania’s last king.

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King Michael’s daughters, led by Crown Princess Margareta who is now styled as ‘Custodian of the Crown of Romania’, all wore conservatively styled black hats or veils. Princess Margareta’s bumper hat features a large, double bow at the back while Princess Elena’s hat has a cuffed brim in the same fur as her coat.  Royal Musings reported yesterday that Nicholas Medforth-Mills and his fiance Alina-Maria Binder were quietly married in a civil service (their religious wedding remains set for next summer) recently, presumably so that the couple could attend the funeral together.

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Romanian royal family, Dec 16, 2017 | Royal Hats

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Queen Silvia wore a black felt pillbox, wrapped in a silk pseudo bumper brim and trimmed with a flat bow at the back.

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Queen Sofia of Spain wore a loosely woven net veil anchored to her hair with a small back bow.

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Queen Anne-Marie wore a black felt bumper hat wrapped in a wide swath of dotted net veil. The hat features a double upturned brim, the inner of which is made of silk which lends lovely sheen and contrast to the monochrome piece. It is finished with a ruffled flourish at the back.

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Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia wore a black velvet pleated headpiece in her go-to traditional Kokoshnik shape to which was attached a black veil.

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Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia wore a simple black hat with rounded crown and relaxed mushroom brim.

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Princess Astrid of Belgium wore a black faux fur pillbox trimmed with a silk rosette and leaves.

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Princess Muna of Jordan wore a white lace veil. Behind her, Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein wore a large black straw hat with wide, exaggerated mushroom brim. The crown appears to be wrapped in a wide straw hatband (almost in the style of a bumper brim) overlaid in a dotted sheer organza or crin.

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Photos from Getty as indicated;  Simion Mechno, Simion Mechno, and Simion Mechno via Agerpres Foto; NurPhoto via Getty; REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

October Review: Week 2

A survey of all the hats we saw during the second week this month, October 8 to October 14:

Sunday, October 8: Queen Elizabeth attended Sunday Service at Krathie Kirk in a repeated turquoise straw hat with feather trim. The Duchess of Cornwall was also in attendance in her taupe beret percher with pheasant feather trim.

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Monday, October 9: Queen Sonja attended the opening of parliament in Oslo in a repeated black felt cloche hat with upturned brim printed with diamond shapes on the underside.

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Tuesday, October 10: Queen Máxima repeated her natural straw picture hat with upswept vertical ‘slice’ brim for her and the king’s first day of state visit to Portugal.

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Tuesday, October 10: Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko of Akishino attended the closing of the National Sports Festival in Ehime. Princess Kiko wore what looks to be a new hat with wider than usual brim and pleated cafe-au-lait hued hatband.

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Wednesday, October 11: Queen Máxima repeated a silk floral headpiece for Day 2 of the Dutch state visit to Portugal.

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Wednesday, October 11: Prince Fumihito, Princess Kiko and Princess Hisako joined the Empeor and Empress for a memorial concert at the Imperial Palace. The princesses wore navy and black brimless hats.

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Wednesday, October 11: Princess Akiko of Mikasa attended the 15th commendation ceremony of People’s Self-Defense Force Officers in a sharp navy trilby variation with upturned front brim and wide cream hatband. The same day, Crown Princess Masako attended a memorial in Tokyo for victums of industrial accidents. She wore a navy Breton hat.

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Thursday, October 12: Princess Beatrix attended the 250th anniversary celebration of the “Society for the Rescue of People from Drowning” in Amsterdam in a large burgundy straw bumper hat.

Oct 12, 2017 | Royal Hats  Oct 12, 2017 | Royal Hats

Thursday, October 12: Princess Astrid of Belgium joined the Duke of Cambridge for the New Zealand National Commemoration for the Battle of Passchendaele. Her repeated hat in black felt features a flat crown, wide cartwheel brim and slim hatband.

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Thursday, October 12: Infanta Elena donned her trusty straw fedora for a National Day military parade in Madrid

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Thursday, October 12:  Queen Máxima repeated a pale pink striped abacca headpiece with silk flowers for the final day of the Dutch state visit to Portugal

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Thursday, October 12: Princess Alexandra repeated her cream straw hat with domed crown, stacked straw hatbands, tulle veil wrap and feather trim to open a learning and development centre at Holy Cross Hospital in Haslemere.

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Saturday, October 14: Princess Beatrix opened the renovated windmill “Googermolen” in Roelofarendsveen in a gold straw bumper hat.

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I’m curious- do any of these hats warrant, in your estimation, inclusion in our top hats of the month polls?
Photos from Abermedia, Vidar Ruud/NTB Scanpix; SankeiSankei; Sankei; Sankei; Belga

Spanish State Visit To Great Britain

The Spanish state visit officially began today with the ceremony, pomp and circumstance we’ve all come to expect from these type of events. For this morning’s official welcome, Queen Letizia followed the usual British royal dress code for a state visit and donned a hat (the fourth hat we have ever seen her wear!).

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By Spanish milliner Maria Nieto, the design in butter yellow straw features a short, sharply upswept ‘slice’ brim and wide hatband, loosely draped around the base of the crown. The hat is lavishly trimmed in yellow silk flowers entwined with crin ribbon on both sides of the raised brim. The colour surprised me (I don’t think Letizia has worn yellow often) but it is lovely on her, and the scale is absolutely perfect for this petite queen. For someone who never wears hats, this choice was a particularly good one.

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Designer:  Maria Nieto. Dress and coat by Felipe Varela
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Queen Elizabeth repeated the mulberry straw hat with stepped brim, gently upswept brim and floral trim that she debuted at Ascot a few weeks ago. Of the string of new hats we’ve seen the Queen wear in recent weeks, this is among my favourites and while she usually waits a little more time in between repeated wearings, was a great choice for today’s events.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 24, 2017

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her palest grey straw hat with large ostrich feather wrap around the crown. It’s another great wide brimmed hat for Camilla although not my favourite colour on her- if she’s going to do barely there neutrals, I prefer her in warm creams instead of cool greys.

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What do you think of these three memorable hats today in London?
Photos from Getty as indicated

British and Greek Royals Attend British Society Wedding

A wedding On Saturday, the great-granddaughter of the late Lord Mountbatten of Burma, Alexandra Knatchbull, was married to Thomas Hooper at Romsey Abbey, near the bride’s family estate Broadlands, in Hampshire.

Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

The bride looked wonderfully elegant in a structured silk gown topped with a lace veil, anchored with the Mounbatten Star Tiara.

 Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

The bride’s family has very close ties with the British royal family – she is a great-great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, her grandmother and the Duke of Edinburgh are first cousins, one of her godmothers was the late Princess of Wales, her mother and the Duke of Edinburgh are long-time carriage driving partners, her family’s estate played host to royal honeymoons of the Queen in 1947 and the Prince of Wales in 1981 –  and it was no surprise to see British royals attended the wedding. The Prince of Wales stepped in to escort the elegant bride into the church (her father Lord Brabourne is unwell and rumours are that relations are strained with his daughter following this scandal).

Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

The bride’s mother, Lady Brabourne, topped her silver silk dress with a pale grey straw picture hat with sweeping brim and squared, flat topped crown. The hat is trimmed with a hat band, side bow and wide brim piping all made of the same silk as Penny’s dress, bringing the two pieces together in a unified and very elegant ensemble. We have seen Lady Brabourne in several similar picture hats with upswept brims and the style and scale suits her very well.

Lady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Lady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Lady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal HatsLady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: I believe it is Dillon Wallwork
Previously worn: This hat is new

The bride’s grandmother, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, wore a delphinium blue hat with upturned brim, edged in a wide stripe of silk. The same silk formed a ruched a pleated hatband around the base of the crown.

Countess Mountbatten of Burma, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth surprised not only by appearing at this event with the Duke of Edinburgh, but by also wearing a new hat. In a light coral straw, her hat features a short, sharply upswept brim on one side and a flat crown. The hat is embellished with silk edged ribbon bows on the side (the same ribbon looks to be used for overlapping hat bands around the base of the crown) and silk flowers. I think it’s a great hat for Her Majesty and really like the contrast between the hat’s crisp angles and it’s very soft, romantic trim.

Queen Elizabeth, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Queen Elizabeth, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously worn: This hat is new

As she is apt to do, Princess Anne wore a hat we’ve not seen on her in a while. With a pink silk ruched crown and slightly duller, thulian pink straw brim, the hat features a gently raised brim on one side and three straw calla lilies on the side. It’s nice to see Anne in some colour- I really like the shape of this brim and the straw flowers- but I’m not sold on the shiny silk crown. My favourite part of the ensemble is how the different shades and textures of pink combine to create a harmonious look that’s interesting and unified but not overly matchy.

Princess Anne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Princess Anne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: Walter Wright  
Previously worn: June 21, 2001 (and likely numerous others)

Princess Alexandra wore a cream straw hat with rounded crown and cartwheel brim embellished with a cream widely woven net veil, pale green silk roses and tiny curling feathers. It’s a great hat for her and I really like the height of the crown- slightly elevated but not as high as some of the other designs she wears.

 Princess Alexandra, June 25, 2016 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously worn: This hat is new

The wedding was also well attended by members of the Greek royal family (I didn’t realise until preparing this post that Alexandra Knatchbull was one of the bridesmaids at Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantall’s wedding back in 1995). Queen Sofia of Spain topped her grey suit with a headpiece made from grey silk leaves, beaded berry clusters and a swath of very fine grey net tulle. Her sister, Princess Irene of Greece, wore similar style headpiece of dotted navy net tulle, anchored with a simple navy bow.

Queen Sofia, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Queen Sofia, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Princess Irene of Greece, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece topped her navy lace dress with a simple pillbox hat, trimmed in a slim bow. Anne-Marie’s short hairstyle favours small hats and she wears this navy pillbox well.

Queen Anne-Marie, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Queen Anne-Marie, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously worn: April 13, 2011; April 16, 2010

I thought there were some beautiful hats at this event- which ones stood out to you, most?

Photos from Rex Features and Rachel Adams via the Southern Daily Echo