Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 2002 when, during a tour of Northern Ireland, Queen Elizabeth wore Marie O’Reagan design with looping brim binding-hatband-giant bow. Royal hats don’t often build their focus trim off a brim’s binding, making this design a unique and interesting one, indeed.

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Hat From the Past

Royal Hatsto this day in 1973, 46 years ago, and an Imperial visit to Australia that saw the then Crown Princess Michiko in a halo hat with graphic pattern on the brim.

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Queen Elizabeth’s Maundy Thursday Hats: Part 1

Last year, we looked back at the hats Queen Elizabeth has worn this century on Easter Sunday. Sunday service, however, isn’t Her Majesty’s only outing during Easter weekend. At the conclusion of Maundy Thursday service, she (or a royal representative) hands out symbolic alms to elderly recipients – a tradition that goes back to 1210 when John, King of England, gave food and clothing to the poor in Knaresborough, Yorkshire. We will undoubtedly see Her Majesty this week at the Maundy Thursday service and in preparation for that, I thought we’d take a look back at the hats she has worn to this event in years past:


1935; first public engagement as sovereign in 1952, 1953 and 1955 (in 1954 she was away on the Commonwealth Tour)


1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959 (in 1960 she did not attend due to Prince Andrew’s birth)


1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965 (Prince Edward’s birth prevented her attendance in 1964)


1966, 1967 and the same orange ruffled turban in 1968 and 1969

The hat shape evolution here is interesting- the 1950s calots grow in volume to the 1960s turbans, with that brimmed halo hat in 1966 (in vibrant blue) for some contrast. I didn’t know that Her Majesty’s first public engagement as queen was to attend the 1952 Maundy Service until researching this post and the beautifully veiled capulet she wore that year shows how young she was.

We’ll continue our look at the Queen’s Maundy Thursday hats through this week- stay tuned!

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Ascot Hat From the Past

Royal Hats25 years to June 18, 1994 and the Countess of Snowdon in an oversize lilac straw hat covered in feathers. Privately, I’ve always thought of this design as “the Muppet”….for obvious reasons.

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This whopper of a hat concludes our look back into the Ascot archives- I’ll be back tomorrow. My sincere thanks, everyone, for the fun discussion and for sharing all the hats I’ve missed while I was away. It’s wonderful to be able to leave Royal Hats in your hands!

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Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hatsto June 21, 1962 and the arrival of Princess Marina and her daughter, Princess Alexandra, to Royal Ascot. I adore the shape and austerity of Princess Marina’s straw upswept design and must concede that Princess Alexandra’s floral helmet/turban is one of the most attractive iterations of this odd shape I can remember. I’d be remiss here not to also mention the striking resemblance between mother and daughter- quite remarkable.

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Thanks for sharing current royal hats while I’m away from the blog- you can do so again today in the comments.

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Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hatsto June 19, 1973 and a form-fitting turban/helmet covered in green ruffles worn by Queen Elizabeth. The shape and trim on “The Brain” I’ve always found a bit perplexing. I’m also wondering to those of you in the know (you know who you are) – is the Duke of Edinburgh’s grey felt top hat a smidgen small?


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Please share any royal hats worn today in the comments below.

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Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hatsto the Ascot races in 1935. The Prince of Wales looked characteristically handsome in a smart grey top hat while and his companion, Wallis Simpson, wore a curiously utilitarian small, brimless hat that looked almost as if it was part of a uniform. Until diving into the archives to prepare this series, I didn’t realize these two had made an Ascot appearance.

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Photos from Getty as indicated