British Royals In New Hats For Commonwealth Day

Members of the British Royal Family celebrated their wider Commonwealth family today, attending the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey today as they have in years past. The Queen led her family in her repeated her royal purple felt hat with square crown, upfolded kettle brim and dark purple velvet hatband with updated dark purple silk flower trim.

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It’s good to see the updated trim in closer detail here- the purple silk flowers create a more refined overall look that ties beautifully with the coat’s velvet trim and the starkness the former white irises gave to the look has disappeared.

UPDATE: Looking at this hat side by side with its original version, it seemed that more was changed than just the trim but confirmation from the hatmaker herself that the crown height is unchanged leaves me cursing at camera angles and the optical illusions they seem to have created here.

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Designer: Angela Kelly. Made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: Jan 13, 2019; Oct 23, 2018Mar 6, 2018Dec 7, 2017Nov 24, 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall was also in royal purple with a new, brimless hat. The helmet shape, with gently rounded edges, is trimmed with purple goose biot feathers.

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We see Camilla in so many wide brimmed hats and it’s great to see her play with a brimless shape, particularly one as unusual as this. Is it my favourite design on her? No- I’m not a fan of its clunky mushroom shape but the colour is divine and the spiky feathers play down the helmet vibe well. Combined with Camilla’s stunning velvet coat, the overall look is rather regal- perhaps a case of ‘coat saves hat’ here?

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Bruce Oldfield dress and coat.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Cambridge topped her red coat with a new felt raised saucer hat, simply trimmed with a stitched bow on the side. While it seems like a fine hat, the more I look at it, the less I like it. The bow, while beautifully stitched, errs a little toward twee territory and the design forces placement smack on the middle of the head, which doesn’t always pair well with Kate’s oval face. Maybe I just prefer the pillbox originally worn with this coat?

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Designer: I suspect custom Lock & Co. Coat by Catherine Walker. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex topped her cream and green floral dress and cream coat with a cream pillbox/Fez. It’s the first hat of this shape we’ve seen on Meghan and while the colour contrasted beautifully against her hair, I’m less certain about the sharply angular lines of the hat, particularly with this ensemble. Something here, between the crisp hat, the textured coat and the flowing dress, feels out of balance. Too much cream, perhaps? Maybe a spray of green silk flowers and feathers on one side of this hat would do the trick?

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Designer: Other blogs are reporting it as a Jane Taylor felt design but a close look at the hat shows it is covered in fabric with a very fine textured stripe so I think it’s a bespoke design. Coat and dress by Victoria Beckham.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
These types of royal events, which trot out a parade of hats, are always enjoyable to see (and what a great kickoff to the Cheltenham races this week!)
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Photos from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Reader Jimbo reminded in one of the comments this week that Queen Elizabeth repeated her purple hourglass shaped hat with pin tuck trim by Angela Kelly/Stella McLaren last Sunday to attend church at Windsor
On Wednesday, Princess Hisako attended the Tokyo send off ceremony for Team Japan to the Special Olympics Summer World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. She wore a black short brimmed hat with wide blue hatband.
Members of the Norwegian royal family were joined by Queen Margrethe  for a World Cup skiing race today at Holmenkollen. Predictably, cozy winter hats were the order of the day.
Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko attended a memorial service yesterday for the victims of the Great Tokyo Air Raid, the princess in one of her signature bowler hats with wide hatband.
Thanks to a reader who shared fantastic views of two royal hats on display at the Fashion Museum in Bath- the Countess of Wessex’s Jane Taylor hat is familiar but click over to see Queen Mary’s feather trimmed toque hat. It’s as close as we’re ever going to get to one of her signature toques.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Purple velvet perchers with pleated crin ruffle trim by British milliner Jane Taylor
Stunning pillbox trimmed in black & white guinnea fowl feathers by Nicola de Selincourt
Pale grey straw boater with exquisite beaded snowflakes by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Amazing colour blocking on this emerald, eggplant & claret felt fedora by British milliner Jess Collett
From British brand Hostie Hats, this royal blue straw domed disk with fantastic feather trim
Exquisite lace trimmed white crin disc with purple roses by British brand Guibert Millinery
Sunny yellow straw calot with feather and white hydrangeas by Irish milliner Laura Hanlon
Whimsical “Dandelion” headpiece made of white feathers by New Zealand milliner Anel Heyman
Lovely shape on this bright turquoise brimless beaded design by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Smooth, clean and wonderfully graphic black straw hat by Irish brand Martha Lynn Millinery
A giant white organza ruffled picture hat by British milliner Edwina Ibbotson that I suspect we’ll see at Ascot!

And for those of you still trudging through winter, this fabulous black felt fedora trimmed with red lace appliqué, sequins and pearls made by British brand Laylaleigh Millinery.

Princess Madeleine shared this sweet snap of Princess Adrienne, who celebrated her first birthday this week
Queen Inkhosikati LaDube, 12th wife of the King of Eswantini (Swaziland) and mother of three of his children, died on Friday at age 31 in South Africa following treatment for skin cancer. She is likely best remembered here for the bright mint green ensemble and percher hat she wore to the Diamond Jubilee Muster in Home Park, May 19, 2012.
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Photos from social media and Getty as indicated

Queen Visits Science Museum

Queen Elizabeth visited The Science Museum in London today where she published her first post on the British Monarchy’s Instagram page- a letter from computer pioneer Charles Babbage to Prince Albert detailing his “Analytical Engine”.

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Today, as I visit the Science Museum I was interested to discover a letter from the Royal Archives, written in 1843 to my great-great-grandfather Prince Albert.  Charles Babbage, credited as the world’s first computer pioneer, designed the “Difference Engine”, of which Prince Albert had the opportunity to see a prototype in July 1843.  In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention the “Analytical Engine” upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron.  Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors. Elizabeth R. PHOTOS: Supplied by the Royal Archives © Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

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For this visit, the Queen repeated her orange hat with sideswept brim and flared crown, trimmed with orange magnolia blossoms, twigs and brown straw leaves.
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Today’s outing made me notice a few things about this hat- while I previously thought it to be made of felt, it’s now clear the crown and bottom side of the brim are covered in the same wool as the matching coat (notice the straw on the upper side of the brim?). Interestingly, the brim is not round but an oval shape of the brim (see second and third photos in the gallery below) highlighted by the placement of the crown off center- a quirky touch that gives a modern feel to the design. I’m not fond of the seam running straight down the back of the crown (I think a bias seam looks more polished – maybe our trained milliners can provide some more insight on this) although I appreciate how it’s precisely matched with a similar seam on the brim.
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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: Mar 20, 2018, Dec 25, 2017
I’m of two minds when it comes to orange hats on Her Majesty- while not the most flattering colour on her, it’s nice to see her in a bright hue. The colour of this ensemble is lovely, and I love the peek of teal that slows through on her dress, its print tying to the trim on the hat. What do you think about this hat on it’s third outing today?

Dutch Monarchs Visit Germany

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived in Germany today for their annual economic mission, this year kicking off the trip in Bremen. Queen Máxima repeated her navy smocked silk crepe and georgette organza calot headpiece embroidered with narrow metal bugle beads.

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I’ll admit- I swoon a bit Máxima trots out an orange ensemble for foreign visits, sartorially flying the flag for the House of Orange. This dress and coat are individually, such strong looks that some restraint on the hat is a good thing to keep the ensemble in check. This time, I can’t help wondering how of Fabienne Delvigne’s signature ‘slice’ sideswept picture hats – maybe in navy straw- would look in place of this calot. Too much? Maybe. As much as the calot shape is not my favourite, it serves good purpose for working royal events/visits such as these.
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Favourite New Royal Hat: January & February 2019

While the first two months this year did not bring us an abundance of new royal hats, there were eight new designs that still stood out. These eight hats include bandeau, beret, fedora, bumper, cloche and Breton shapes and are made of materials from cozy felt to sleek silk. We’re going to second look at these eight beauties and choose the first one to be put forward in our countdown to Favourite New Royal Hat of 2019.

Please click on each caption link to jump to original feature posts with more views, information and discussion on each hat. Here are the eight new hats most admired in January and February, shown in the order they were worn:
1.    2.
Duchess of Cambridge’s blue pleated bandeau headpiece by Jane Taylor worn to church January 6
Zara Tindall’s fuchsia silk floral headpiece by Meg Rafter worn in Australia January 12
3.   4.
Countess of Snowdon’s deep purple felt blocked beret worn to church January 13
Queen Elizabeth’s beige felt cloche with multi coloured feathers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn January 20
5.  6.
Queen Máxima’s relaxed burgundy melusine felt fedora by Fabienne Delvigne worn January 31
Queen Margrethe’s grey faux fur bumper hat worn February 8
7.    8.
Princess Tsuguko’s dusky pink silk Breton hat with floral trim worn February 15
Princess Kiko’s pleated cream bandeau headpiece worn February 24 
This poll will remain open until next Wednesday, March 13  at midnight GMT.   As in the past, each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish.

Favourite Repeated Royal Hat: January & February 2019

When it comes to Royal Hats, 2019 has had a slower start than some other years (not to worry- things will soon pick up!). Despite this, there were still several of repeated designs worn over the past two months that stood out- eight  hats that cover a variety of styles and materials, with a cloche, a saucer, a Breton, a bandeau and several brimmed designs in the mix. We’re going to take a second look at these eight hats now and choose the first one in this year’s competition for Favourite Repeated Royal Hat Of The Year.

Please click on each caption link to jump to original feature posts with more views, information and discussion on each hat. Here are the eight repeated hats you most admired in January and February, shown in the order they were worn:

1.    2.
Queen Elizabeth’s camel felt cloche with wide, knotted hatband worn to church on January 6
Princess Akiko’s blue silk veiled Breton hat worn January 16
3.    4.
Duchess of Cornwall’s black Philip Treacy hat with high, upswept brim worn February 1
Queen Elizabeth’s yellow hat with grey trim by Angela Kelly worn February 10 to church
5.    6.
Queen Elizabeth’s cornflower blue Angela Kelly hat with green feathers and glass beads worn February 14
Queen Elizabeth’s royal blue silk cloque hat with black faux fur brim by Angela Kelly worn February 22
7.    8.
Empress Michiko’s pale pink silk saucer with lattice crin underbrim with cherry blossoms worn February 24
Princess Mako’s peacock blue silk bandeau with diamond motif worn February 26
This poll will remain open until next Wednesday, March 13  at midnight GMT.   As in the past, each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish.

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