Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1981 when Zara Tindall was christened at Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth matched her purple and blue printed silk dress with wore an oversize rounded pillbox hat. Pleated fabric covered the hat and it was trimmed on top with similar ruffles to those on the neckline of her dress. Zara’s pateral grandmother, Anne Phillips, wore a pale green dupioni silk turban trimmed with bias stripes of the grey floral on her dress. The Queen Mother wore one of her signature veiled capulet hats covered in the same spring green floral as her caped frock and trimmed with a matching ostrich plume around the back.

True to form, Princess Anne’s finely woven yellow straw hat with curved brim, simply trimmed with a rolled silk hatband tied in a side bow (likely made by John Boyd), is still worn from time to time.

Princess Anne on July 27, 1981 and on a visit to Cumbria on July 17, 2013

Images from social media as indicated; Lord Litchfield; REX/Shutterstock

Inventory: Crown Princess Victoria’s Purple Hats

Crown Princess Victoria celebrated her birthday on July 14, an occasion we belatedly celebrate with another inventory of her headpieces and hats. Today, we’re looking at all of the purple designs in her wardrobe, shown below in order of introduction:

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Designer: Elie Saab; Philip Treacy
Introduced: Jun 18, 2010; Oct 11, 2015

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Designer: Parant Parant (Örjan Jackobsson); Philip Treacy
Introduced: Aug 31, 2019Oct 21, 2019

I’m struck first by the breadth of colour, from barest hint of mauve to deeply saturated royal purple. We see Crown Princess Victoria in a lot of headpieces so it’s not surprising to see two of the four here, although it’s worth acknowledging the exceptional detail in both. What do you notice about this quartet of purple hats?

Images from Getty as indicated; Dominique Charriau and Chris Jackson/Pool via Getty

This Week’s Extras

The Duchess of York repeated a bandeau covered in vibrant green, yellow and fuchsia feathers by Jess Collett to visit several charities last Wednesday
Tessy de Nassau, former wife of Prince Louis of Luxembourg, was married Friday in Switzerland to Frank Floessel. She topped her ivory and black Max Azria dress with jeweled floral clips in her hair
Lady Kitty Spencer was married to Michael Lewis Saturday in Rome. Dolce and Gabbana, who she models for, created five couture ensembles for her, several with stunning headpieces. Her lace gown was designed as a nod to the gown her mother wore when her parents married (see more photos in the comments)
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Charming beret percher covered in paper flowers by Australian milliner Wendy Scully
Silver woven straw beret with fantastic fuchsia pleated silk abaca ruffle by British brand Camilla Robertson
Black sinamay picture hat wrapped in a swath of feathers ’round the brim by British milliner Piers Atkinson
Angular cloche in wonderful textured turquoise straw by Russian milliner Lia Gureeva
Striking purple applique flowers on this cream parasisal boater by German milliner Anne Schneider
Pink silk floral bandeau studded with… 35mm film! By Hawaiian milliner Anna Pasquale
From British milliner Bundle MacLaren, this design of fantastical stars and spheres
Darling navy and cream boucle covered boater with fringed edge and silk hatband by Australian milliner Belinda Osborne
Teal velvet bandeau studded with pearls and crystals by British brand Victoria Jane Millinery
Pink sinamay button with pleated butterfly fan by Irish milliner Stephanie Gallen
Colourful sinamay saucers with lovely trimmings by Nigerian brand Ovy Hats
Sky blue textured button percher with the loveliest silk avbaca fan and quill by London-based Merve Bayindir
Love the black and pink scheme on this dramatic percher with twists, veil and flower by Russian brand Anna Millinery
Incredible use of vintage silver zipper braid in this peach basket percher by Australian milliner Jill Humphries


This little nugget celebrated his eighth birthday last week

Images from social media as indicated 

Norwegian Monarchs Commemorate Attack

King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway attended a memorial service at Oslo’s Cathedral yesterday to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the bomb attack in central Oslo and mass shooting on the island of Utoya that took the lives of 77 people.

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For this event, Queen Sonja repeated a hat of ivory crin with rounded crown and upturned brim. This outing shows a better look at the piece, revealing an overlapping brim that curves up onto the hat’s crown with a curved end flourish. What looked like a central seam down the crown at this hat’s first outing is actually a stripe of pearl embellishment.

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Yesterday’s better view of the piece helped it make a little more sense. It’s a light, summery design with dimension, thanks to the stripes of sewn crin that form its body. However, I’m still a bit perplexed by the placement of the overlapped brim and pearl stripe, which runs from the top of the crown down one side to where the crown and brim meet. It just feels a bit unbalanced and awkward.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: May 23, 2018  

What do you think of this cream crin hat, now that we’ve had a better look?

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Images from Getty as indicated  

Ethiopian Royal Hats Part II: Invasion & Exile

Longtime reader Jake Short is back today with the second installment in a 5-part series on the history and hats of the Ethiopian Imperial Family (see Part 1 here). You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter. Welcome back, Jake!

Ras Tafari Makonnen’s Rise To Power

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Ras Tafari Makonnen continued the work of putting Ethiopia on the world stage. Surviving the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, he successfully petitioned Ethiopia’s admittance into the League of Nations in 1923 before embarking on a tour of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean in 1924.

During the 1924 tour, Ras Tafari visited London, seen below in a light-colored (some colorized images have it as dove grey) wide brim felt fedora accompanied by the then-Duke of York (later King George VI) who in a bicorne hat and a feathered military helmet. While in London, Ras Tafari was given back with one of two imperial crowns of Tewodros II, which were stolen by General Sir Robert Napier during a military expedition in 1868. Ras Tafari also visited the Vatican and wore a similar (the same?) hat and outfit as that in London.

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In 1930, after the death of Empress Zewditu, Ras Tafari became Neguse Negest ze-‘Ityopp’ya (“King of Kings of Ethiopia”), Emperor of Ethiopia and assumed the name Haile Selassie.

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His wife, Menen Asfaw, became Empress of Ethiopia.Their coronation on 2 November 1930 was attended by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (King George V’s son) and Prince Ferdinando of Savoy, Prince of Udine (King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy’s first cousin), along with representatives from Belgium, Egypt, France, Japan, Sweden, Turkey, and the US. Ethiopia’s first written constitution soon followed in July 1931.

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A very religious woman, the Empress made many pilgrimages to the Holy Land. During a 1933 visit, she can be seen wearing a structured cloche, seen both unadorned and covered by a cloth veil. She is shown below in a brimless hat with intricate cut-out pattern and veil. 

Here you can see Haile Selassie’s sons Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen and Prince Makonnen, Duke of Harar in a pith helmet and a Western-style military cap, respectively (the 1925 date on this photo is not accurate as the Duke of Harar was born in 1924). The Duke of Harar can also be seen in another military cap with what looks to be a feathered crown here.

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Italian Invasion of Ethiopia and Exile

Emperor Haile Selassie is seen with King Vittorio Emanuele III and Crown Prince Umberto in Italy sometime in the early 1930s, wearing a similar (the same?) fedora and outfit previously seen during the 1924 visit to London.

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A 1932 visit by Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen saw a very similar hat and outfit. Relations with Italy were always strained as Italy controlled what is now Eritrea and most of Somalia at that time (modern nations that border Ethiopia and also make up most of the land that keeps the country landlocked). In late 1934, a short battle against an Italian base illegally established inside Ethiopian territory led Emperor Haile Selassie to appeal to the League of Nations to stop further Italian incursions; months of negotiations and attempted sanctions failed to resolve the crisis.

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In October 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia (the Emperor is seen below during the war wearing a military pith helmet – you can read more about the Emperor and his pith helmet here); the Emperor was forced into exile in May 1936 and made a last-minute in-person appeal to the League of Nations on 7 June 1936. Nothing came about of this speech (made worse by France and the UK’s appeasement efforts towards Italy), and ultimately the League of Nations was dissolved because of its inability to act and the rise of fascist nationalism in Europe.

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When they fled Ethiopia, Haile Selassie and some members of his family first escaped to Jerusalem, then made their way to Gibraltar (the Emperor seen in Gibraltar in bowler and fedora hats, below) 

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before landing in Geneva, Switzerland, to speak at the League of Nations.

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After the League’s failure, the Emperor and his family settled in Bath, England with a small government-in-exile while other family members and government officials kept up the fight in Ethiopia; multiple members of the Emperor’s family, including his oldest daughter and two sons-in-law, died during the occupation. Although exiled, the family was still treated according to royal standards. A garden party was held for them in London shortly after their arrival. Below is a better look Princess Tsehai wearing a standard 1930s wide-brimmed portrait hat at the party.

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The Emperor was also seen wearing homburg and bowler hats during his family’s residency in the UK.
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Thank you, Jake, for this interesting post. I’m sorry to admit I did not know that the Ethiopian Imperial family were forced to spend years in exile in the United Kingdom. This led me to dig further into this part of their story and uncovered another interesting photo- Haile Selassie’s daughter, Princess Tsehai, photographed on the right below in 1940 during the early days of WWII. She trained at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children and graduated as a state registered children’s nurse on August 25,1939.

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I look forward to your third post in this series next week!

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated