Royal Ascot Day 1: Wrap Up

The Duke of Kent, Earl and Countess of St. Andrews also attended the races today. The Duke of Kent repeated his grey felt top hat and Princess Alexandra repeated her pale pink straw picture hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan with silk twists and masses of mini feathers. Sylvanna looks to have repeated the pale grey straw hat with pleated white crin overlay and pink trim she recently wore to Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding. I’ve not been able to locate any photos of George but he would have worn a top hat.

    

The only other royal guest at the races today was Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, in his black silk antique top hat (Princess Haya and the couple’s children did not attend)

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The first day of Royal Ascot also saw a few hatted noble heads:

Lady Carolyn Warren (daughter of the late Earl of Carnarvon, Queen Elizabeth’s former racing manager and wife of John Warren, the current one) in a monochrome blush pink straw disc hat with windowpane lattice brim, trimmed with straw twists, silk flowers and a windowpane lattice crin ruffle

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Lady Kitty Spencer in a white Philip Treacy percher with deep crease, trimmed with a black quill

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Lady Laura Cathcart in a pink vertical straw saucer with black bow and ostrich feathers of her own design

Joining today’s carriage procession were Master of the Horse Lord de Lauley (shown below with the Earl of Wessex), the Queen’s Private Secretary, Edward Young and Master of the Royal Household, Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, all in black top hats.

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The following additional hats caught the attention of our guest milliner, Jay Cheng:

Very interesting Victorian look
Lady Kitty Spencer’s eccentric beret
by Philip Treacy
Blue and gold hat with v
ery unusual back view
Flora Johnson in something different- a beach hat by Lock & Co.
Rosie Tapner’s whimsical pink crin hat by Stephen Jones 

And finally- all non-royal hats that caught my eye at the races today:

Jodie Kidd in a stack of colourful straw hats. Bonkers but such fun!
Nazer Bullen in a sidesweeping hat covered in pink ostrich feathers by William Chambers
Julia Lundin in a tall black straw brimless stovepipe with patent leather hatband
Valerie Stark in a white Philip Treacy percher with black crin veil
Milliner Lisa Tan in a purple triple brimmed hat of her own design
Yellow crin hat with burgundy flowers on an unidentified racegoer (see the back here)
Black cutwork disc hat with white bow by Australian milliner Danica Errard
Milliner Rachel Ellis Oates in a self made white straw halo bandeau with floral trim (see the back here)
Hatshop owner Lizzie Hughes in a deep green percher with lush trailing vine by Guibert Millinery
Unnamed racegoer in a bright pink saucer percher with roses
Bumble bee hat on an unidentified racegoer
Irish milliner Jennifer Wrynne in a classic black and white bergere boater of her own design

My sincere thanks to milliner Jay Cheng for joining us today to chat about all the royal hats at the first day of the races. Jay- it has been a long but very enjoyable day sharing all of these hats with you. THANK YOU!

Photos from Gettyand social media as indicated; Shutterstock, Robin Utrecht and Shutterstock via Shutterstock

Trooping The Colour: Gloucester & Kent Families

We conclude our look at the hats seen Saturday for Trooping the Colour with those worn by members of the Gloucester and Kent families. With extremely limited photos (my sincere thanks to Paul Ratcliffe for again, providing the only available photos of these family members) to share, I’m going to try and avoid confusion (or excessive scrolling for photos) by reducing commentary to a minimum. Please click on the following galleries twice to open up larger size photos:

Gallery 1:

The Duchess of Gloucester: steel blue straw veiled pillbox
Previously Worn: May 29, 2019; May 23, 2019;  May 31, 2018

Lady Rose Gilman: muted slate blue straw beret with knotted straw sash
Previously Worn:  Jun 10, 2016 Previously worn by the Duchess of Gloucester: Nov 21, 2012; Jun 2, 2012

Lyla Gilman (Lady Rose’s young daughter, far right below): pink polka dotted bandeau

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Gallery 2:

Princess Michael of Kent: rounded, white fabric covered pillbox
Designer: I believe it is John Boyd 
Previously Worn: May 29, 2019, June 12, 2016; June 2, 2016; June 15, 2013June 11, 2011June 20, 2008

Countess of St. Andrews: white straw disc with turned down edges and curl of taupe abacca around the crown
Previously Worn: June 11, 2016

Gallery 3:

Lady Helen Taylor: black straw beret percher with navy veil and triangle tufts of purple and royal blue crin
Previously Worn: May 18, 2019

Gallery 4:

Estella Taylor: tan fabric bow bandeau
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

Lady Frederick Windsor: pale blue sinamay dramatic sidesweep covered in feather flowers
Designer: Catherine Walker Millinery. I believe it is the “Trevi” hat.
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

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Lady Gabriella Kingston: blush sinamay hat with angled crown and sharply sideswept brim with jinsin hatband and twists
Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 591 from SS 2019. Coral coat dress by Claire Mischevani
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

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Flora Ogilvy: ecru straw disc percher with a multi-looped bow and silk rose on the side
Previously Worn: May 18, 2019

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Zenouska Mowatt : vibrant magenta silk bandeau with folded bow (love this with her blue lace dress and aqua shoes!)
Designer: Laura Cathcart Millinery. It is the “Arizona in fuchsia“. Carolina Herrera dress.

Previously Worn: This hat is new

Trooping the Colour is always a highlight in our royal hat watching calendar and this year’s celebration, which saw 28 hats, did not disappoint. We’ve seen some stellar hats (including a handful from designers we’ve not previously seen on royal hats) which makes me all the more excited for the Garter service and Royal Ascot next week. 
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Photos from Getty and social media (thanks to Paul Ratcliffe!) as indicated; Gareth Fuller via Getty

Kent Wedding at Windsor: Kent Family

Today’s wedding at Windsor Castle of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston was clearly a family affair, with numerous members of Ella’s Kent family in attendance. Her mother, Princess Michael of Kent, topped her lilac ensemble with her repeated bumper hat covered in pearlescent light grey silk.  The hat, which until this outing appeared to be a pillbox, is dramatically trimmed with a streaming ostrich feather plume around the back.

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It’s a signature look for Marie-Christine and while I was a little surprised not to see her in a new hat today, this pale grey design coordinates well with her grey and lilac patterned jacket. And organza scarves. And multiple strands of beads. And brooch. It’s not a minimalist look, this one.

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Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: October 12, 2018June 13, 2015;  Oct 18, 2014Jun 16, 2014

Lady Frederick Windsor paired her pale blue feather trimmed coat with a cream wide brimmed saucer hat adorned in pale blue dotted tulle, silk crepe bow loops and more feathers.

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Catherine Walker, the brand that designed the hat and coat, has recently ventured into the millinery world and I think some inexperience is visible here. The execution of the bow loops is a bit lumpy and lacks crisply turned corners and there are visible ripples in the silk covering the underside of the hat. While I really like the scale of this hat on Sophie, I’d like to see feathers on either the coat or the hat- but not both.

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Designer: both hat and coat are the “Bliss” designs by Catherine Walker
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Gabriella’s aunt, Princess Alexandra wore a new straw hat in beautiful teal straw, trimmed with burnt feathers anchored at the front with a jeweled button and slim bow. The Countess of St. Andrews (daughter-in-law of the Duke and Duchess of Kent) topped her pink suit with a wide brimmed straw hat in pale blue-grey with pleated crin in the same colour folded around the hat’s brim. The design is completed with pink sinamay ribbon loosely wound around the hat that finishes in a looping bow at the front, studded with two pink quills. I wish better views of Sylvanna’s hat were visible because it looks like a beaty.

Sylvanna’s elder daughter, Lady Marina Windsor, wore a wide folded disc hat in red straw. The hat is a brave one in terms of scale and simplicity but paired well with Marina’s floral dress. We’ve talked about finishing issues from this milliner several times recently and if you look at the lumpy brim edge, they’re present again. Disappointing.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Lady Amelia Windsor topped her puple daisy printed frock with a cream buntal straw teardrop percher, trimmed with a knotted buntal flying bow. The hat has beautiful balance and movement and it’s fantastic… but I think it could do much better paired with something other than this dress.

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Designer: Philip Treacy OC 470 from SS 2018. Dress by Gül Hürgel
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Helen Taylor wore a black straw beret percher trimmed with swathed navy veil and triangle tufts of puple and royal blue crin. A sparkling crescent hatpin completed the millinery look.

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Designer: Likely Stephen Jones. Dress by Amanda Wakely
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Helen’s younger daughter, Estella Taylor, was an attendant (or assistant), helping wrangle the young bridesmaids. She wore a black and white headpiece that looks to be made of silk flowers and straw leaves. As far as youthful headpieces go, this one is great.

 

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Julia Ogilvy topped her pink, blue and green lace dress with a pink straw button percher trimmed in a mass of circular pink ruffles. It’s a lighthearted hat that tops a very pastel ensemble but it’s great fun.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 13, 2015June 5, 2012

Flora Ogilvy wore an ecru straw disc percher trimmed with a multi-looped bow and silk rose on the side. A great hat on its own, this piece was elevated with its pairing today with Flora’s orchid purple dress. Such a great look for her.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: 

Zenouska Mowatt paired her red lace dress with a red straw vertical saucer hat, trimmed with wide ruffles of layered red and peach crin. The scale is fantastic on her and the playful crin ruffles add such life to the hat (as do her bright yellow accessories!).

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Designer: bespoke Jane Taylor. Dress by Mary Katrantzou
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The royal Kent relations can usually be counted on for some memorable millinery looks and today was no different. Which hats stand out here most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; Pool, Victoria Jones and Chris Jackson via Getty; Tim Rooke/Shutterstock; Stephen Lock/i Images;Stephen Lock/i Images;

Windsor Wedding, Thirty Years On

 Thirty years ago yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Kent’s eldest son, George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews, was married to Canadian professor Sylvana Tomaselli. At the time of the nuptials, the bride was Catholic and divorced, issues which prevented a church wedding and caused the Earl to give up his rights of succession (thankfully, times have changed).  As such, a civil wedding was required and the young couple married in Scotland.

We don’t see many British royal weddings where the bride is not in a gown and veil but the unique circumstances at the time of this one made the bride opt for a suit and hat. Sylvana topped her royal blue dotted velvet suit and muff with a matching hat in matching silk. The tall, upfolded bumper brim gave the design a relaxed Cossack shape and the hat was simply trimmed with a large button in the same dotted velvet as Sylvana’s suit. The pieces combined to give a glamorous winter ensemble with luxurious texture and beautiful sheen.

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The Duchess of Kent went with a more traditionally shaped Cossack style hat in crimson, trimmed with wide black velvet ribbon piping and a giant bow at the back (perhaps anchored to her hair, below the hat?). Lady Helen Windsor, as was her title at the time, was also in red and black- her red cloche variation was trimmed with black brim piping and a wide velvet hatband and bow. 

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Barely visible at the far left of the photo below, Princess Alexandra looked to be wearing a brown fur papakha style hat. On the far right, Princess Michael of Kent wore an oversize, angular black brimless hat (perhaps also a modified Cossack shape?) with bow. 

In combination, these hats always seemed like a technicolor Russian winter fantasy to me. We don’t often see tall Cossack shapes on royal heads, making this group all the more memorable. Thirty years on, what do you think of these hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Trooping the Colour: Gloucester & Kent Families

Trooping the Colour was attended today, as in years past, by the Queen’s cousins and their families. The Duchess of Gloucester, who rode in a carriage with her husband and the Duke of Kent, repeated her grey straw cuffed bumper hat with net veil trim. The men wore in morning dress with top hats.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 1, 2017July 1, 2016June 12, 2016June 10, 2016
The Countess of Ulster wore a natural straw percher hat with button base and large straw twist. Lady Rose Gilman wore a red percher with straw beret base trimmed with red feathers.

 Countess of Ulster, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats  Lady Rose Gilman, , June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designers: Claire’s hat is Gina Foster. Rose’s hat is unknown
Previously Worn: uncertain  

The Duchess of Kent made a rare public appearance today in a denim blue percher hat trimmed with what looks to be lace on the hat and a spray o feather at the back. Princess Alexandra stood nearby in her large cream hat with high, domed crown, wide moulded hatband, net tulle covered brim and front feather pouf. .

Princess Alexandra & Duchess of Kent, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats    Duchess of Kent, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer:both are unknown
Princess Alexandra’s hat was Previously Worn: May 15, 2015July 16, 2012; here; here; here

The Countess of St. Andrews wore an interesting hat in what looks to be lattice printed straw (or hemp? or burlap?) with a cartwheel brim fanning out from a narrow, diagonal crown. There does not seem to be any further embellishment on the hat besides a slim navy ribbon hatband and fringed brim edge. Sylvanna’s daughter, Lady Amelia Windsor, repeated the distinctive navy ruched turban with lattice printed crin accent we saw Sylvanna wear last year to the Service of Thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday.

Countess of St. Andrews, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats   Lady Amelia Windsor, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: both are unknown. I suspect the navy turban is Philip Treacy

Lady Helen Windsor wore a stylised white Homberg hat with indented crown, short brim raised around one side and a navy bow at the front. This piece is from Stephen Jones’ Miss Jones SS 2017 collection. Helen’s sister-in-law, Lady Nicholas Windsor (Paola, who is peeking out from behind the Duke of Glouster, below right) wore what looks to be some sort of large cream saucer percher.

Lady Helen Taylor, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats   Lady Nicholas Taylor, June 17, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Helen’s hat is Stephen Jones. Paola’s hat is unknown
Previously Worn: I think both may be new. 

Julia Ogilvy repeated her cream picture hat with square crown, cartwheel brim and flying bow on the side. In today’s sea of cream hats, I liked the styling of this one, with Julia’s sand and teal printed dress and her pearl necklace, best.

Julia Ogilvy, June 17, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats Julia Ogilvy, June 17, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 10, 2016; June 11, 2011; April 30, 2011

Flora Ogilvy repeated her large cream straw picture hat with multi-looped side bow. Her cousin, Zenouska Mowatt, topped her olive dress with a cream straw teardrop shaped sidesweep lavishly trimmed with feathers. The trim on Zenouska’s hat makes it come to life and I love how her blue shoes at a hit of contrast and make her ensemble look very polished from head to toe.


Designer of Flora’s hat: unknown
Previously Worn: June 11, 2016
Designer of Zenouska’s hat: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

Princess Michael of Kent repeated her white straw wide brimmed hat with ostrich feather boa wrap/overlay.

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Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: June 10, 2016June 17, 2015;  June 6, 2015; June 7, 2014

Lady Frederick Windsor (Sophie) wore what is described by the designer as a “window sinamay coolie with a dip dyed silk rose”.  There also appears to be light feathers trimming the underbrim of the raised side of this gently sloping pyramid shaped piece. It’s a pretty piece that I think might be showed to greater effect with a non-monochrome outfit.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the ‘Clusia Rosea‘ from SS 2017
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Lady Gabriella Windsor wore another cream hat, this one with an upswept brim and trimmed with a large multi-looped bow of lattice printed crin. This view shows the slightly oval shape of the brim- a view we don’t often get to see on hats with upswept brims.

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Lady Gabriella Windsor, June 17, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Designer: Philip Treacy. It looks like a bespoke version of OC 264 from SS 2017
Previously Worn: this hat is new  
That covers all of the 21 royal hats that appeared today at Trooping the Colour. This group has less diversity than in previous years- without Lady Rose’s red hat, the Duchess of Kent’s blue hat and that mod navy turban on Lady Amelia, this branch of the family would be an entire sea of cream. Thankfully, this trio joined Autumn Philips and the Duchess of Cambridge in bringing some colour to liven up the balcony scene today. 
 What hats stood out to you today, most? Are there any pieces from this final group that you would like to add to your own millinery closet?
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To see hats worn by other members of the British royal Family, jump over to these posts:
 
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated; Samir HusseinDMC, James Devaney, James Devaney, James Devaney and James Devaney via Getty; Mark Stewart via Twitter

90th Birthday Service of Thanksgiving: Kent Family Part 1

Royal Hats

Today’s service of service of thanksgiving to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday was attended by most members of the Kent family. While the Duchess of Kent did not appear (perhaps we’ll see her tomorrow?), the Countess of St. Andrews entered St. Paul’s Cathedral today with her father-in-law and husband in an interesting navy hat. The ruched straw turban encircled her head, fanning into two tails at the front around which was wrapped a cream lattice bubble of sorts. Forgive my description, dearest readers, but I truly don’t know what to call this (beyond a bubble turban). We’ve seen Sylvanna wear some interesting millinery in years past but this one might take the cake.

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Lady Marina Windsor, eldest daughter of the Earl and Countess of St. Andrews, topped her black and white check suit with a black headpiece. The teardrop shaped piece is trimmed with transparent black lattice crim and a black bow. I want to like this piece but its open center makes it look, unfortunately, like a folded napkin.

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Marina’s younger sister, Lady Amelia Windsor wore a white straw pyramid hat. I want to like this design but the hat’s lavish trims- a black net veil wrap, white straw bows, and mass of black and white feathers-  feel like a classic case of millinery overtrimming. Combined with Lady Amelia’s black dress, the look is a little overdone.

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Lady Helen Taylor topped her navy dress and coat with a matching hat. In navy straw, the hat follows a very simple shape with downward sloped brim. What’s far from simple here, however, is the elaborate silk ribbon trim that winds around it. Without additional photos it’s hard to cast a final opinion on this hat but I’m worried that it too, overwhelms its wearer’s fine features.

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Lady Nicholas Windsor joined several other guests in pale blue. Her hat features a beret style base covered in the same silk as her collarless coat dress and is trimmed with a massive cream silk flower, arrow trimmed feathers and net veil. I think the scale and colour of this piece are lovely on Paola and just wish we had a better view!

Lady Nicholas Windsor, June 10, 2016 | Royal Hats

What do you think of these five more neutral hued royal hats?

Photos from BBC TV1 and Getty as indicated

British Royal Wedding Four Years On: The Kent Family

A wedding Some of my favourite hats worn at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding four years ago were worn by the Kent branch of the British extended royal family. Here is a peek back at these hats.

The Duchess of Kent channelled spring in a percher cocktail hat with pale pink base. The centrepiece of the hat was its trim- a large bouquet of silk flowers and leaves, ribbon loops and soft white feathers. We don’t see many percher hats on royal ladies of a certain age and while this one showed that Katharine’s millinery approach has stayed right on trend, the soft colours were very flattering and suited her well.

Lady Helen Taylor (the Duchess of Kent’s daughter)  topped her floral appliquéd Erdem dress and coat with a coordinating embellished beret. In electric blue straw, the beret was trimmed with a side spray of white silk flowers and a tall swath of blue dotted net tulle. I assume the white flowers were added to tie in with the flowers on the dress but they didn’t work for me- the hit of white created a jarring contrast that put the whole outfit into ‘too much’ territory. With a fussy dress and coat, I think Helen would have done better with a less fussy hat.

The Duchess of Kent’s daughter-in-laws wore contrasting pieces in pale hues. The Countess of St. Andrews topped her oyster lace trimmed suit with a large picture hat. In pale beige straw, the hat featured a flat crown and wide mushroom brim. The hat’s only embellishment was a large bow which fanned over one side of the brim (you can see the bow here at 36:30). Lady Nicholas Windsor topped her pale pink suit with a Philip Treacy fascinator of purple orchids and swirling feathers. I thought the styling on Paola’s ensemble was perfect- her clean lined suit, simple jewellery and elegant up-do allowed this statement headpiece to be showed to maximum effect. I adored it on her.

2011-04-29 Andrews 5

The Countess of St. Andrews’ two daughters, Lady Marina and Lady Amelia Windsor, both chose black hats. Lady Marina wore a large lampshade hat in black and grey straw. The graphic stripes of straw on each layer of the tiered hat were countered by a massive and curvaceous grey straw bow on the back of the hat. The end result was a dramatic and very classic hat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Lady Amelia wore a more streamlined hat in black straw with a diagonally raised brim and a wide white band around the crown.

Lady Marina Windsor and Lady Amelia Windsor, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexandra topped her blue brocade suite with a monochrome picture hat. With a blue straw base, the hat was covered in ruched silk organza and trimmed at the side with large blue silk roses and gold feathers. While the overlaid fabric on the hat gave considerable texture, it combined with Alexandra’s suit to make and ensemble suffering from fabric texture overload. I think this hat would have worked better sans overlay, keeping those romantic floral embellishments.

Princess Alexandra of Kent, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats   Princess Alexandra of Kent, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Julia Ogilvy, Princess Alexandra’s daughter-in-law, topped her taupe dress and ivory lace coat with a cream straw picture hat. The streamlined Philip Treacy design was simply trimmed with a band around the crown and a signature Treacy large flying bow.

Princess Alexandra of Kent and Julia Ogilvy, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats  Julia Ogilvy, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Princess Michael of Kent chose characteristically dramatic millinery for this event. While her white picture hat followed a fairly traditional shape, the scale of the wide cartwheel brim was larger than life. The huge hat was trimmed with a wide scarf of ruched silk that looked to be effortlessly thrown over the hat. Marie-Christine wears dramatic hats so very well and this was no exception. I adore the wide brim and appreciate the way the large scale hat balanced her shiny satin Andrea Odicini jacket.

2011-04-29 Michael 1

One of the newest members to the British Royal Family, Lady Frederick Windsor wowed with her millinery choice at this event. Designed by Philip Treacy, Sophie’s navy straw hat featured a moulded crown (as opposed to a seam-joined crown) with wide, oval brim. The elliptical brim was balanced by another Treacy signature multi-looped flying bow. While very simple, the hat is quite a bold design. I particularly loved the way the asymmetrical hat both complemented and contrasted against Sophie’s streamlined Armani coat and dress.

Wearing one of my favourite hats at this wedding, Lady Gabriella Windsor was a vision in peacock blue. Her vibrant picture hat featured an upturned ‘slice’ brim which was trimmed with large silk roses and an arrow feather. The shape was wonderful on Garbiella and I adored how her pale seafoam coat and dress created just the right background for her bright hat and matching purse to ‘pop’. This slice hat is a slightly smaller scale than others in this same style and while it works wonderfully as is, I think it could easily have handled an up-sizing.

 Prince Michael of Kent Family, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats
The Kents brought us stylish cocktail berets and sublime picture hats at this wedding. Which hat(s) stand out most to you? Stay tuned later today when we look at hats worn by some of the royal guests.
Photos from Getty as indicated, Woman and Home, and BBC TV via The British Monarchy. Source of final photo is unknown.