Favourite Repeated Royal Hat of 2019

In 2019, many lovely hats stepped out on royal heads for the second, third, (or ninth!) times. Throughout the year, you picked favouritea from these repeatedly worn designs and assembled a list of nine stunning semi-finalists for the year. It is now finally time to share your top four choices for Favourite Repeated Royal Hat of 2019:

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Queen Elizabeth’s orange hat with magnolia blooms and brown straw leaves by Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren) worn March 7 to the Science Museum in London


Princess Hisako’s cream straw hat with black brim stripe and monochrome flowerworn September 24 for the Japan Sports Masters Tournament in Gifu Prefecture


Princess Alexandra’s pink straw picture hat with bow & feathers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn to Ascot on June 18

Countess of Wessex’s natural straw cutout saucer with tan organdie twists and coral feathers by Jane Taylor worn for the Order of the Garter on June 17

This hat was also your pick for top repeated royal hat in 2018 (and made the top three in 2017!), making it the first design ever on Royal Hats to win two years running! Congratulations to British milliner Jane Taylor and the Countess of Wessex, whose millinery partnership is clearly a winning one, and to the other three milliners who designed these beautiful runners up. It’s a wonderful (and well deserved) surprise to see an Imperial royal hat in this year’s winner’s circle. 
Jump over to this post to see the poll results in greater detail. What do you think about these winners?
Photos from Gifu; Robin Utrecht via Shutterstock;  Pool/Max Mumby via Getty; and Getty as indicated 

Countess of Wessex’s Commonwealth Day Hats

The Commonwealth Day service, held every year on the second Monday in March, always brings us a lovely lineup of hats, often the first spring designs we see of the season. After last week’s beautiful service, I thought it might be interesting to look back at retrospectives of hats we’ve seen different members wear. Interestingly, the Countess of Wessex has only attended the service four times:

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Sharply sidesweeping grey slice hat with open weave brim and pale pink feather trim by Jane Taylor in 2012;
Ecru lace covered beret percher with multi looped bow also by Jane Taylor in 2014

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Navy  straw percher with swirling cream and gold feather trim in 2018 and navy felt domed pillbox with dotted veil in 2020, both by Jane Taylor

While all four hats could be described as having neutral palates, they each still make a significant style statement! The large grey hat with pink feathers in 2012 is one I’ve hoped we’d see again- even though the feather placement is a little awkward, it’s such a showstopping design and paired so beautifully with Sophie’s oyster silk coat.

What does this progression of four hats, worn over eight years, tell you about the Countess’ evolution of millinery style?

Photos from Getty as indicated

Commonwealth Day Service 2020

Queen Elizabeth was joined by members of her family yesterday morning at Westminster Abbey for the annual Commonwealth Day Service.

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For this event, the Queen repeated her blue felt hat with stepped crown and upswept brim trimmed with a multi-looped felt bow and spray of blue and copper feathers. Yesterday’s photos provide a closer look at the detail on this piece than we’ve seen before- the looped bow is beautifully piped in the same woven grey fabric as is on the upper side of the brim and the width of top stitching on the matching coat’s collar is exactly the same as the width of the brim binding. Such details seem minor but add significantly to the overall look a hat. Now, if only we could peek at this ensemble’s silk dress and see how those copper feathers fit into the overall picture!

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat by Stewart Parvin.
Previously Worn: Oct 20, 2018; Nov 16, 2017

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her  navy brushed felt hat with off-center peaked crown, wide brim with gently sweeping upturn on one side and dramatic navy ostrich feather wrapped around the crown. The hat has a decidedly painterly quality to it, thanks to the deep hue of the felt and its sumptuous feather trim. It pairs so well with Camilla’s navy silk coat, the coat’s lace trimmed bottom half balancing beautifully with the hat’s equally luxurious texture.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Bruce Oldfield
Previously Worn: Dec 11, 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a new saucer hat in scarlet peachbloom felt. The hat is trimmed with a circle of piping around the crown and leaves in a darker oxblood felt and a trio of scarlet silk camellia flowers above and on the underside of the raised brim.

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Head to toe looks in a single colour can easily look one-note but the mix of textures and shades of red give enough contrast to make this look work. The hat plays particularly well with the coat’s velvet accents, the oxblood trim fitting surprisingly well with the darker velvet shadows and the hat’s trim hitting just the right balance, neither too stark nor too cluttered, against the traditional lines of the coat. The saturated colour makes this a strong look for Kate, again, that is balanced by the hat’s smaller scale. There’s so much here that just works.

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Designer: Sally Ann Provan. It is the Sada design from AW 2019. Coat by Catherine Walker
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a new hat for this, her final official royal engagement. A felt beret percher in the same emerald green as her dress, the hat’s dramatic statement comes from it’s net veil trim, wrapped in two linear stripes around the round base and tied on the side in an exuberant bow.

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Throughout her royal life, Meghan has worn hats only in neutral shades- ivory, blush, olive, navy, brown and black. This design is the first one in a vibrant colour… I won’t read into the symbolism of this beyond saying how fantastic it is. The use of square dotted net veil as the hat’s only trim is a bold one that gives such wonderful texture and movement to the design. High necked frocks such as this can be tough to style with a hat and this percher hits just the right balance and proportion. While I wish the Sussexes much happiness in the life they are creating for themselves, I can’t help but mourn the fashion moments we’ll miss with them outside the royal realm.

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Designer: William Chambers. It is a bespoke version of the Veiled Teardrop Explosion from SS 2020. Dress by Emilia Wickstead.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex also wore a new pillbox hat in navy felt. With a slightly domed crown, the design is completed with a generous wrap of navy dotted net veil.

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While navy and cream is a classic combination, this ensemble is decidedly more sleek and modern. This pillbox’s veil trim gives it an air of effortlessness that pairs wonderfully with the sleek lines of Sophie’s dress and again, the hat’s scale works wonderfully with the high neck on the dress. It’s an ensemble that works better together than its components do on their own and I love how the classic pieces are interpreted in a way that is so modern and fresh. Sophie has several dark blue pillbox hats in her wardrobe but I think this addition might be my favourite.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Suzannah
Previously Worn: This hat is new

This event always brings us several hats and after several weeks where royal hat sightings have been sparse, this group is particularly welcome. What do you think of these hats in London yesterday?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

Royal HatsThe Countess of Wessex has stepped out in an elegantly draped collar, pale Armani coat on numerous occasions, four with different hats:

Look 1: with a Jane Taylor rounded pillbox hat in leopard print velour felt trimmed with a flat black bow on the side, worn on Christmas Day, 2014

  

Look 2: with a pheasant feather covered beret cocktail hat for Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

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Look 3: with an angular, tall burgundy felt Philip Treacy cloche with flying bow on December 27, 2015 for church at Sandringham

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Look 4: with a Hicks & Brown casual camel felt fedora with overlapping pheasant feather hatband worn on December 23, 2019, again for church at Sandringham

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It’s an interesting quartet of hats- which look do you think pairs best?

Photo from Getty as indicated;  Splash News, ADavidson/GoffPhotos.com/Splash News and GoffPhotos.com/Splash News via Corbis

British Royals Attend Church

Queen Elizabeth attended Sunday service this morning at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene close to her Sandringham estate, accompanied by several members of her family. For this outing, she repeated a pale yellow hat with straw brim, bound in a contrasting grey stripe, and feather pouf trim.

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Many of us have previously praised this hat’s colour scheme – that grey stripe of brim binding sets it off so beautifully – and I’ve come around to its mix of textures (fabric on the crown, straw on the brim), which give some soft contrast to the design.

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Designer: Angela Kelly. Made by Stella McLaren.
Previously Worn: Feb 10, 2019; Mar 14, 2017; December 2, 2016June 26, 2015

The Countess of Wessex wore the same camel felt fedora with overlapping pheasant feather hatband she wore to church last Sunday, pairing it with a slightly different beige coat and animal pint silk scarf.

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The ensemble is saved by the patterned scarf and hat’s feather hatband, which give some interest to an ensemble that is, to quote one of my favourite comments of all time here on the blog, “It’s a whole lot of biscuit.”.

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Designer: Suffolk Fedora in Camel from Hicks & Brown. Max Mara coat.
Previously Worn: Dec 22, 2019; Aug 25, 2019; Dec 23, 2018May 14, 2018

Princess Anne’s tan felt trilby with side spray of pheasant feathers and darker brown ribbon hatband is the most mysterious hat worn today. The shape is something we’ve seen on Anne before and one she wears very well.

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Anne first wore during her August stay at Balmoral, a week after debuting a very similar (slightly darker) brown trilby trimmed with a side bow. It’s always interesting to see two similar hats added to one’s millinery wardrobe (I’ve searched Anne’s archive back to the 1960s to see if this one was previously worn) and this pair of brown trilbies is so close, it has me scratching my own head.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Sep 1, 2019

I’m afraid today’s church hats weren’t very exciting- what do you think of this brown and yellow trio?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

British Royals Celebrate Christmas- Part II

After a brief Christmas Day break here at Royal Hats, we continue  with hats worn by remaining members of the British Royal Family to attend Christmas Morning Service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene near Sandringham. The Countess of Wessex topped her oatmeal coat with a burgundy velvet padded bandeau headpiece trimmed with a birdcage veil.

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It’s a quieter millinery look for Sophie than we usually see her wear, although still very much on trend. The burgundy headpiece and purse brighten her neutral ensemble, giving it a festive pop of colour. Beyond that, there’s really not much to say.

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Designer: Jane Taylor It is the Velvet Small Moon Headband With Veil from AW 2019. Coat by Suzannah. 
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

Lady Louise also joined in the current craze for bandeau headpieces with a braided design in muted pink velvet. It wouldn’t be my first choice to pair with her checked coat (one some of you might recognize as one previously worn by her mum) but I see the appeal of this piece, particularly for a young person, and Louise wears it well.

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Designer: unknown. Coat by Stella McCartney
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

Princess Anne repeated her deep purple felt fedora with deeply creased crown and extended brim, which raises around the back, trimmed with a twisted bow and curling feathers on the side. The scale and colour of the hat are great on her and pull her ensemble forward, counter balancing the oddly large 70s referencing lapels on her coat.

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Designer: Amy Morris-Adams
Previously Worn: Dec 30, 2018; Aug 26, 2018March 16, 2018  

The Countess of Snowdon was also in purple, her heather-hued felt fedora trimmed with a pale Petersham ribbon hatband and a large spray of pheasant feathers on the side. Serena’s style is an effortlessly glamorous one and this hat falls in line with this aesthetic, wonderfully pairing her chic hat and pink tweed coat for an unexpected but stylish pairing.

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Designer: Jess Collett. It is The Cheltenham from AW 2019
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Lady Margarita-Armstrong Jones joined the bandeau trend in a deep teal silk velvet padded bandeau embroidered with sprays of red and gold beaded leaves in a criss-cross pattern and topped with a a birdcage veil. You can see more detailed views of the design from the milliner’s portfolio here and here.

 

Designer: Jess Collett. It is the Bardot Hairband from AW 2019
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new.

Lady Sarah Chatto, who is visible behind Prince George in the photos below, repeated a navy felt hat with squared crown and wide cartwheel brim. The hat is finished with a slim hatband and small ribbon bow at the front; it follows the elegantly streamlined millinery style Sarah favours and carries off so well.

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Designer: Stephen Jones custom version of ‘Facetime’ from Miss Jones AW 2019
Previously Worn: Dec 25, 2017

That wraps up this year’s British royal Christmas Day hats- which ones stood out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Countess of Wessex Presides Over Sandhurst Parade

The Duchess of Wessex braved a very windy morning in Camberley today to represent The Queen as the Reviewing Officer at The Sovereign’s Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. For this event, she braved the elements in a new black felt pillbox hat.

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The hat’s classic shape is a more traditional choice for the Countess than we usually see her wear but I really like it-  its scale is perfect on her and the slightly flared shape gives lift to the design and frames her face in a lovely way. While I do appreciate the bolder, more daring designs that Sophie has favored in recent years, she carries this classic design so beautifully, it’s nice to see her change things up.

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Designer: presumably Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This hat is new

What do you think of Sophie’s new hat?

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Photos from Getty as indicated