Cheltenham Festival 2019: Day 2

Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham Racecourse today saw clearer skies and another trio of royal hats. The Duchess of Cornwall joined Princess Anne and Zara Tindall at the races today, repeating her ruched tan tweed hat with faux fur brim.

Embed from Getty Images

There’s not much to add about this oft-seen hat (one, I must admit, is so well suited to a winter day in the country at the races) but I do think its styling today, with Camilla’s dotted silk dress and cream textured coat, is a great look for her.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Lock & Co
Previously Worn: Nov 23, 2018;  Mar 14, 2018;  Nov 24, 2017;  Nov 26, 2016Mar 29, 2015Feb 13, 2015; Dec 3, 2014; Nov 30, 2014Mar 12, 2014

Princess Anne repeated the burgundy hat we saw her debut in January at Sandringham, giving us a closer look at its detail. Made of burgundy velvet, the hat follows the informal shape of a bucket hat with seamed crown and short brim. This version is trimmed with a double hatband piped in navy piping and burgundy and navy fabric rosettes at the side.

Embed from Getty Images

The colours on the hat pair well with Anne’s coat (I never noticed the burgundy piped navy collar before) and the burgundy shade is lovely on Anne. Is it a fashion forward item? Of course not! I suppose these fabric hats serve good purpose for informal events such as these, although I can’t help wishing she’d gone for another fedora instead, a shape that looks so chic on her.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Jan 27, 2019 

Zara Tindall topped her mulberry tweed coat with a coordinating percher hat in plum felt. The waved teardrop base is trimmed with a single quill and a spray of feathers in multiple shades of purple which ties beautifully with the different shades in the woven coat. Paired with a black and mulberry printed dress (you can just see the collar peeking out), this makes a fantastic look for Zara.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Juliette Botterill, likely from AW 2019 (not yet released). Pip Howeson coat.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

In a late addition to this post, Mike Tindall was also spotted at the races, in a very dapper tweed flat cap (and a tie matched to his wife’s ensemble!). Mike wears hats more than most other royal men (not counting uniform caps) and today is an example of how a simple hat can add polish and panache to a man’s ensemble. So handsome.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

What do you think of the hats today at the Cheltenham Races?

Photos from Getty as indicated

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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?

Embed from Getty Images

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?

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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?

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

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!)
Embed from Getty Images
Photos from Getty as indicated

Duchess Attends Lord Carrington’s Memorial

The Duchess of Cornwall attended a service of thanksgiving for the life and work of former foreign secretary Lord Carrington this morning at Westminster Abbey. For this memorial, she repeated her large black black felt hat with flyaway raised brim edged in a wide band of bias-woven ribbon.

Embed from Getty Images

We saw this hat not so long ago- there’s not much to add except that the lines are still beautiful and sleek lack of trim gives such sophistication to the design. It’s all kinds of good.

Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Nov 11, 2018Dec 25, 2016Nov 13, 2016Dec 25, 2015

Thoughts on seeing this hat out again?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Winter Ascot Race Day

Last Friday, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended The Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot Racecourse. The Duchess repeated her slouchy tan tweed hat with faux fur brim

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Lock & Co.  It is the Natalia/Frost design
Previously Worn: Mar 14, 2018;  Nov 24, 2017;  Nov 26, 2016Mar 29, 2015Feb 12, 2015Nov 30, 2014Mar 12, 2014
Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royals Attend Armistice Centenary Service

Queen Elizabeth was joined by members of her family last night at Westminster Abbey for a service marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended WWI. For this service, she repeated I suspected might have headed into retirement- her purple felt stylised Homburg with layered purple and black hatbands and black velvet oak leaf trim.

Embed from Getty Images

While the masculine hat shape isn’t my favourite, I’ve always loved this saturated purple on Her Majesty and admire how the black trim on the hat links with that splendid velvet coat collar. The brass buttons on the coat give a slight military nod, most fitting for this event,  and the overall look is good one. I had suspicions this hat had been sent into retirement but I’m very pleased to see it has not.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: Dec 21, 2014Nov 21, 2013May 13, 2013Feb 3, 2013Nov 26, 2012; Oct 25, 2012Nov 11, 2009 

The Duchess of Cornwall wore repeated a magnificent purple velvet felt boater hat with oblique crown and brim trimmed with double rows of raw-edged pleated silk and a spray of purple feathers. There’s so much to love here- colour, texture, sheen, presence, whimsy, shape, scale- I could go on and on. When a hat is done as well as this one, I’m happy to see it trotted out again.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Mar 13, 2017;  Oct 27, 2016Mar 3, 2015Mar 21, 2013Dec 25, 2012Mar 26, 2012Mar 12, 2012Oct 26, 2010;  Mar 8, 2010 

Duchess of Cambridge topped her green coat with a tall bandeau headpiece of black velvet.

Embed from Getty Images

This is the third kokoshnik shaped bandeau we’ve seen on Kate in recent months and while I applaud her experimentation with new millinery styles, I think this is a difficult shape to wear. Yes, it frames the wearer’s features in a lovely way but it also exaggerates elongated oval-shaped faces like Kate’s and I’m just not sure it flatters. I think a royal hat should look good from all angles- some views of this bandeau (like the one below) are great but others (some of the side views above) show it to be a bit clunky and awkward. Far away views are lovely but close up…. I need help seeing it as something other than an oversize black banana.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the “Velvet Headband” from AW 2018
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Duchess of Sussex wore a black felt blocked beret hat with center ‘stem’. The connection between berets and the military make this hat style a fitting choice for this event; its pairing here with a navy suit makes for a fittingly solemn ensemble that’s a welcome step away from head-to-toe black. This hat is a simple and streamlined one that I might consider boring at another event but here, works well.

Embed from Getty Images
Designer: My guess is Stephen Jones
Previously Worn: This hat is new
I’ve often commented about the challenges that memorial events such as these pose to royal fashion and thought the use of deep, jewel tones seen here hit a brilliantly appropriate balance. What do you think of this quartet of hats yesterday at Westminster Abbey?
Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royals Commemorate Remembrance Day & WWI Armistice Centenary

As this year’s Remembrance Sunday coincided with the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, special consideration (and royal attendance) surrounded this commemoration. A ceremony at the Cenotaph at Whitehall, in central London, occurred as it does each year, led by the Prince of Wales. He was joined by the Dukes of Cambridge, Sussex, York and Kent, the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex and Prince Michael of Kent, all in military uniform with respective caps of their rank.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images


Queen Elizabeth, who watched the service from a Whitehall balcony for the second time, wore a new hat in black felt. The design features an upturned kettle brim and tall molded crown, the top of which looks to be off the same block as Angela Kelly’s split crown hats. The hat is simply trimmed with a layered leather and felt hatband which circles the crown midway, finishing at the front in a looped knot. The streamlined embellishment works well on this design to balance the slightly awkward shape of the crown’s top.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Looks like Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her large black black felt hat with flyaway raised brim edged in a wide band of bias-woven ribbon. It’s still a dramatic statement piece for her with the most magnificently sleek lines.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Dec 25, 2016;  Nov 13, 2016Dec 25, 2015

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a new hat which, interestingly is a winter felt version of this straw hat already in her wardrobe. The lines of this design, with extended brim around the upswept back of the design are particularly lovely and beautifully punctuated with the slim binding around the brim. The choice of a single curling quill for trim is also the right one for this hat- overall, it’s an elegant piece that, I think, will be a good addition to Kate’s millinery collection.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Lock and Co. It is a bespoke version of the Abney from AW 2018. Coat is Alexander McQueen.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a black percher hat with bumper shaped base, trimmed with a single-looped side bow. These smaller profile millinery designs suit Meghan well and I really like the textural difference between the velvet felt of the hat and the silk wool of her coat. Large base button perchers sometimes read as a bit boring and the cuffed, bumper shape of this one has a slight military nod that fits this event very well.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown (my guess is Stephen Jones). Coat by Givenchy
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex’s modified saucer hat features a shallow button crown and wide brim and is trimmed with a large silk bow that drapes over half of the design. The sharply upswept angle that the hat’s base (visible in the third photo in the gallery below) places it on the head is key here- without it, I suspect the hat might read a bit 1980s twee but the elevated position keeps the piece looking modern and fresh.

Embed from Getty Images
The Countess of Wessex wore this hat later in the day when she and Prince Edward attended the Welsh National Service of Thanksgiving at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This hat is new. 
After the Cenotaph service, other royal family members traveled also to other services marking the Armistice centenary held around the United Kingdom. Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence attended the Scottish Commemorative Service at Glasgow Cathedral where Princess Anne repeated her black percher hat with net veil-overlaid round button base trimmed with a crescent of pointed black feathers. The percher style is a fairly new one for Anne but one I hope she continues to embrace as it works particularly well to modernize and soften her hairstyle.
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Nov 10, 2017Oct 4, 2017Jun 27, 2017
The Duke and Duchess Gloucester attended the Armistice Day Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the Duke in a black bowler hat and the Duchess in a lovely new peacock blue felt pillbox with domed crown. The colour of this piece is wonderful on Brigitte and pairs so well with her navy coat to create an overall ensemble that is a little punchier than we usually see at such memorial events but still perfectly appropriate. 


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Finally, the Prince of Wales attended a Remembrance Service at the Guards’ Chapel at Wellington Barracks. The Prince, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards Regiment, wore a traditional regimental bowler hat.

Embed from Getty Images
Several family members also attended a service at Westminster Abbey commemorating the centenary of the WWI Armistice- we’ll look at those hats in a post coming up first thing tomorrow morning. For now, what do you think of this first round of hats we saw worn for Remembrance Day yesterday?
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

British Royals Welcome Dutch State Visit

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima began a two-day state visit to Great Britain today with official welcomes first from the Dutch Ambassador in London, then from Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. As she usually does, Queen Máxima kicked off the state visit with a new ensemble, this one topped with a sculpted bandeau headpiece. 

Embed from Getty Images

The headpiece is covered in the same pale pink fabric studded with fine gold sequins as the mid section of her coat- a design feature that works thanks to the coat’s contrasting finely woven tweed on the top and skirt that breaks up the overall look.  I think this is the first bandeau we’ve seen on Queen Máxima and it is shown to great impact with her wonderful hairstyle and fantastic jewellery. The shape is a smart choice for this event- it’s chic, elegant and completely on-trend while the subtle colour palate keeps her from overshadowing her husband and Queen Elizabeth, the two true heads of state at this meetup. As much as I’d love to see Máxima in a more dramatic hat with this coat, this event really wasn’t the time to pull one out of the cupboard. I think this is some very well-played strategic, diplomatic dressing from Queen Máxima and her stylist. 

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unconfirmed. Coat by Claes Iversen.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Queen Elizabeth repeated her royal purple felt hat with square crown, upfolded kettle brim and dark purple velvet hatband, trimmed with silk irises and velvet leaves.

Embed from Getty Images

The connection between hat and coat remains a very good one and I adore how the velvet trim adds a luxurious contrast of colour and texture to both pieces. A conversation here last week about the usual placement of hat trim on the right side (from our view, the left!) balancing the ever-present brooch has me wishing, again, that the flower and leaf trim on this design was placed on the side but it’s a minor quibble that doesn’t take away how lovely the Queen looks in this shade of purple and how good the overall ensemble is on her.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: Mar 6, 2018; Dec 7, 2017Nov 24, 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall surprised in a new hat- I say surprised because the shape is so familiar (she has at least three others off the same hat block) it took me a while to realize this hat is not one we’ve seen before! In navy straw, the design features a wide, sidesweeping brim and angular crown with off-center peak, and is finished with large straw twists. The colour is lovely on Camilla and, like Queen Máxima’s pale pink, slightly muted her presence in group photos.  While the scale and shape of this have become very familiar, they make up her quintessential signature millinery look- a look which continues to suit her so very well.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 456 from SS 2018
Previously Worn: This hat is new

While longtime reader JamesB predicted (hoped?!) in comments yesterday that the Queen would pay tribute to the House of Orange by wearing her new rust or orange hat, Buckingham Palace acknowledged that instead, a symbolic nod was paid through dessert at the following luncheon- a chocolate orange torte! Desserts aside, dearest readers, what do you think of this trio of royal hats in London today?
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated