Prince of Wales Hosts Palace Garden Party

This season of British royal garden parties kicked off today with the Prince of Wales hosting this year’s first event, on behalf of the Queen, at Buckingham Palace. The Prince, who carried his black silk top hat, was joined by his wife and sister.

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The Duchess of Cornwall repeated a cream straw picture hat with off-center, peaked crown, upswept brim and spiky ecru feather explosion on the side. It’s a familiar look from Camilla but one she carries very well.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 5, 2018; July 1, 2017June 20, 2017

Princess Anne repeated a pale blue straw stovepipe crowned hat wrapped in a wide silk organza hatband that ties in a large bow. Today, Anne placed the bow around the back, leaving the arrow trimmed feathers studded in it nearly out of view.

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While it’s a lovely colour for her (particularly with that gobstopping aquamarine pendant!), the hat’s scale and tall crown is simply too big. There are at least three other pale blue hats in Anne’s wardrobe (here, here and here) with more flattering scale and shape- one ought to match well enough with this suit to pair with it.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: July 1, 2015; June 18, 2013; June 14, 2011; likely others 

Thoughts on this pair of hats today at Buckingham Palace?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Duchess of Cornwall Attends Military Parade

I need to delay coverage of the Imperial Enthronement a day while I continue searching for photos, so will jump to other royal events happening today. The Duchess of Cornwall was at Aldershot Military Athletics Stadium this morning to take part in the 4th Battalion, The Rifles military parade. For this awards ceremony, the Duchess, who is Royal Colonel of the regiment, repeated her textured black beret hat trimmed with mottled, dark green feather.

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We see Camilla in so many wide brimmed hats, it’s a nice change to see her in something smaller scale (although, as far as berets go, this one is rather large!).  The scale is a good one for the Duchess, and the beret shape and dark palate is a good contrast against her blonde hair while fitting well for military events such as these. The feather has also grown on me in the decade this hat has been in circulation- while I initially was not a fan, I’ve come around to appreciate it as a strong statement and love how it seems to hover in front of the hat- something that looks effortless but I know, is not!

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: May 22, 2012; Nov 20, 2010; Nov 14, 2010; May 5, 2010; Dec 14, 2009; Nov 5, 2009; Oct 9, 2009; Dec 14, 2007

While this hat has been publicly worn for more than a decade, I believe this is the first time we’ve discussed it here. So, dearest readers- what do you think of this black beret on the Duchess?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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