Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hatsto June 21, 1989 and proof from the Duchess of Kent that even with the omnipresent 1980s bow, some elegant and streamlined millinery looks could still be found during this decade. As for the Queen Mum’s pink veiled capulet hat- well that’s the classic hat shape I think we’ve all come to associate with her. So charming.

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Thanks for sharing any royal hats worn around the world today, in the comments below.

Photos from Getty as indicated

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. It’s always wonderful to see the Duchess of Kent at this event and rather disappointing there is not a better view of her hat to share. It looks to be a lavender pillbox, likely in straw, trimmed with a large spray of face-framing feathers on the side.

June 9, 2018 | Royal Hats

UPDATE- thanks to avid royal watcher and photographer Paul Ratcliffe for sharing this photo of the Duchess, just for us! This view confirms her hat is a high lavender textured straw bandeau, with feather trim framing the right side of her face. The colour is lovely on Katharine and the bandeau style suits her bobbed haircut really well. It’s a fresh and modern headpiece that proves cutting edge style is possible at any age!


Designer: I believe it is Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Helen Taylor repeated the white homberg crowned ht with upswept brim and navy bow trim we saw her wear to this event last year, with an added red and fuchsia hued silk flower on the front of the hat. The addition of this flower transforms the hat (hiding the distinctive crown shape makes it appear to be a different style) and firmly ties the colour palate to Helen’s fuchsia printed dress. Seeing this transformation makes me wonder why we don’t see such minor millinery renovations on more royal hats! Helen’s sister-in-law, Lady Nicholas Windsor, wore a dusky pink straw button based percher hat trimmed with large silk roses and dotted net tulle veil.

June 9, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer of Helen’s hat: Stephen Jones
Previously Worn:  June 17, 2017
Designer of Paola’s hat: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

Lady Helen’s younger daughter, Estella Taylor, seen below on the far right, wore a button based cocktail hat in natural straw, trimmed with cream, ecru and grey fabric rosettes and a grey net tulle veil.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

While Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Gloucester were in attendance, they did not appear in any photographs.

UPDATE- Again, avid royal watcher and photographer Paul Ratcliffe comes to our rescue! My deepest thanks to Paul for posting these photos just for our benefit! Princess Alexandra repeated her dove grey straw with tall, flat crown and cartwheel brim trimmed with a large straw knotted bow and a swath of dotted net tulle overlaying the hat’s brim. The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her black pillbox with new addition of a black tulle veil.


Designer of Alexandra’s hat: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 6, 2009 and likely others
Designer of Brigitte’s hat: unknown. My guess is Lock and Co.
Previously Worn: March 19, 2013June 20, 2011Oct 9, 2009June 03, 2006

Lady Rose Gilham was also in attendance on the Buckingham Palace balcony this year in a slate blue-grey vertical saucer hat trimmed with a bow and feathers.

June 9, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

Julia Ogilvy, who recently graduated from the Harvard Divinity School, paired her dotted grey dress with a tall grey straw stovepipe hat with cartwheel brim trimmed with an exquisite spray of straw roses and leaves. Flora Ogilvy repeated the wide brimmed cream straw picture hat with square crown and large, layered side bow that she seems to have permanently appropriated from her mother’s millinery closet! And no wonder, as it’s a wonderful, classic and clearly versatile hat.

June 9, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer of Julia’s hat: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new
Designer of Flora’s hat: unknown
Previously Worn: June 17, 2017June 11, 2016; originally worn by Julia June 15, 2006

Zenouska Mowatt topped her vibrant pink, lilac, orange and white patterned dress with a textured white straw beret percher hat trimmed with curling white feathers and a pink and orange straw knotted flying bow. There’s a lot of texture going on in this piece and while I really like its idiosyncratic creativity, I’m not convinced it complements or relates enough with the dress to work well together.

Designer:  Jane Taylor. Dress from Dhela

Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Michael of Kent used the occasion to début a new hat. In almond straw, the design features a flat crown and wide, cartwheel brim and is simply trimmed with a wide straw hatband. Marie-Christine favours dramatic millinery statements and this one feels surprisingly sedate and traditional for her. It’s another versatile piece I think we’ll see again many times in years to come. 

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:This hat is new

Lady Frederick Windsor topped her beautifully cut suit with an ecru straw vertical saucer hat trimmed with a cream feather lotus flower and slim, curling straw tails. The steep diagonal lines of the hat work so well with the similar line on the hem of Sophie’s jacket. This is not a hat I’d be drawn to on its own but with this suit, forms a really lovely ensemble.

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Designer: Siggi Hats. It is S18-459 from SS 2018. Suit from Catherine Walker
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Gabriella Windsor wore a cream straw hat with angular crown and gently sideswept brim, trimmed with straw twists and a handful of white silk sweet peas. It’s a style, scale and colour of hat we’ve seen often on Gabriella but one that she carries so well. The open neck of her blue coat dress is a particularly effective compliment to the lines of the hat and the two pieces join to create a beautifully balanced look.

Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 475 from SS 2018. Coat by Claire Mischevani
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Trooping the Colour is always a highlight in our royal hat watching calendar and this year was no different! I’m curious, dear readers, which hats stood out most to you?
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Photos from Getty as indicated; James Devaney and James Devaney via Getty; Mark Stewart and Paul Ratcliffe via Twitter

British Royal Wedding: Gloucesters and Kents

 We turn our attention now to hats worn by members of the Gloucester and Kent families. The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her pale slate blue straw pillbox with matching tulle veil trim. A classic piece, it brought some lightness to Brigitte’s beautifully cut navy coat.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:June 17, 2017June 1, 2017July 1, 2016June 12, 2016June 10, 2016:

It was wonderful to see the Duchess of Kent, who seems to have given up public appearances except to step out on the Buckingham Palace balcony every few years during Trooping The Colour. She topped her purple floral dress with a straw based percher hat trimmed in a voluminous triple ruffle of purple, lavender and cream layered crin. I’d have preferred Katharine to place the hat slightly forward, more on the side of her head but it’s simply nice to see her in public.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Alexandra débuted a new palest pink straw picture hat. The hat features a wide brim and slightly squared crown around which looks to be wrapped a ruched hatband. A spray of light feathers on the side completes the piece. Alexandra wears larger hats so well and this one is a lovely pairing with her printed dress and pink jacket.

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Designer: I believe it is Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Michael of Kent repeated a dramatically large hat with a shallow crown and slightly mushroom curved wide brim. The hat is trimmed with oversize cabbage roses tucked above and below the right side of the brim which are studded with slim curling feathers. The design is finished with a finely woven veil with dotted border. I thought the hat showed to great effect against her streamlined salmon skirt, tunic and jacket and pearls.

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Designer: I believe it is Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 19, 2007April 23, 2006

I thought Princess Alexandra’s new pink hat was a particular beauty- what do you think of this quartet of pastel pieces?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats thirty years to March 25, 1988 and the Duchess of Kent in a prim pink straw boater with printed silk hatband for a visit with the Duke to St. Albans.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

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