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.
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.
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. .
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.
Lady Amelia Windsor, Prince and Princess Michael and family and Lady Rose Gilman and daughter Lyla on the balcony at Trooping. pic.twitter.com/1myWLI1fqF
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Over the weekend, James and Julia Ogilvy (James is the son of Princess Alexandra and the late Angus Ogilvy) celebrated their twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. We don’t often look back at millinery fashion from the late 1980s so I thought we’d grab the opportunity of this milestone to do so.
James Ogilvy and Julia Rawlinson met during their first year at St. Andrews University and married on July 30, 1988 at St. Mary The Virgin Church in Saffron Walden, a small market town in the bride’s home county of Essex just south of Cambridge. Julia wore a gown in white dupioni silk with a v-neck, fitted bodice, and full, ballgown skirt that swept into a short train. The dress is firmly dated in the late 1980s by the voluminous leg ‘o mutton sleeves trimmed with bows (a popular design detail that in all likelihood was also on the back of the dress!). Devoid of lace or beaded trimming, the stars of this dress are its silhouette and the silk of which it is made. Not surprising for a country wedding of a more distant member of the royal family, Julia forwent a tiara and anchored her silk tulle veil with a crescent of fresh flowers to match her bouquet.
The bridesmaids, which included Lady Gabriella Windsor (front left, below), wore dresses in the same white dupioni silk with pale pink sashes and similar floral headpieces to the bride. The bridal party had a quintessentially English country look that might seem familiar thanks to the popular movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” which screened just six years later.
Princess Alexandra topped her cerulean blue suit with a matching straw hat. While not as tall as the designs we see her favour today, the hat had many design elements that seem “oh-so Alexandra”- a pork pie shaped crown, wide brim and lavish silk flower trim. It’s a wonderful hat and the saturated colour was particularly beautiful on her. Alexandra’s daughter Marina, shown on the right in the photo below, wore a classically shaped hat in black textured straw with a wide brim.
Queen Elizabeth wore a two toned straw hat with rounded black crown and flat, yellow brim. A wide yellow hatband and spray of black cherries completed the hat. The cherries were an unusual and fun trim and while the graphic hat did an excellent job of grounding the eye-assaulting paint splattered suit, I think the entire ensemble was so firmly rooted in the late 1980s that it’s best left there.
Diana, Princess of Wales, topped her Catherine Walker dress and grey coat with white straw picture hat by Philip Somerville. The hat, with a short upturn on the brim, was simply trimmed with a ruched white hatband and marks a time when the princess was transitioning from the smaller, fussier hats she wore in the early years of her marriage to the more streamlined style she adopted over the next decade.
The complete antithesis of Diana’s streamlined hat, Princess Margaret’s hat was textbook 1980s excess! In vibrant royal blue, her halo brimmed design was entirely covered in silk blooms on the underside of the brim that framed her face like a peephole in a rose garden. Attractive? I’m not sure. Memorable? Absolutely!
While just twenty-two years old at the time of this wedding, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (now Lady Sarah Chatto) was already showing signs of her uncluttered millinery style and preference for classic hat shpaes with a simple straw wide-brimmed hat with contrasting hat band.
The Duchess of Gloucester topped her red suit with a large boater style hat in straw trimmed with side sprays of flowers both above and below the brim and a monochrome hatband. The Duchess of Kent went for fashionable 1980s polka dots with her ensemble, matching her pale pink dotted suit to the bumper brim of her hat. It looks like the hat was finished with a bow at the back and a pale pink straw domed crown.
The Duchess of Kent’s daughter, Lady Helen Windsor (now Lady Helen Taylor) was typically fashion-forward in a crownless straw hat with upturned brim trimmed with a large scarf of blue organza at the back that trailed down her back (see it at the 6:00 mark in the video below)
Finally, Princess Michael of Kent wore a pale pink straw hat edged in black piping, placed at a rakish diagonal angle on the side of her head. We’re so used to grand design elements (soaring brims, huge feathers etc.) on Marie Christine’s current hats that the smaller scale and gentle shape of this piece makes for a great surprise.
1980s fashion is often not regarded with kindness and while several design elements in the hats seen here seem rather dated, I think they are wonderfully elegant examples of the millinery fashions of the day. What hats stand out to you most at this 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The wedding of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles ten years ago was attended by numerous members of the British Royal Family. After looking at the hats worn by the couple’s immediate families and Charles’ siblings,let’s look back at the millinery worn by members of the extended British Royal Family.
Viscountess Linley followed the fascinator trend of the time with a statement headpiepiece of pink feathers. The piece curved around her head, down the side of her face, leaving her looking like her head was alight in pink flames. I adore the colour of this headpiece with her grey sill suit find the shape to be overly theatrical. Lady Sarah Chatto was characteristically streamlined in a large dove grey picture hat. Embellished only with a slim silk band around the base of the crown, the focus of the hat was found in the contrasting shapes of the flat crown and cartwheel brim. With Sarah’s coordinating dove grey dress and coat, the look was streamlined, clean and elegant (and the perfect backdrop for some of her late mother’s diamonds).
The Duchess of Gloucester (center, below) topped her tailored powder blue coat with a wide picture hat in the same shade. The hat was wrapped in multiple strips of organdie ribbon braided in a wide plait.
The Duchess of Kent wore a flirty mint green cocktail hat with silk base and cascade of side feathers. While I think more vibrant colours are much more flattering on Katharine, her hat was whimsical and unexpected and I liked it much more than her pale floral and mint green silk suit.
Princess Alexandra of Kent topped her lilac jacket with a felt hat in the same shade. The higher-than-usual domed crown was balanced by a wide brim that slightly upturned on one side and a triple pleated band that knotted at the front of the hat. I adore this shade of purple on Alexandra but wonder how many sandwiches were hidden under the tall crown (what other purpose could warrant the height of that crown other than smuggling snacks?)
Princess Michael of Kent chose an ensemble in classic navy and white. Her hat also featured a domed crown, anchored by an oval brim in cream straw. The hat’s only trim, a curving horizontally placed feather spine, was a little austere but emphasized the oval shape of the hat. The austerity of the hat balanced the fussiness of her suit and accessories (how many brooches does a royal really need?) and I think her hat translates more successfully today than the rest of her ensemble.