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 

This Week’s Extras

My sincere thanks, everyone, for continuing the royal hat conversation here over the past month. It was wonderful to step away from the blog and know you would care for it while I was away. Thank you very much. 

You have all done an amazing job sharing all the royal hats that have made an appearance over the past month. Here’s another look at the pair for church this morning at Windsor. Queen Elizabeth repeated her lilac-grey straw hat with handmade blooms by Rachel Trevor Morgan while the Duchess of Sussex wore a headpiece of what looks like black straw and crin petals that I believe is new.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
From UK milliner Vivien Sheriff, a fuchsia beret percher covered in orange lace with beaded applique flower trim
Black & white straw saucer with black lace applique flower trim by French brand Mei Mei France Chapeaux
Fantastic handmade gold wire floral bandeau by Irish milliner Ashleigh Myles
For our dear gents, these dapper and very sleek wool caps by UK brand Marrison Millinery
Wide teal dotted silk bandeau with feather explosion and sequinned bow by Kentucky-based The Mad Duchess
Sleekly elegant ecru straw cuffed teardrop design with pearl trimmed quill by Irish milliner Sheila McCarthy
Olive and ochre felt wide brimmed saucer with slim gold trim and bows from British milliner Sarah Cant
Midnight blue fur felt beret percher with wonderful leather twist trim from Australian milliner Tracy Mackinnon

And from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, this fantastic cocktail hat with silk satin covered button base trimmed with a mass of blue and black feathers studded with crystals and pearls and the most wonderfully patterned birdcage veil.

Princess Marie Chantal is releasing a book this week

Great message from Princess Esmeralda of Belgium

Sheikh Mohammad attempted to keep the terrifying ways he has treated female members of his family a secret but it came out this week.  This solidifies my support behind Princess Haya and makes me hope there will be further investigation into Sheikha Shamsa and Sheikha Latifa’s current realities. (BBC)
Lovely pair of photos released by the Swedish court in celebration of Prince Oscar’s fourth birthday. A few weeks ago, another pair were released for Princess Estelle’s eighth birthday.


We end this week with the Duke of Cambridge showcasing a hidden talent!

Photos from social media as indicated

Duchess of Sussex’s Christmas Hats

While we’re not going to see the Duchess of Sussex on Christmas Day this year (she, the Duke and young Archie are reportedly spending the holidays with her mother in California), Meghan has made two Christmas Day appearances with the royal family so far:

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Copper brown felt brimless design with side twist by Philip Treacy in 2017;
Black felt beret percher with crin bow and navy feathers by Awon Golding in 2018

I’ve always admired Meghan’s first Christmas Day hat- it’s such a bold shape for her first public hatted event and the colour was wonderful against her complexion. I’m not brave enough to carry off a hat such as this and I so admire that she did.

Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royals Commemorate Remembrance Sunday

Members of the British Royal Family joined veterans, military servicepeople, members of government and civilians for a Remembrance Ceremony held yesterday morning at The Cenotaph, in Whitehall.

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The Prince of Wales, who placed wreaths on The Cenotaph of behalf of his mother, was joined by the Princess Royal, the Dukes of Cambridge, Sussex, York, and Kent and the Earl of Wessex, all in military uniform.

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Queen Elizabeth, who watched the service from a Whitehall balcony for the third year, repeated a black straw hat with silk crepe covered crown and binds the upturned kettle brim. The hat is simply trimmed with a stripe of black silk which circles the crown, anchored by two covered buttons in the font.

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Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 27, 2017; Nov 8, 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall wore a new, brimless hat. The design follows an oversize helmet (or mushroom top?) shape with gently rounded edges. The curved lines of the hat are dramatically accentuated with a mass of overlapping black feathers that circle around it.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Cambridge also wore a new, brimless hat, her design built on a formed teardrop beret base with gentle crease down the center which gives it a gentle curve. The hat is beautifully trimmed with black braid ‘frog’ fasteners and corresponding beaded buttons which, along with the embroidered and tassel trimmed swags on her coat, give a thoughtful military nod to the day.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Catherine Walker
Previously Worn: this hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a streamlined black felt hat with wide cartwheel brim. The straight sides of the hat’s crown elevate its sophistication, as does its slim hatband, tied in front in an elegantly austere bow.

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Designer: Stephen Jones’ ‘Facetime’ from AW 2019 Miss Jones Collection. Coat by Stella McCartney. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex wore a black felt perching saucer hat trimmed with a large bow. A subtle swirl on the inside of the saucer (created through hand shaping) gives lovely movement to the design.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the ‘Black Felt Hat With Bow’ from AW 2019. 
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Gloucester usually attend this event but so far, do not appear in any photographs (I’ll update the post if they do). In the meantime, there are some beautiful new hats here to admire.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Sussexes Visit Field of Remembrance

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the 91st Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey this morning.

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While the Duke predictably wore military uniform with cap, the Duchess wore a new percher hat. In deep midnight blue velvet felt, the hat’s teardrop base, which curves down around the face, is punctuated with a knotted bow. The hat is completed with a an overlaid birdcage veil in large honeycomb weave, dotted with crystals.

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The design hits just the right note of subdued solemnity at an event such as this. The colour is particularly brilliant, its deep hue a fittingly somber alternative to black that looks lovely on Meghan and will equally suit future, less sober engagements (how great would this hat be on Christmas Day?). It’s such an expertly balanced design and I admire how the veil adds texture and the faintest hint of sparkle around Meghan’s face.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC-630 from AW 2019. Coat from Sentaler. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

What do you think of this new hat today at Westminster Abbey?

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Photos from Getty as indicated