Sussexes Arrive In Fiji

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex continued their South Pacific tour today in Fiji where they will spend two and a half days before moving on to Tonga. For their arrival in Suva, the Duchess topped her white silk dress with a white sinamay percher hat with blocked base in the shape of a flat beret. The design is trimmed with white silk tulle, crin, widely woven net veil and a flat, rolled bow in the same straw as the hat with unfinished, frayed edges.

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The white straw base has a faint metallic thread in its weave which shows beautiful luminosity and a faint sparkle in the photos taken at dusk. The shape and scale isn’t anything particularly memorable (we’ve seen it often before) but suits Meghan well but the colour is noteworthy for how beautifully it contrasts against her complexion and dark hair. I’m less enamored with the hat’s trim, which I suspect is a haute couture statement but to my eye, ends up looking a bit haphazard and messy.

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Designer: Stephen Jones. It is the “Afternoon Tea” design from Miss Jones SS 2016 Collection
Previously Worn: This hat is new
I was surprised to see Meghan step off the plane today in a hat but it topped an elegant ensemble and is, undoubtedly, a classic enough design to be easily paired with another ensemble in the future. What do you think of this white percher hat today in Fiji?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Sussexes Visit Sydney ANZAC Memorial

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently in Australia on their third day of a 16-day tour that will also take them to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Today (Saturday, October 20) they attended the official opening of ANZAC Memorial at Hyde Park in Sydney. For this memorial event, the Prince Harry wore the tropical dress Blues and Royals uniform, of which is he is Captain, complete with the gold aiguillette braided ropes over his right shoulder and chest reflecting his new role as personal aide-de-camp to the Queen.

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The Duchess made her first millinery repeat with this black straw teardrop-shaped percher design trimmed with straw twists and a black quill.

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I still think it’s a smart hat for Meghan- not boring nor too exuberant for a memorial event such as this. Black hats probably get the most use of all pieces in a royal millinery closet and for Meghan, this colour will, for a while, be one that blends with her hair. The twist trim makes it stand out a bit and the placement – hugging the right side of Meghan’s face and centered over her right eyebrow – is really well done. There’s little worse than a percher hat plonked in the middle of a royal head.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 471 from SS 2018. Dress by Emilia Wickstead.
Previously Worn: August 4, 2018
What do you think of this hat, seeing it now for the second time?
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Photos from Getty as indicated

York Royal Wedding

Here is a summary of all the hats we saw at yesterday’s royal wedding:

The Bride, Groom & Wedding Party

Immediate Families
Queen Elizabeth, Sarah, Duchess of York, Princess Beatrice, Nicola Brooksbank

Cambridge, Sussex & Wessex Families
Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor

Phillips and Armstrong-Jones Families
The Princess Royal, Autumn Phillips, Zara Tindall,
Countess of Snowdon, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Sarah Chatto

Kent and Gloucester Families
Duchess of Gloucester, Lady Helen Taylor, Zenouska Mowatt,
Princess Michael of Kent, Lady Frederick Windsor, Lady Gabriella Windsor

Royal Guests
Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Princess Maria Olympia of Greece;
Chantal Hochuli; Princess Ekaterina, and Princess Alessandra of Hannover

Other Noteable Guests

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Photos from Getty as indicated

York Royal Wedding: Cambridge, Sussex and Wessex Families

With the Duchess of Cornwall away in Scotland performing previously scheduled engagements, we continue our look at the royal hats at today’s wedding with a stunning design worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. In ruby velvet felt, the blocked beret design is trimmed with a handmade spray of roses and leaves and a deep pink net tulle veil. The colour is stunning on Kate and contrasts beautifully against the slightly different shade of deep pink of her dress.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Flowers on the hat by Anfisa Korelova. Dress by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Duchess of Sussex added a new milliner to her growing list of hat suppliers with this blocked navy straw beret trimmed with knife-edged folded crin.  The trim gives a great sense of movement to the hat, although I wish it was more dimmensional- as it is, it’s a bit flat.

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Designer: Noel Stewart for Givenchy. Dress and coat by Givenchy.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex wore a tall, curved navy disc hat backed in wide layers of pleated navy crin. While I really wish we had better views of this design, it looks to be a dramatic piece that Sophie carried well.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Azzedine Alaia.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Louise Windsor did a great job leading the young bridesmaids and pages in a smart navy satin covered button percher with slim satin looped bows, some of which are beaded. It’s a wonderful scale on young Louise and that little bit of sparkle is perfect on her. So lovely!

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Designer:  Emily London. Dress by Claudie Pierlot 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Four more lovely royal hats, don’t you agree?
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Photos from Getty as indicated

Sussexes Attend Country Wedding

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in Surrey today to attend the wedding of Prince Harry’s friend since childhood, Charlie Van Straubenzee, to Daisy Jenks.

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The Duchess, who also celebrates her 37th birthday today, attended the wedding in a new hat. With a teardrop shaped base in fine black straw, the hat is trimmed with signature Philip Treacy twists and a single feather quill.

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It’s a smart hat for Meghan that paired very well with her colour blocked dress. The twist trim gives the hat some energy and character while the monochrome scheme is elegant and mutes the hat’s overall statement, leaving it able to easily blend in with the crowd. And kudos to Meghan for excellent placement, hugging the side of her head.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 471 from SS 2018. Dress by Canadian brand Club Monaco
Previously Worn: This hat is new
I think this is a great look for the new Duchess on her birthday. What do you think of this new hat?
Photos from Getty as indicated

RAF Centenary Part I

Members of the British royal family attended a series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force this morning in London, including a service at Westminster Abbey, presentation of new colours on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and a spectacular military a flypast and feu de joie down The Mall.

The Queen led her family in a hat we saw just over a month ago.  With a dark blue silk covered crown, the design features a wider-than-usual double straw brim (turquoise on top, dark blue on the bottom) with turquoise silk covered kettle upturned straight edge. The hat’s tall crown is wrapped in an overlay of diagonal pleats of overlapping dark blue and turquoise silk and the design is finished with a pair of peacock feathers at the side.

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Today’s photos highlight how tall the crown on this hat is, height that, I think, puts it slightly out of proportion. Issues of shape and scale aside, I continue to admire the punchy colour scheme. Say what you will, the ensemble allowed Her Majesty to stand out in a sea of uniforms, which today, was no small task.

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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: May 31, 2018June 25, 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her ivory straw hat with asymmetrically peaked crown and a wide, sideswept brim trimmed in multiple layers of sand coloured straw ribbon wrapped around the base of the crown and looped into a large stylized bow at the side. The Prince of Wales wore the uniform and cap of his ranking as Marshal of the Royal Air Force.

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It’s a beautiful hat on Camilla, who pulls off a head-to-hem cream ensemble better than anyone else. The pairing of this dramatic hat with the streamlined cream dress is a particularly elegant one that elegantly stood apart from the sea of navy uniforms.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 17, 2017; June 15, 2016June 17, 2015June 6, 2014

The Duchess of Cambridge was in attendance, wearing a hat by theater and television milliner Sean Barrett (made famous by the wonderful hats he created for the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’). The hat’s base, in palest blue straw overlaid in two layers of net tulle veil, follows the slightly domed shape of a Juliette cap. The design is trimmed with a multi looped bow in blue straw, white silk organza flowers with tiny blue centers and tufts of blue net veil.

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I love seeing Kate work with new milliners, especially such unexpected collaborations as this. There’s a lot going on on this small hat but it works beautifully with Kate’s streamlined coat and manages not to compete with the spectacular RAF Air Cadets Dacre diamond brooch. Some might argue that the hat would work better on the side of her head but I suspect, from the shape of the base that this was its intended placement and it works.

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Designer: Sean Barrett. Coat by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a new cocktail hat with completely different feel and shape to anything we’ve seen her in so far. The light-as-air design features a folded swirl of pleated navy crin supported on a flat straw teardrop shaped base with point facing down the back of Meghan’s head.

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The design’s wonderful sense of movement contrasts so beautifully against Meghan’s streamlined dress, lightening the elegantly austere design. The dress’ wide, bateau neckline works so well with the hat, which appears to be almost flying on its own (a subtle RAF reference from Stephen Jones, perhaps?), and the retro feel of the ensemble fits wonderfully for this event. I think it’s an outstanding look for Meghan.

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Designer: Stephen Jones. Dress by Dior.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
I believe the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex’s uniforms and caps reflected their ranks of Squadron Leader.
We’ll look at hats worn by the Countess of Wessex, Princess Royal, Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, and Princess Michael in the next post but there’s enough here to get discussion started- what do you think of these first four hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Christening of Prince Louis

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought their son, Prince Louis, to the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace today to be christened in a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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For this event, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a  bandeau headpiece in textured vanilla straw, trimmed with silk flowers, leaves and tufts of net tulle veil.
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The bandeau style is a departure for Kate and it’s great to see her continuing her recent streak of experimenting with different hat shapes. The trim on this piece is exquisite and the textured, nubbly straw gives great dimension and creates the illusion that it is studded in pearls.
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My only design qualm is the height-  I’m not sure that this raised bandeau shape (reminiscent of a traditional Russian Kokoshnik headpiece) is the most flattering on oval shaped faces and suspect a flatter design would have worked better for Kate. This issue aside, a bandeau is a great option for events in hot weather and this one balances well with the open neck and puffed sleeves on Kate’s dress. It’s a good take on the all-cream uniform she has worn for each of her children’s christenings and I really like how she has adapted this dress code with different pieces at each one (see her ensemble at Prince George’s christening here and Princess Charlotte’s here).

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It’s a custom version of the “Cassandra” headpiece from SS 2018. Dress by Alexander McQueen

Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Charlotte wore a blue headband trimmed with a bow, sweetly matched with her Mary Janes.

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The Duchess of Cornwall topped her cream silk dress with straw hat with wide, sidesweeping kettle brim. The hat, made of ecru textured straw, is simply trimmed with a slim straw hatband tied with a side bow, visible only from side view. The gentle curves on the upturned brim are really lovely on Camilla and I really like how the textured straw on the hat, patterned purse and two-toned shoes brought some warmth and dimension to her

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Designer: Lock & Co. Dress by Fiona Clare.

Previously Worn: November 9, 2012

The Duchess of Sussex wore a new hat in olive green crinoline capeline overlaid with net veil in the same colour. The hat’s shape follows a shallow crown and wide brim with upsweep on one side. The hat is simply trimmed with a large bow in translucent olive green crin on the lower side of the brim.

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Olive green is an not a colour we see on very many royal hats- it’s fantastic on Meghan’s colouring and makes a great, semi-neutral compliment to the cream and pale blues worn by other family members. The shape of this piece works so well with the boat neckline of the accompanying dress and the  layered use of crin and veil gives the great lightness and a subtle textural pattern that contrasts against the dress, coordinating with it while still making its own statement. I think it’s an outstanding look for the Duchess that keeps with her signature streamlined style while still being incredibly interesting.

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Designer: Stephen Jones. Dress by Ralph Lauren
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Carole Middleton topped her Suzannah pale aqua dress with a matching Juliette Botterill designed saucer hat in pinokpok with knotted bow detail and crescent feather trim. Pippa Middleton Matthews wore a Jane Taylor designed blue straw saucer with raised back, trimmed with blue silk abaca twists, feathers and net veil.

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Thoughts about the royal hats seen at Prince Louis’ christening today?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated