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

Ascot Day 1: Duke & Duchess of Sussex

We certainly didn’t have to wait long for the Duchess of Sussex to make her Ascot debut! All eyes were on the newest British royal couple today- no surprise as the Duchess wore the most elaborate hat we’ve seen her in so far. A statement design in white sinamay, the hat’s upsweep is counter balanced by a down facing teardrop point on the opposite side. The fluid shape is punctuated with a wide black straw binding stripe around the piece and a gossamer-light black crin brim around the upswept side of the hat. The design is completed with trimmed black quills and a knotted patent leather figure-eight bow.

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I think it’s a fantastic hat for Meghan. The organic shape has such a delicate lightness, it appears from some angles almost to float over her head. The crin brim factors significantly in the hat’s airness, softening the graphic, monochrome colour scheme and lending subtle sheen that beautifully frames Meghan’s face. Black and white ensembles sometimes carry a harsh edge and while the colour contrast still brings punch to this one, the shape of the hat, the crin brim, the lace trim and flow of Meghan’s silk dress all combine to create a softer, layered look. What we’ve seen of Meghan’s style so far is that it is the anthesis of fussy and while this hat certainly makes a statement, it also appears to fit her style well.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 423 from SS 2018. Givenchy dress.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Prince Harry repeated his black silk top hat and while it looks in marginally better shape than during its last outing, it could still use a good polish. As the new Duchess of Sussex learns to care for her expanding millinery wardrobe, let’s hope she extends some TLC with this hat as well.

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I suspect Meghan’s hat will yield much response- what did you think of it?!
Photos from Getty as indicated

Duke & Duchess of Sussex Attend Spencer Family Wedding

Celia McCorquodale, daughter of Sarah (Spencer) and Neil McCorquodale, was married over the weekend to George Woodhouse. Celia topper her lace gown with the beautifully scrolled Spencer family tiara, one undoubtedly familiar to royal watchers. After all the rumour that it was make its first noteable outing on the Duchess of Sussex’s head at her own wedding last month, I was secretly pleased to see it here, at this lower key, family affair.


Sarah McCorquodale topped her blush pink dress and coat with a cream straw upswept saucer hat by Atelier Millinery trimmed with silk blossoms and tulle out the outside, raised brim side of the hat.

Celia’s older sister Emily topped her green and pink coat with a pink straw button base percher hat trimmed with silk roses, straw bow loops and curling quills. The design, also from Atelier Millinery, is the “Gin Fizz”. 


Countess Spencer wore a cream straw vertical disc hat backed with multiple cream crin bows. The design is a similar one to the striking purple hat she wore to the Sussex’s wedding last month– no wonder as both are bespoke pieces from Rachel Trevor Morgan.

Lady Kitty Spencer wore a burgundy velvet Philip Treacy bumper base percher hat with handmade flowers and a Gatsby length tulle veil. While the hat has an autumnal feel to me, it paired beautifully with her floral Dolce & Gabanna dress.

Lady Jane Fellowes repeated a simple brown straw hat with wide kettle edged brim, trimmed with a warm caramel brown ruched hatband and cream silk flowers.  A neutral hat was a good call for her wonderful dot printed coat, although I’m not sure this one was the best choice.  I think the navy hat Jane wore to last month might have made a better pairing.
Finally, the Duchess of Sussex topped her blue and white floral maxi dress with a simple cream straw headpiece. With a flat, round button base, the design features a large bow with curling tails.


We have only seen Meghan in couture millinery pieces so far- pieces with a level of finishing and sophistication that this design simply does not have. While the colour palate of the ensemble is pretty, the scale of the voluminous dress and small hat don’t pair well. I suspect the choice of this rather run-of-the-mill headpiece may be tied to a desire to remain in the background at this event – whatever the reason, it is great to see Meghan experimenting with different millinery shapes and styles. Wasn’t it just a week ago when several commenters here suspected we’d see her only in sleek, unembellished hats for the foreseeable future? I love she’s already proved this prediction wrong!

Designer: Marks & Spencer Collection. It is the Pillbox Bow Fascinator.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Word on the royal beat is that we’ll see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex make an Ascot appearance this week- if they do, I have a hunch we’ll see a new hat on the Duchess.
Photos from social media as indicated; Geoff Robinson Photography/REX/Shutterstock

Trooping The Colour: Wales Family

For yesterday’s Trooping the Colour festivities, the Duchess of Cornwall was an elegant vision in blue. She repeated her ice blue straw picture hat with inverted brim edging, straw and crin wrapped crown base and a mass of flying straw and crin curled bow loops on the side. While we’ve seen this hat several times before, praise for its beauty is again due- the shape and scale are wonderful on Camilla and the exquisite trimming gives it just the right amount of movement and life. It’s such a great hat for this kind of event.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress and coat by Bruce Oldfield. 
Previously Worn: May 23, 2017; June 10, 2016May 10, 2015September 21, 2014June 18, 2014

The Duchess of Cambridge topped her pale aqua silk dress with a matching hat in woven straw. The sidesweep saucer is trimmed with abaca silk bows and net tulle veil in the same barely-there-blue along with cream silk flowers.

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Kate has worn a few vertical saucers over the past year and this one’s exquisite trim and gentle hue is among my favourites. While subtle, the colour is lovely against Kate’s colouring and dark hair and the hat’s lavish trim is a great counterpoint to the simple lines of her dress. It’s so great to see Kate experimenting with different hat shapes and working with new milliners.

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Designer: Juliette Botterill. Dress by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: this hat is new

The Duke of Sussex wore the uniform and cap in his rank as Captain of The Blues and Royals.

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The Duchess of Sussex débuted a sideswept saucer hat in dusky pink straw. Featuring an oval, slightly upturned brim, the design is sleekly void of usual embellishments.

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Meghan has favoured very streamlined millinery designs so far and this one certainly continues along this vein. It’s a good look for her- the combination of this hat’s shape with the open, portrait neckline of this suit and Meghan’s flowing tresses is a beautifully balanced and elegant one that doesn’t need further trimming on the hat.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Suit by Carolina Herrera
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Now before we all get speculating this hat is a repeat of the one Meghan wore to the Prince of Wales’ birthday garden party, here’s a side by side comparison showing that the shape, the brim and the shades of pink are all different. Between the two designs, I think the warmer shade of pink on yesterday’s hat is particularly stunning on Meghan’s colouring.

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I can’t remember a stronger trio of hats in a single post for a long time- do you love these three as much as I do?
Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royal Wedding

It has been a marathon but here is a summary of all the hats we saw at yesterday’s royal wedding:

The Bride, Groom & Wedding Party

Immediate Families
Queen Elizabeth, The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Doria Raglan

York & Wessex  Families
Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Duchess of York, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor

Phillips Family
The Princess Royal, Autumn Phillips, Zara Phillips

Armstrong-Jones Family
Viscountess Linley, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Sarah Chatto

Kent and Gloucester Families
Duchess of Gloucester, Duchess of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Princess Michael if Kent

Royal & Noble Guests
Princess Mabereng of Lesotho, Countess Spencer, Lady Kitty Spencer, Lady Eliza Spencer, Victoria Aitkin,
Lady Jane Fellowes, Celia McCorquodale, Emily Hutt,  Lady Alexandra Hooper
Duchess of Westminster, Lady Tamara Grosvenor, Lady Edwina Grosvenor, Lady Viola Grosvenor
Emilie Van Cutsem, Rosie van Cutsem, Rose Astor van Cutsem
Carole Middleton, Pippa Middleton Matthews, Lady Carolyn Warren,Suzannah Warren, Laura Lopes, Sarah Buys

Other Noteable Guests

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Photos from Getty as indicated