Top Royal Hats: May 2019

Despite stiff competition, two very clear winners (both in pale shades of pink!) have emerged in the races for favourite new design and favourite repeated hat worn back in May:


Countess of Wessex’s blush pink straw disc hat with black windowpane crin by Jane Taylor worn May 21



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Sarah, Duchess of York’s pink layered disc with pheasant feathers by Jess Collett worn May 18 

Jump over to the poll for favourite new hat here and the repeated hat poll here to see the results in greater detail.  
Photos from Getty as indicated

Catching Up With The British Royals

With nine British royal hats appearing at semi-public events this week, I thought we’d take a dedicated look at these designs to kick off this holiday weekend (our regular weekend “Extra’s” post will follow tomorrow). Last Sunday, Queen Elizabeth was spotted en route to Sunday service at Crathie Kirk in Scotland in a new hat. UPDATE- thanks to you super sleuths, we know know this hat is a repeat and more than a decade old!

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In bright pink straw, the design’s sidesweeping brim is edged in a wide binding stripe in robin’s egg blue, which is repeated on the straw twist and burnt feathers of its trim. While the colour makes a fun statement (especially with such an unexpected colour pairing!), I’m not keen on the hat’s flared crown, which gives it a slightly cartoonish vibe from front view.

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Designer: unknown. Based on dates, I strongly suspect Philip Somerville
Previously Worn: November 24, 2007
The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her red felt Philip Treacy beret with pheasant feather trim. Camilla has worn this hat exclusively in Scotland (mainly for private events such as this) which is a shame, as the pop of colour is great on her!
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The Duchess of Cambridge repeated a navy saucer shaped percher hat with large center knot felt flower on the back.
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Designer: Lock and Co. 
Previously Worn: Aug 26, 2018; Feb 7, 2016March 26, 2015 (private event)
The Countess of Wessex repeated a camel felt fedora with overlapping pheasant feather hatband. Sophie wears fedora and trilby shapes well and the hatband on this casual design is such a great touch.
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Designer:  Suffolk Fedora in Camel from Hicks & Brown
Previously Worn: Dec 23, 2018; May 14, 2018
Princess Anne wore a hat that, I think, is a new design. In warm camel felt, this trilby features an extended brim that raises, in classic trilby fashion around the back, and is trimmed simply with what looks like a two-tone hatband in gold and chocolate, tied in a side bow. It’s a similar design to the turquoise and purple hats she added to her millinery wardrobe over the past year, although not as interesting a colour.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

Autumn Phillips rounded last Sunday’s royal attendees at church in a dark caramel felt button percher trimmed with a chocolate organza ruffle around a silk bloom and two striped pheasant feathers. As far as brown hats go, it’s a good one

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Designer: Unknown. It looks like Juliette Botterill to me
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Today, the York Princesses and their mum attended Ellie Goulding’s wedding in Yorkshire. Princess Beatrice topped an irredescent emerald frock with a new black bandeau headpiece in leather, trimmed with handmade flowers and textured leaves. Black leather could be a tricky material to pull off for a royal headpiece but this one’s floral trim beautifully balances its edgy material, creating a smoothly elegant piece in a shape that looks great on Bea.

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Designer: Athena by Justine Bradley-Hill. by Dress by The Vampire’s Wife 
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Eugenie repeated her navy straw pillbox with braided perimeter. It remains a great design for her, paired again with a floral frock (I think the open neckline of this dress makes for a better pairing).

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Designer: Juliette Botterill (bespoke version of the “Pleated Pillbox” from SS 2018). Dress by Peter Pilotto
Previously Worn: Apr 18, 2019

The Duchess of York topped a lace coat with a straw bumper hat with outside edge wrapped on two layers of Lady Amherst feathers. The bandeau shape suits Sarah well and the classic black and white scheme is a tad more wearable than this design’s original version!

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Designer: I believe it’s by Jess Collett
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Thoughts about these British royal hats?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Here are some of the royal hats we missed during Ascot- we’ll look at the hats worn today for National Day in Luxembourg in a separate post, later tomorrow.

Last Sunday, Queen Margrethe attended a church service in Tallin, Estonia, in the jaunty boater hat with navy textured fabric crown and cream straw brim by Mathilde Thoe Førster she debuted last month. Love the jaunty angle!
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Efter Valdemar Sejrs erobring af det nuværende Tallinn i 1219 byggede kongens mænd en trækirke i byen på Toompeahøjen. Ti år senere erstattede danske munke fra Ribe kirken med en mere robust bygning i sten, som i dag er Tallinns Domkirke. Det var således 800-året for Domkirkens oprindelse, der i dag blev fejret med en festgudstjeneste, hvor H.M. Dronningen var til stede. Gudstjenesten var i dagens anledning både på dansk og estisk, ligesom Det Danske Drengekor og Københavns Kantatekor sang salmer undervejs. For nogle uger siden skænkede Danmarkssamfundet et dannebrogsflag til Domkirken, som får en permanent placering i kirkerummet. Inden dagens gudstjeneste afslørede Dronningen en mindeplade i kirken for Dronningens deltagelse i festgudstjenesten. 📸 Keld Navntoft, Ritzau Scanpix ©️

A post shared by DET DANSKE KONGEHUS (@detdanskekongehus) on

On Monday, June 17, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended the 109th Japan Academy Prize ceremony in Taito. Empress Masako wore a white hat with short brim and wide hatband embellished with the same decorative braid as is on the lapels of her matching jacket. Interestingly, the hatband has been turned upside down since its last outing. The Akishino family joined the emperor and empress to host a tea party at the Imperial Palace for prize winners. Crown Princess Kiko and Princess Mako repeated aqua and white bumper hats while and Princess Kako repeated a blue silk covered bowler with bow on the side


On Wednesday (the day after her spectacular debut at Ascot), Queen Máxima officially opened the renovated Military Hospital in Utrecht. She repeated her raspberry straw picture hat with mushroom brim by Fabienne Delvigne.
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Queen Margrethe in a white floppy sun hat on Wednesday to watch the Danish army’s 2nd brigade in Oksbøl go through exercises before the departing to Iraq.
The Duchess of York in a colorful, feathered Jess Collett bandeau while in Italy this week
Princess Hisako attended the Japanese National Wheelchair Twin Basketball Championship yesterday in a repeated cafe au laid hued straw hat with triple layered, twisted hatband
Queen Elizabeth attended The Royal Windsor Cup Final at Guards Polo Club today in a repeated magenta hat by Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren.
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It’s already Monday in Japan- on this day, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attend the Japan Art Academy award ceremony in Tokyo. The Empress is looking so polished these days- today she topped a beautifully tailored ice blue suit with a matching short brimmed hat with multi layered silk organza hatband.
We saw a number rather unattractive and unflattering felt top hats at Royal Ascot this week. Since the silk used to make the gleaming antique top hats we all admire (thanks ChicagoChuck!) is no longer produced, what do you think of Stephen Jones’ summery, sustainable and smartly stylish alternative in straw?! This is a hat that greatly intrigues me.

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Royal Ascot Day 4: The Yorks

Royal Hats

I’m so fortunate to be joined today by Lauren Ritchie, creator of Melbourne-based Lauren J. Ritchie Millinery, to chat about today’s royal hats at Ascot!  

The Duchess of York topped a sunshine yellow dress with a teal velvet headpiece trimmed with peacock feathers and finely dotted net veil. The milliner notes that the hat is partially upcycled from a vintage piece.

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Lauren Ritchie: Jess Collett has made some wonderful pieces for the Duchess of York! 

Royal Hats:  I’m really liking their ongoing collaboration. It has really elevated Sarah’s hats!

Lauren Ritchie: I really enjoy the combination of the radiant yellow and jade peacock but would have put her in the same coloured shoes instead of the purple. The green accessories of bag, clutch and gloves are a well considered combination.

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Lauren Ritchie: I’m unsure of how this hat was designed to be worn. My first reaction is I would like to pull it firmly down over her right eye, moving the plumes to be more central on her head to add height but then looking from other angles,  the hat also looks somewhat turban-like but moved forward on the head, treated more like a button. It is a playful combination of styles.  

Royal Hats: I think different placement on the head would help! The colour blocking is fun and Sarah wears green SO well. The headpiece base has an interesting shape that I like- it’s open without he doughnut look of a completely open circle. I’m just not sure about the styling here- does the velvet  headpiece and purse work with the light, sunny, summer dress? I don’t know.

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Royal Hats: I’m intrigued by this shape, Lauren- how would you go about blocking an interwoven piece like this? What finishing challenges does a shape like this bring?

Lauren Ritchie: For a piece constructed in this way, all of the finishing would need to occur underneath.  It is a bit of an illusion-  it could be two pieces that are constructed in full, finished parts and then interlocked together to form the final shape or it could be a pillbox shape that has been cut into and wrapped around itself. Either way, the base material would need to be very sturdy to support the weight of this material. 

Royal Hats: Thanks, Lauren. Your explanation is helping me realize how impeccably it is constructed. I can’t remember other royal hats that have included upcycled parts from a vintage hat and this is wonderful to see here. I’d love to see more upcycled and recycled royal hats!

Designer: Jess Collett
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duke of York again looked dapper in his elegant black antique silk top hat.

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What do you think of the Duchess’ hat today?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

 

Yorks Cheer As Duke Leads Colonel’s Review

The Colonel’s Review (the second rehearsal for Trooping the Colour) took place yesterday with the Duke of York as the Inspecting Officer in his role as Colonel . His regiment is marked by the white plume in his bearskin hat.

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The Duke’s family was there to cheer him on. Princess Beatrice wore a black button percher hat trimmed with a contoured straw brim, topped with silk lining, that wraps around the hat in a double crescent with one point curling around the back. It’s a modern, dynamic piece that’s unlike anything we’ve seen Beatrice wear and I’m definitely a fan.

Designer: Annabel Allen Millinery. It is the “Eve” design.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Eugenie topped her yellow lace dress with a pink knotted bandeau headpiece described by the designer as “made in a lovely pink tweed from Liton Tweeds, with a pink spot veiling.” As far as bandeaux go, this one is good- the knot gives it some height and the mix of tweed and dotted veil gives great texture. I’m just not keen on the pairing of pink tweed headpiece and yellow lace dress.

Designer: Fernanda Lewis. It is the “Veiled Knot in Pink Tweed
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Sarah, Duchess of York, repeated black felt calot trimmed with a rolld bow and open-weave veil.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: July 29, 2017; June 7, 2017; July 23, 2016; January 9, 2007; and this undated occasion

We don’t often see the entire York family attend an event and with the four of them in hats, well, that’s even more rare. The standout hat for me here is the one worn by Princess Beatrice- what do you think?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Kent Wedding at Windsor: British Royal Cousins

After admiring the hats and headpieces worn by the bridal party and Kent family relations at Saturday’s wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston, we turn now to the bride’s British royal cousins. We begin with the family’s matriarch, Queen Elizabeth, who repeated the lovely cerise straw hat we first saw her wear at Ascot last year. With a gently molded stepped crown, sidesweeping brim and double straw hatband, the focus of this design is its vibrantly beautiful posy of handmade silk flowers on the side, studded with arrow trimmed feathers.

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It’s a lovely look for Her Majesty with the contrasting textures between straw hat and tweedy coat giving some dimension to the ensemble. While the hat’s balance and shape are beautiful on their own, it’s those incredible silk flowers and the colour used on their inner petals that magnetically draws pulls the eye in for a second look that makes this design a standout star.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 21, 2018

Princess Anne repeated a hat in finely woven navy straw. In a variation of a cloche shape, the design’s short brim is upturned on one side in an angle echoed by a slight diagonal pitch on the crown. The interesting shape is somewhat lost against the hat’s trim, a wide yellow hatband with navy stripes and large side flower, both in the same fabric as the ensemble’s coordinating jacket.

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Coordinated is a good descriptor for this look but thankfully, those strips on the hat’s hatband keep it from the dreaded “matchy” label. No, it’s not currently fashionable but it makes a graphic statement and the interaction between hat and jacket is balanced. It’s a strong look that Anne carries well, despite looking slightly out of place in this decade.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: September 20, 2011; August 12, 2010; June 17, 2009; April 8, 2007 and likely others

Princess Beatrice topped a navy lace dress with a white straw button percher hat, lavishly trimmed with straw loops, silk organza pointed leaves and layered silk flowers. The hat is lovely but I thought its pairing with this lace dress was incongruous in both colour and feel. The pieces are both exquisite and I’d love to see them both on Beatrice again, paired with alternate elements (imagine this hat with a floral frock? So pretty.).

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Designer: bespoke Jess Collett. Self-Portrait dress.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Sarah Chatto wore an oversize cloche hat in ecru straw hat with rounded crown and extended brim. Sarah is an expert in elegant neutrals and this hat, with white sweater set and taupe silk pleated skirt, is a case in point. I initially thought this was a new addition (I’m SO ready to see her add different shapes to her millinery wardrobe) than the saucers she has favored for the past few years) but you eagle eyed readers remembered it’s nearly 20 years old- a case for sticking to classic shapes because it’s certainly aged well. Interestingly, the brim on this design is flexible, as shown by the different positions Lady Sarah has worn it in the past.

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Designer: likely Stephen Jones
Previously Worn: June 18, 2012; June 15, 2006; June 4, 2002; June 10, 2001; July 11, 2000

The biggest millinery surprise of the event was on the Duchess of Gloucester, who brought back a headpiece last seen in the early 1980s.  In royal blue textured straw braided into a wide headband, the design nearly defies its age thanks to its wonderful colour, which pairs fantastically with Brigitte’s silk dress. Yes, it’s a dated and slightly bonkers look but one that is brilliantly brave and for this, deserves both giggles and admiration.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 16, 1984

The Duchess’ daughter-in-law, the Countess of Ulster, wore a  beret percher covered in black crepe, trimmed with a dramatic sweep of pleated crin trim

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Designer: Bundle MacLaren. It is a bespoke version of the Leah design. Dress from Cefinn
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Lady Rose Gilman paired her turquoise dress with a red straw button percher trimmed with a crescent of red goose feathers anchored with a jeweled bow.

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Designer: unknown. Dress by L.K.Bennett
Previously Worn: uncertain

Sarah, Duchess of York, wore one of my favourite hats of the day, a triple layered saucer in dusky pink straw with lovely upsweep around the back and a trimming of pheasant feathers. Everything about this hat is spot-on (from scale to colour to unexpected feather trim (which links so well with Sarah’s signature auburn hair) to that beautiful sweeping curve) and the combination of hat and dress is spectacularly elegant.

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Designer: Jess Collett
Previously Worn: This hat is new. Dress by Jad Ghandour

I know some of you have been waiting two days to discuss these hats so let’s jump to it- which designs here stood out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; Tim Rooke/Shutterstock 

Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hats almost thirty-three years to June 17, 1986. Sarah Ferguson was a month away from becoming the Duchess of York and appeared at Ascot, with Prince Andrew, in a wonderfully graphic white, navy and green linen dress topped with a classic navy pillbox hat anchored on one of her dramatic 1980s updos.

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Sarah was photographed that day speaking with the Queen Mother, whose bright pink capulet hat with silk hatband tied at the side and veil captures the quintessential millinery style she adopted for the final two decades of her life.

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Please share and discuss any royal hats worn today in the comments below.

Photos from Getty as indicated