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

York Royal Wedding: Immediate Families

As she has done with her other grandchildren’s weddings, Queen Elizabeth celebrated Princess Eugenie’s nuptials today with a new hat. In palest ice blue felt, the design features a straight-sided crown with stepped top and slightly sidesweeping, upturned kettle brim. The hat’s ecru feather and gold quill trim links to the ensemble’s dress in the same hues (and the gold buttons on the coat); its slightly clunky shape is mitigated by the light trim and while I might have preferred Her Majesty in a more saturated tone, this restrained shade works well.

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Designer: Angela Kelly. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Sarah, Duchess of York, topped her green silk dress with a wide brimmed straw boater hat in the same colour. The hat is trimmed with a striped tan, copper and green straw bow described by the milliner as “an enormous stiff bow which nodded to her Eighties taste, in a sharp, modern way.”

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While the bow does have a wing-like feel to it, it seems like just the thing the Duchess would choose. The bow was clearly made to coordinate with Sarah’s Manolo Blahnik clutch – the same purse her mother, the late Susan Barrantes used at the Duke and Duchess of York’s own wedding in July 1986. Unfortunately, the green straw and silk dress don’t read as the same shade in all photographs- likely a lighting issue (I strongly suspect they were matched in reality). It’s a bold look with sentimental touches for Sarah that feels authentic to her taste and she wears it well.

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Designer: Jess Collett. Dress by Emma Louise Design.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Sarah’s sister (Eugenie’s aunt) Jane Luedecke wore a striking navy felt picture hat with red and navy knotted bows.

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Princess Beatrice topped her royal purple suit with a matching bandeau headpiece in two shades of purple draped silk.

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While the smaller headpiece is a good scale for the collared neckline of the suit, the overall ensemble feels a bit lackluster. It’s nice… but not memorable. Maybe that’s what she was going for?

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Designer: Sarah Cant. Suit by Ralph & Russo
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Jack’s mother, Nicola Brooksbank, topped her floral coat and dress with a natural straw upswept saucer hat embellished with beige silk abaca bows and orange trimmed feathers. I believe Jack’s maternal grandmother, 91-year-old Joanna Newton, was also in attendance- I’ll add photos here if they become available.

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Designer: Iona Montgomery. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin

At many royal weddings, non-royal family members sometimes stick out but I thought Mrs. Brooksbank held her own very well in this group of hats. What do you think of these designs?

Photos from Getty as indicated

Ascot Day 4: York Family

Members of the York family enjoyed the races together today. Princess Beatrice topped her palest blue tweed dress with a wide brimmed hat. In pale peachy pink straw, the design features a wide, cartwheel brim and a shallow crown and is trimmed with a slim black hatband that loops into a lovely bow on the side. The hat is finished with pink tipped yellow spider lily flowers.

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It’s SUCH a great hat…. but I just can’t get behind its pairing with this dress (which on its own, is also great on Beatrice!). Even linking with the pink purse and shoes, I can’t see this hat and dress as a harmonious pairing. It’s a bit disappointing, really, as both pieces are so lovely on their own.


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Designer: Sarah Cant. It is the ‘Gloriosa’ design from SS2018. The Fold ‘Camelot’ dress.
Previously Worn: This hat is new 
The Duchess of York joined her former husband and eldest daughter in a navy dress trimmed with black lace on the sleeves and her repeated black straw upswept saucer hat trimmed with royal blue silk roses and straw twists beneath the raised side of the hat. The hat’s colour scheme works so well with Sarah’s auburn hair and while I’m not always a fan of outfits that mix navy and black, this one works.
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Designer: Philip Treacy. Roland Mouret ‘Ulverston’ dress 
Previously Worn: June 19, 2015
The Duke of York repeated the black silk top hat he’s worn so far this week. 
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Thoughts about this trio of hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated