British Royals Commemorate Remembrance Day & WWI Armistice Centenary

As this year’s Remembrance Sunday coincided with the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, special consideration (and royal attendance) surrounded this commemoration. A ceremony at the Cenotaph at Whitehall, in central London, occurred as it does each year, led by the Prince of Wales. He was joined by the Dukes of Cambridge, Sussex, York and Kent, the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex and Prince Michael of Kent, all in military uniform with respective caps of their rank.

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Queen Elizabeth, who watched the service from a Whitehall balcony for the second time, wore a new hat in black felt. The design features an upturned kettle brim and tall molded crown, the top of which looks to be off the same block as Angela Kelly’s split crown hats. The hat is simply trimmed with a layered leather and felt hatband which circles the crown midway, finishing at the front in a looped knot. The streamlined embellishment works well on this design to balance the slightly awkward shape of the crown’s top.

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Designer: Looks like Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her large black black felt hat with flyaway raised brim edged in a wide band of bias-woven ribbon. It’s still a dramatic statement piece for her with the most magnificently sleek lines.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Dec 25, 2016;  Nov 13, 2016Dec 25, 2015

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a new hat which, interestingly is a winter felt version of this straw hat already in her wardrobe. The lines of this design, with extended brim around the upswept back of the design are particularly lovely and beautifully punctuated with the slim binding around the brim. The choice of a single curling quill for trim is also the right one for this hat- overall, it’s an elegant piece that, I think, will be a good addition to Kate’s millinery collection.

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Designer: Lock and Co. It is a bespoke version of the Abney from AW 2018. Coat is Alexander McQueen.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a black percher hat with bumper shaped base, trimmed with a single-looped side bow. These smaller profile millinery designs suit Meghan well and I really like the textural difference between the velvet felt of the hat and the silk wool of her coat. Large base button perchers sometimes read as a bit boring and the cuffed, bumper shape of this one has a slight military nod that fits this event very well.

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Designer: unknown (my guess is Stephen Jones). Coat by Givenchy
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex’s modified saucer hat features a shallow button crown and wide brim and is trimmed with a large silk bow that drapes over half of the design. The sharply upswept angle that the hat’s base (visible in the third photo in the gallery below) places it on the head is key here- without it, I suspect the hat might read a bit 1980s twee but the elevated position keeps the piece looking modern and fresh.

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The Countess of Wessex wore this hat later in the day when she and Prince Edward attended the Welsh National Service of Thanksgiving at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This hat is new. 
After the Cenotaph service, other royal family members traveled also to other services marking the Armistice centenary held around the United Kingdom. Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence attended the Scottish Commemorative Service at Glasgow Cathedral where Princess Anne repeated her black percher hat with net veil-overlaid round button base trimmed with a crescent of pointed black feathers. The percher style is a fairly new one for Anne but one I hope she continues to embrace as it works particularly well to modernize and soften her hairstyle.
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Nov 10, 2017Oct 4, 2017Jun 27, 2017
The Duke and Duchess Gloucester attended the Armistice Day Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the Duke in a black bowler hat and the Duchess in a lovely new peacock blue felt pillbox with domed crown. The colour of this piece is wonderful on Brigitte and pairs so well with her navy coat to create an overall ensemble that is a little punchier than we usually see at such memorial events but still perfectly appropriate. 


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Finally, the Prince of Wales attended a Remembrance Service at the Guards’ Chapel at Wellington Barracks. The Prince, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards Regiment, wore a traditional regimental bowler hat.

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Several family members also attended a service at Westminster Abbey commemorating the centenary of the WWI Armistice- we’ll look at those hats in a post coming up first thing tomorrow morning. For now, what do you think of this first round of hats we saw worn for Remembrance Day yesterday?
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

RAF Centenary Part II

While the entire British royal family attended yesterday’s service at Westminster Abbey and watched the Royal Air Force  flypast town The Mall, the group divided with half attending a Buckingham Palace reception and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent attending an RAF reception on Horse Guards Parade.

The Countess of Wessex repeated her cream striped crin hat. Built on a straw button base, this variation on a saucer shape features a wide fold that flutes the left side of the design. The hat is trimmed with grey and cream twists and a pair of black feathers.

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The streamlined colour palate on this design gives it an air of sophistication, especially paired with Sophie’s textured cream dress. It’s a great look for her.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Suzannah
Previously Worn: Feb 4, 2018May 10, 2016;  June 17, 2015

Princess Anne repeated a hat that’s been around the block a few times. The design features an angular, diagonal crown in almond straw with contrasting chocolate straw underbrim and tall wrap around the crown along with chocolate raw silk stacked hatbands. The piece is completed with a mass of cream and pheasant feathers.

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While hat coordinates well with Anne’s ensemble, I’m not a great fan of any of the pieces, which all look pulled from different decades. While removing those horrid chocolate gloves (bottom photo) helped immensely, the mix of overly trimmed hat, fussy jacket and pleated skirt just aren’t a winning combination. Put the hat with a streamlined chocolate shift dress and I think, it would work much better.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 10, 2016May 20, 2016; June 19, 2015November 19, 2007June 2006

After her recent streak of stunning new wider brimmed hats, the Duchess of Gloucester returned to her familiar taupe straw beret hat with stem. I have to admit, the hat is a great fit for this event, its shape referencing military berets, and coordinated well with her navy coat and dress.

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Designer: unknown. I still guess Lock and Co.
Previously Worn: March 9, 2017June 18, 2015June 15, 2015November 6, 2013June 19, 2013June 5, 2012

Princess Alexandra repeated her pale pink straw wide brimmed hat with square edged crown, trimmed with a hatband in the same striped silk as her dress and a mass of candy pink feathers. It’s a hat I think works better without Alexandra’s jacket, when the pink straw provides a bit of contrast and the hatband can link with the stripes, which are placed in multiple directions, on the dress.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 28, 2018; June 15, 2010

Princess Michael of Kent repeated her wide black picture hat with shallow crown and mushroom shaped brim, trimmed with a giant black feather. It has always been a great statement hat on Marie Christine and it’s great to see her trot it out again.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 13, 2015September 11, 2014; June 18, 2010

The Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent all wore caps linked with their individual military ranking in the RAF while Vice Admiral Laurence was in his naval uniform (I believe he does not hold rank in the RAF, honorary or otherwise).

The event saw such a wonderful array of British royal hats- which ones stood out to you most?
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Photos from Getty as indicated

Ascot Day 3: Duke & Duchess of Gloucester

For those of you craving colour, the Duchess of Gloucester delivered! Brigitte looked amazing today in an emerald green textured straw boater hat, trimmed simply with a wide green ribbon hatband.

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On its own, this hat is such a great colour, scale and style for the Duchess, who hasn’t worn a boater shape in a very long time. As much as I like the hat in isolation, it’s pairing today with with her coppery orange silk shirtwaist dress, emerald drop earrings and emerald and pearl necklace is SOOOO good. Colour blocked outfits can be difficult to balance but this one is fantastic!

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 19, 1991
UPDATE: It appears that in fashion, fashion keeps coming around! Thanks to reader George A who remember this hat from the early 1990s.  What do you think of this green boater on Brigitte today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royals Attend Garter Service

Established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago, The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain. Twenty four recipients of the order, known each as a Knight or Lady,  meet each year for a ceremony held int St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on the Monday before Royal Ascot begins. The British monarchy describes these men and women as “chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.” The annual Garter Day procession, where the Queen, Knights and Ladies process from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel in grand velvet robes, sparkling insignia and distinctive plumed hats, is very grand indeed.

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The hat associated with the order is a black velvet Tudor-style design with voluminous crown atop a flat brim (some appear less flat with age!), trimmed with black heron feathers, lavish white ostrich plumes and a slim cord wrapped around the base of the crown that extends to a pair of gold and royal blue tassels hanging down the side (see last photo of the Queen in the set below).

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In addition to the Queen, the order is held by members of the British royal family including: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. All, except for Prince Philip, were in attendance today.

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The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her white straw picture hat with angular, off-centre peaked crown and sideswept brim trimmed in a shiny dark navy patent hatband and slimmer navy silk strip that wraps into a circular side decorative wreath. The sharp lines of the hat appear to be softened by Camilla’s cream dress and lace jacket and while the pairing is for the most part a good one, I’m not keen on the dark navy trim on the hat paired with the black trim on the jacket.
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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Sep 17, 2017
The Countess of Wessex repeated her oyster straw hat with shallow, flat crown and wide, mushroom brim, trimmed by a swath of curling oyster and black feathers and cream crin twists around the top of the brim. It was this hat’s first pairing with just the familiar toille dress (she earlier paired it with this dress and a black jacket) and the two pieces combine to make a light and very pretty summery ensemble. 
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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Emilia Wickstead.
Previously Worn: June 2, 2015May 17, 2014August 9, 2013June 4, 2013
The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her slate blue straw pillbox with short veil. The hat links well with Brigitte’s matching dress coat and the sheen of the straw and pattern of the veil gives some lovely textural contrast within the ensemble.
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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: May 19, 2018June 17, 2017June 1, 2017July 1, 2016June 12, 2016June 10, 2016

The Duchess of Gloucester’s daughter-in-law, the Countess of Ulster, was spotted leaving the service along with Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Zenouska Mowatt. The Countess of Ulster repeated a cream straw button percher hat trimmed with long laquered red goose feathers and a black pinok pok straw bow. With her red dress, the hat tops a sharp look for Claire. Zenouska topped her white and navy dotted frock with a navy straw waved teardrop percher hat trimmed with a tall, folded ruffle of navy and cream crin. Like many other young royals, Zenouska wears this style of hat very well and the piece looks to coordinate perfectly with her dress.

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Designer of The Countess of Ulster’s hat: Awon Golding
Previously Worn: June 10, 2016
Designer of Zenouska’s hat: I suspect Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: I believe this is new.
Garter day is always a highlight and serves as a wonderful opening to Ascot week. What do you think of the hats spotted at Windsor Castle today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Prince of Wales Hosts Buckingham Palace Garden Party

Another Buckingham Palace garden party took place today, hosted on behalf of the Queen by the Prince of Wales.

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While Prince Charles carried his black silk top hat (I can’t find a photo of him wearing it!), the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla repeated her cream straw hat with off centre, peaked crown, upswept brim and spiky feather explosion on the side. There appears to be white piping around the v-neck of her dress and the hat ties in with this, nicely.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: July 1, 2017June 20, 2017

Princess Anne repeated her mustard yellow straw button percher hat, trimmed with a dusky taupe silk flower and veil. The placement of this hat excites me (much improved from its placement on the center top of her head during its last outing) but unfortunately, leaves that flower looking like a plonked-on afterthought. I’m not a fan of this ensemble’s colour palate (mustard and brown sauce, anyone?) and will simply hope for its retirement.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 17, 2014; July 15, 2011 and likely others

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent were also in attendance. The Duchess repeated her navy straw beret hat while the Dukes repeated their black silk and grey felt top hats.

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Designer of the Duchess of Gloucester’s hat: unknown
Previously Worn: June 2, 2018;  June 27, 2017May 10, 2016June 16, 2015March 26, 2015June 14, 2014June 29, 2013June 4, 2013

While this was not as exciting a hatted event as the parade of hats we saw at the Epsom races of the weekend, it looks like an enjoyable time was had by all.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Remembrance Sunday 2017- Part 1

Members of the British royal family attended the annual Remembrance Day commemoration service at  The Cenotaph at Whitehall in London yesterday. For the first time, The Prince of Wales led the ceremony and laid Her Majesty’s wreath.

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Prince Charles was joined by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal and the Duke of Kent. As in years past, all appeared in military uniform.
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Earlier yesterday morning, the Prince of Wales attended the Welsh Guards’ Remembrance Sunday service at Guards Chapel. For this service, Prince Charles, who has been Colonel of the Welsh Guards since 1975, wore a black bowler hat.

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On Saturday, the Duke of Gloucester attended the annual Armistice Day Service at The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Royal Ascot 2017 Day 2: The Gloucesters & Kents

Royal Ascot | Royal Hats The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester made their first appearance at the races this year today. The Duchess repeated her raspberry pink nubby straw hat with curved brim and net tulle hatband, tied at the side while the Duke sported a grey felt top hat with black hatband.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 14, 2016May 12, 2016June 17, 2015June 13, 2015June 17, 2014

Princess Alexandra topped her brightly patterned suit with a new hat in blush pink straw. The crown on this piece is tall and domed with straight sides (a go-to shape for Princess Alexandra) and the brim follows a traditional cartwheel shape. The piece is trimmed with what looks like a spray of white feathers and a hatband in the same print as the suit. While Alexandra’s brother, the Duke of Kent, was photographed at the races today, the only photo released of him so far does not show his hat.

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Designer: likely Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: I think this is new

Princess Michael surprised in a giant picture hat that dates back at least 22 years. The hat features a round pillbox shaped crown with a flat top and a large brim that is edged in a wide stripe of fabric that renders it opaque, leaving a halo of light streaming through the straw around Marie Christine’s face. The hat is very simply trimmed with a diamond cutout of the same brim fabric on the side of the crown. Prince Michael repeated his black top hat.

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Designer: unknown. Maybe John Boyd?
Previously Worn:  June 19, 2002June 16, 1998; June 21, 1995; May 7, 1995
Photos from Getty as indicated