Royal Ascot Day 1: Wrap Up

The Duke of Kent, Earl and Countess of St. Andrews also attended the races today. The Duke of Kent repeated his grey felt top hat and Princess Alexandra repeated her pale pink straw picture hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan with silk twists and masses of mini feathers. Sylvanna looks to have repeated the pale grey straw hat with pleated white crin overlay and pink trim she recently wore to Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding. I’ve not been able to locate any photos of George but he would have worn a top hat.

 

The only other royal guest at the races today was Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, in his black silk antique top hat (Princess Haya and the couple’s children did not attend)

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The first day of Royal Ascot also saw a few hatted noble heads:

Lady Carolyn Warren (daughter of the late Earl of Carnarvon, Queen Elizabeth’s former racing manager and wife of John Warren, the current one) in a monochrome blush pink straw disc hat with windowpane lattice brim, trimmed with straw twists, silk flowers and a windowpane lattice crin ruffle

Lady Kitty Spencer in a white Philip Treacy percher with deep crease, trimmed with a black quill

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Lady Laura Cathcart in a pink vertical straw saucer with black bow and ostrich feathers of her own design

Joining today’s carriage procession were Master of the Horse Lord de Lauley (shown below with the Earl of Wessex), the Queen’s Private Secretary, Edward Young and Master of the Royal Household, Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, all in black top hats.

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The following additional hats caught the attention of our guest milliner, Jay Cheng:

Very interesting Victorian look
Lady Kitty Spencer’s eccentric beret
by Philip Treacy
Blue and gold hat with v
ery unusual back view
Flora Johnson in something different- a beach hat by Lock & Co.
Rosie Tapner’s whimsical pink crin hat by Stephen Jones 

And finally- all non-royal hats that caught my eye at the races today:

Jodie Kidd in a stack of colourful straw hats. Bonkers but such fun!
Nazer Bullen in a sidesweeping hat covered in pink ostrich feathers by William Chambers
Julia Lundin in a tall black straw brimless stovepipe with patent leather hatband
Valerie Stark in a white Philip Treacy percher with black crin veil
Milliner Lisa Tan in a purple triple brimmed hat of her own design
Yellow crin hat with burgundy flowers on an unidentified racegoer (see the back here)
Black cutwork disc hat with white bow by Australian milliner Danica Errard
Milliner Rachel Ellis Oates in a self made white straw halo bandeau with floral trim (see the back here)
Hatshop owner Lizzie Hughes in a deep green percher with lush trailing vine by Guibert Millinery
Unnamed racegoer in a bright pink saucer percher with roses
Bumble bee hat on an unidentified racegoer
Irish milliner Jennifer Wrynne in a classic black and white bergere boater of her own design

My sincere thanks to milliner Jay Cheng for joining us today to chat about all the royal hats at the first day of the races. Jay- it has been a long but very enjoyable day sharing all of these hats with you. THANK YOU!

Photos from Gettyand social media as indicated; Shutterstock

Order Of The Garter 2019

Founded by Edward III in 1348, The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry awarded at the Sovereign’s pleasure as a personal gift. Twenty four recipients of the order, known each as a Knight or Lady,  meet each year for a grand ceremony held int St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on the Monday before Royal Ascot begins.

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Members of the Garter wear elaborate robes and accessories for the Garter Service including a special hat. The hat, in the style of a Tudor bonnet, is made of black velvet with a voluminous, unstructured crown and flat brim. It is trimmed with the order insignia, white ostrich and black heron feathers, and slim cord wrapped around the base of the crown that extends to a pair of gold and royal blue tassels hanging down the side. British royal family members belonging to the order include Queen Elizabeth, who is Sovereign of the Garter, The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is also a member, did not attend the service today.

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King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and King Philippe of Spain were appointed as Supernumerary Knights of the Garter during state visits to the UK in 2018 and 2017; their attendance at today’s ceremony saw them officially installed in these roles and they wore the full garter regalia.

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Queen Máxima wore a tall, verical saucer hat in dusky pink straw trimmed with a mass of silk flowers and curling pheasant feathers on the underside of the raised brim.

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It’s a great look for the Dutch Queen. I really the slightly darker shade of pink on the hat and adore how its lines and lush trimming play so well off Máxima’s sleek caped coat dress- the pairing of the two items is fantastic. I’d like, however to change two things about the hat- first is the angle of placement on the head (tilt the top edge down a bit so it sweeps slightly more diagonally that so vertical) and the second is to tidy up the brim binding edge. Tweak these two things and a great hat would become a complete knockout.

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Designer: unconfirmed. My guess is Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Claes Iversen.
Previously Worn: This hat is new. Some suggest it is a reworked version of this Prinsjesdag hat but the straw bases are different shapes and colours.

Queen Letizia wore a kokoshnik-style bandeau headpiece in formed black straw, trimmed with black feathers and veil. It’s the first headpiece in this style we’ve seen on the Spanish queen and it suits her petite frame so well (not leaving the hat looking like it’s wearing her, as unfortunately is often the case). With her black and white printed dress, the headpiece tops an elegant ensemble that’s fantastic on Letizia.

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Designer: It is the “Black Peony” design from Spanish brand Cherubina
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated a hat in almond straw with off-center, peaked crown and side sweeping brim. A beaded straw hatband and side twists studded with ecru silk flowers complete the design. The beaded embellishment on the hatband and side twists add a subtle but welcome bit of sparkle to the design and while the colour is quiet, the scale and style make a great signature look for Camilla.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 19, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge repeated a black sinamay hat with upturned flyaway brim in windowpane lattice straw, trimmed with a curled black an ostrich feather. The brim shape on this piece gives the design a wonderfully light and airy feel and the hat was beautifully paired with Kate’s white coat dress with black trim.

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Designer: Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. It is the Lion Tamer design. Coat dress by Catherine Walker.
Previously Worn: July 1, 2016June 11, 2011

The Countess of Wessex repeated her natural straw saucer hat with lattice open woven brim  trimmed with a large coral feathers and tan twists. The hat’s shape, reminiscent of Dior hats in the 1950s, pairs so well with her full skirted ensemble. Bright coral is not an easy hue to wear and this ensemble is beautifully balanced between the vibrant skirt and the hat’s feathers.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: May 15, 2018 (it was also your favourite repeated royal hat in 2018!);  Oct 5, 2017June 20, 2017 i

The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her slate grey straw veiled pillbox hat. It’s a quietly classic design we’ve seen on Brigitte more than a few times but one she wears well.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 18, 2018May 19, 2018Jun 17, 2017Jun 1, 2017Jul 1, 2016Jun 12, 2016Jun 10, 2016

Zenouska Mowatt, on the far left below, topped her blue and yellow patterned dress with a navy straw bandeau. The bandeau’s wide curving base is trimmed with silk flowers and leaves on the right side.

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Designer: I suspect it’s the “Catherine in Midnight‘ by Laura Cathcart
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

The Order of the Garter service this year brought us a wonderful parade of hats to kick off Ascot week with a fanfare. What do you think of these hats in Windsor today? Which designs stand out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

British Royals Host Third Palace Garden Party

Queen Elizabeth was joined by members of her family yesterday under grey skies for the third and final Buckingham Palace garden party of this summer season.

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Despite the rain, the Queen looked very summery in her repeated pale pink straw hat with hourglass shaped crown, trimmed with white straw twists and brim binding and pale pink winter berries.

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There’s lots to like here between the delicate colour, the well detailed white trim and those unique berries- how I adore those berries as a welcome change from the flowers and feathers we so often see! However- I’m afraid that the extreme shape of the crown is neither attractive nor flattering. There’s a fine line between creative and caricature when it comes to fashion and this hat doesn’t land on the right side.

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Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin.
Previously Worn: June 15, 2016

While the Duke of Sussex wore his silk top hat (or more accurately, carried it for most of the event), the York Princesses joined the bandeau trend that has globally swept through millinery fashion.

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Princess Beatrice wore a maroon felt bandeau covered in individually cut felt leaves (a design that caught my eye here back in March!). These photos don’t show the design detail off very well but it’s a great piece with texture that livens up the bandeau shape. I think Beatrice wears it well and the colour is divine on her.

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Designer: Laura Cathcart. It’s the “Tess” design. Dress by The Vampire’s Wife
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Eugenie topped her champagne pleated dress with a cream velour felt bandeau wrapped in diamond widely woven veil. Cream duck and goose feathers studded in the veil complete the design. Like her sister’s bandeau, I think this one works thanks to the texture provided by the feathers and veil. It’s not my favourite colour on Eugenie (I’d prefer it with a more vibrant dress) but the scale and design is really lovely.

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Designer: Maggie Mowbray. It’s the “Helena” design. Dress by Sandro Paris.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

The Duchess of Gloucester repeated the same look we saw her wear at last week’s garden party- her blue straw pillbox with recently added veil paired with a blue floral dress and cream jacket. There’s not much to add except say that for better views of the hat, hop over to last week’s post which has recently been  with better photos.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: May 23, 2019May 31, 2018

The Dukes of Gloucester and Kent both repeated their grey felt top hats while Princess Michael of Kent repeated her rounded  white silk covered pillbox (all are visible in the gallery below). I find the exaggerated, bulbous shape of this one over the top but those words are often ones I use to describe Marie Christine’s style so it’s on point for her.

Designer: I suspect John Boyd
Previously Worn: June 12, 2016; June 2, 2016; June 15, 2013June 11, 2011June 20, 2008

Interestingly, the only hats I’ve praised here are the two bandeaux- a critique I stand behind. They’re both interesting, textural designs that flatter their wears, which is not something I can say about the more extreme hat shapes also seen here. I found the hats at this last Buckingham Palace garden party of this season rather hit and miss- what do you think?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Infanta Elena in a floppy hat last weekend at the Longines Global Champions Tour Equestrian and in a natural straw fedora at the San Isidro Fair, both in Madrid
Princess Michael of Kent last Monday at the Chelsea Flower show in a tan duckbill brimmed cap
On Wednesday, the Earl of Wessex donned his dapper natural straw panama hat to present the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards in the garden of Buckingham Palace. The Duke of Kent also donned a panama hat in Greece, where he traveled to celebrate the 200th anniversary of The Order of St Michael and George
Also on Wednesday, Queen Sonja of Norway opened the Bergen Festival in a cream straw cloche hat
The Thai monarchy released official photos of Queen Suthida- there are lots of military hats and soft focus filters


Princess Hisako attended the ‘Now Africa’ festival today in Yokohama in a great black and white wide-brimmed hat.

Two events with fantastic floral headpieces, both in honour of the Chelsey Flower show. The first is a display in Covent Garden, photographed below by Princess Miriam of Bulgaria. The second is the 4th annual “Flower Walk” outdoor fashion show in Chelsea created by the Catherine Walker brand with astounding floral headpieces topping their dresses.



Here’s what other new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
From Rachel Trevor Morgan, four stunning hats with handmade flowers in red, pink, purple and blush
Romantic mint straw button with lattice brim,  bow and flowers from London-based brand Bea and Evie
Curving pink straw headpiece with handmade peony by Spanish milliner Eugenia Jiménez
Winter white felt raised beret percher with pearl-trimmed bow from Australian brand Hats By Zarbella
Pink lattice-brimmed picture hat with wonderful lace trim from London-based milliner Vivien Sheriff
Trio of stunning black perchers: straw with leather flowers & soaring twists from British milliner Justine Bradley-Hill; sequins with veil & bow from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit; leather with flowers & leaves from Aussie brand Crazy Teapot
Wide brimmed cream straw hat covered in lemon silk orchids by Scottish milliner William Chambers
Simple but SO pretty! Sky blue straw saucer with cream rose trim from British brand Atelier Millinery
Fantastic digital knitwear design (with British Museum ceiling-like brim) from Dutch milliner Eugenie van Oirschot
Magenta straw statement hat with sharp lines and oversize hydrangea trim by British milliner Amanda Denton
Sleek silver grey brimmed hat with ethereal, smoky flower from British brand Layla Leigh Millinery
The prettiest watermelon pink straw stacked bandeau with floating vine from Scottish milliner Sally-Ann Provan
Cream straw teardrop percher with twists and wonderful lime and cream flowers from Irish-born milliner Philip Treacy (flowers made by Russian artisan Anfisa Korelova)

And from Australian brand Murley and Co., designed by milliner Carla Murley, this spectacular garden of floral trimmed percher hats.

Prince Albert was joined by Prince Jacques, Princess Gabriella and their cousin Kaia Wittstock today at qualifying rounds of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco
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Prince Dushan of Serbia was married to Valerie De Muzio in Topola, Serbia today. Prince Dushan is the son of the late Prince Alexander and his second wife, Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein. Princess Barbara wore a wide brimmed, natural straw hat for the wedding.
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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

British Royals Attend Garden Party

This afternoon under sunny, blue skies, Queen Elizabeth hosted the second Buckingham Palace garden party of this spring/summer season.

For this event, she repeated her pale blue straw hat with tall, slightly flared and sloped crown and flat brim. The hat is beautifully trimmed with a layered silk hatband and handmade silk peonies and rose buds in ombre shades of pink. It’s a lovely hat and the floral motif, both on the hat and on the print of the silk dress, feels right at home at such an event as this.


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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat and dress by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn: June 20, 2018

The Duke of Cambridge carried his black silk top hat while the Duchess wore a new saucer percher in pale pink straw. The hat is trimmed with a pale pink rose, feather and silk abacca ruffles both on top and below the raised edge of the hat.

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Juliette Botterill’s work is beautiful, as evidenced by this design. The scale is great on Kate and the mix of straw, abacca, silk and feathers on the hat makes it work with the monochrome outfit. It’s a very pretty look for Kate.

Designer: Juliette Botterill. Coat dress by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex repeated the pink straw waved disc hat she debuted last year at Ascot. Bound in a wide stripe of black lattice, the design features a high upsweep at the back, sandwiched in folded ruffles of pink and black lattice crin. I admire the unexpected colour scheme (which looks great on Sophie) and the zip of playfulness the exuberant trim brings to the design. It’s good on many levels and I’m so glad it hasn’t been relegated to the depths of her closet like so many of her other past Ascot hats.

Designer: Jane Taylor. Emilia Wickstead dress 
Previously Worn: June 19, 2018

The Duchess of Gloucester brought back her ecru straw, wide brimmed boater hat with appliqued leaves around the brim (see them in better detail here). It’s a classic, streamlined and elegant design that defies its age and I’m glad to see back in rotation. Brigitte has been reaching into the depths of her millinery closet recently and bringing out some interesting pieces!

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 15, 2011; June 20, 2000 and likely others

Princess Alexandra a picture hat with rounded crown and flat brim in textured natural straw, trimmed with a hatband of silk flowers and a swath of widely woven cream net veil. The quintessential garden hat both coordinates and counterpoints very well with  Alexandra’s patterned Chinoiserie silk jacket and fits right in at a garden party

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 2, 2015; June 20, 2012June 1995

Finally, the Duke of York repeated his black silk top hat while the Duke of Gloucester and Duke of Kent both repeated top hats in dove grey felt (scroll through galleries above and below). While not photographed wearing a hat, it looks like the Earl of Wessex carried his black silk top hat in hand.

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Today, The Queen hosted a Garden Party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Each year The Queen hosts parties to welcome around 30,000 guests in recognition of their service to the community. Garden Parties are a way for The Queen to meet people from around the UK and this is the first party Her Majesty is hosting this year. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of York and The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra also attended the party and spoke to guests enjoying the gardens. Throughout the country, an established network of sponsors is used to invite guests, who include Lord-Lieutenants, Societies and Associations, Government Departments, Local Government, the Services, the Church and other Faiths.

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These garden parties are always great fun- what hats stood out to you most today?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

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