Royal Ascot Day 5: The Queen

Royal Hats

I’m so pleased to welcome Spanish milliner Rafa Peinador, creator of his namesake London-based millinery brand, to share his thoughts on all of the royal hats we see today on the final day Royal Ascot!  

The cream straw hat follows the split crown design used on several other Kelly/McLaren designs, the same silk wool as the Queen’s coat wrapping half of the hat’s tall crown and edging the short brim. The hat is trimmed simply with a spray of silk orchids and a slim green bow at the side.

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Rafa Peinador: Her Majesty the Queen today went back to softer colours and a more classic shape. It was a very safe option which is in line with the hats she normally wears. I love the way the pale green fabric, with a white  “marble effect” has been incorporated in the edge of the brim. I am not very keen on the use of the fabric in the crown. It would have preferred for the whole crown to be covered with the fabric or a maybe used as a ribbon like trimming around the base of the crown.

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Royal HatsThe hat radiates spring from its colour and light floral trim. So fresh! I think the hat would look crisper and more refined if the brim binding was slimmer- it’s a little clunky. Same for the fabric crown wrap, even though it’s an interesting design feature unique to Kelly/McLaren hats.

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Rafa Peinador: I love the combination of white, green and yellow used for the flowers. The green piping holding the flowers simulating the stems is very clever. However I am not very keen on the yellow buds, they look too artificial. I would have preferred bespoke hand made flowers.

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Royal Hats: I’m coming away from Ascot this year with a new awareness, understanding and appreciation for hand made flowers, thanks to all our guest milliners have shared about them this week. They certainly are a cut above (pun intended!).

Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: March 28, 2019; April 21, 2016

The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of York in his black antique silk top hat.

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What do you think of Her Majesty’s hat today?

Photos from Getty 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 

 

Royal Ascot Day 3: Princess Anne & Vice Admiral Laurence

I’m so happy to welcome Ellie Vallerini, creator of Sussex-based Ellie Vallerini Hats, here to chat about all of today’s royal hats at Ascot!  

Princess Anne paired a new silk teal dress and muted teal coat with a matching hat. The straw design, in the same muted teal as the coat, has a rounded crown and high, sidesweeping brim and is embellished with a curling, multi-looped straw bow interspersed with trimmed feathers.

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Royal Hats: Happy claps! A new hat for Princess Anne!

Ellie Vallerini: How great to see Princess Anne in a new hat! The shape of this hat is fantastic, it’s always a flattering angle and a perfect size for her. I like the colour on her, although feel she could have gone a few tones darker. Although the hat itself is a bit safe the outfit altogether looks very elegant and I like the look of her dress colour underneath.

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Royal Hats: I’m with you, Ellie- the shape and scale are wonderful and the curling straw bow and feathers are a lively but still refined decoration. A few shades darker would have been great,although I think this one works thanks to the darker teal silk from Anne’s dress repeated on the hatband and piping on the bow and jacket lapel edges. It’s so good to see her embracing some softer, less severe hat shapes than some of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s designs still lurking in her hat closet!

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Anne arrived with her mother in the first royal carriage, along with her husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, and younger brother, the Duke of York, both who wore a black antique silk top hats.

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What do you think of Anne’s new hat today?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

 

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 

Trooping The Colour 2019

Queen Elizabeth’s birthday was officially celebrated today with the Trooping the Colour ceremony performed on Horse Guards Parade by St. James’s Park. A tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, the event is a colourful military spectacle.

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For this year’s birthday celebration, Queen Elizabeth repeated her ecru, pink and pale blue woven silk wool coat and hat. The modified cloche shape of the hat features a steeply sloped crown and is trimmed with beautifully detailed wired sequin flower trim.

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I was surprised to see this hat today- the Queen usually chooses less work ensembles for this event in bright colours that make her stand out in the sea of red uniforms. The gentle colour variation in the weave of the fabric on this hat is beautiful, as are the sequin flowers that embellish it but both of these are lost at distant view, which is a bit disappointing for an event like this.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn:  Mar 17, 2019; Aug 19, 2018; May 9, 2017;  Feb 28, 2017Sep 11, 2016Sep 6, 2015May 20, 2015Dec 30, 2014Apr 30, 2013

As in years past, members of the royal family holding the rank of Colonel in various regiments rode along in the military parade with distinctive plumes in each of their bearskin hats to signify their respective regiments:

Striped green and white plume of the Welsh Guards for the Prince of Wales

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St. Patrick’s blue plume of the Irish Guards for the Duke of Cambridge

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White plume of the Grenadier Guards for the Duke of York, whose regiment’s colours were trooped this year.

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The Princess Royal in the wonderful red plumed bicorne hat of Colonel of the Blues and Royals.

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Remaining members of the British royal family also took part, some travelling to Horse Guards Parade by carriage or motor coach and others joining on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet waiting crowds and watch a military flypast. Jump over to these posts to view their hats:
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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 

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.

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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.

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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