Ascot Day 1: Wrap Up

The first day of races this year also saw hats worn on a few noble British heads. The Duchess of Rutland topped her wonderfully fitted 1950s-esque coat with a percher hat trimmed with an oversize pale blue rose studded with net tulle veil. The hat is the “Full Bloom” design by Edwina Ibbotson Millinery.

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Lady Carolyn Warren, wife of the Queen’s racing manager John Warren (and daughter of her former racing manager Lord Porchester) standing just behind the Earl of Wessex on the left below, wore a wide flat brimmed hat in pale pink, lavishly trimmed with curling bows and what looks like a mix of crin and feathers.
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The Duke of York and Lord Vestey arrived in the Queen’s carriage, both in black silk traditional top hats
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Turning our attention to non-royal heads at Ascot today, numerous beautiful designs that caught my eye including:
We end Day 1 with racegoer Edite Ligere in a fantastically theatrical navy hat with bows and blue ostrich plumes by Sarah Marshall for John Boyd. 
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That’s a wrap from Day 1!  Were there any other hats at the races today that captured your heart?  
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Epsom Derby Day 2018

The Investec Derby Festival was held at Epsom Downs Racecourse today and as in years past, a number of royal spectators were in attendance. Queen Elizabeth repeated her lavender straw hat with tall crown and flat brim, trimmed with silk leaves and peony blooms.

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It has been four years since this hat’s last outing and today’s reappearance reminds me of some of its best features- the delicate, trimmed green feather leaves, the perfect summery shade of purple, and the wonderful contrast provided by those silk peonies. The crown is slightly higher than what we usually see on the Queen but the molded shape is unique and balanced by its diagonal slope and the wide straw hatband.

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An interesting note, the coat paired with this hat today is usually paired with a different purple hat (see here). Coat swaps aside, the floral trim on the hat clearly links with the ensemble’s floral print dress- a mix I think works best with a glimpse of the dress peeking out from the coat rather than side by side, although it’s always a treat to see the hat directly against its matching dress.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 28, 2013; March 30, 2012; June 17, 2010

Princess Alexandra used the occasion today début a very sharp new hat.

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In pale pink straw, the hat follows a traditional boater shape with flat crown and brim. Its design flourish is a wide pink straw hatband, edged on both sides in a stripe of black straw and jauntily twisted at the side. This is an entirely new shape for Alexandra, who usually favours hats with much higher crowns. The scale and shape are fantastic on her and the hat’s styling today, with her elegant pink suit and patterned scarf, was spot on.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Today’s top race was won by jockey William Buick on Masar, a horse from Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stable. For this victory, Princess Haya was head-to-hem in red, a colour she always looks spectacular in. Her hat, a vertical saucer, is trimmed with a giant silk bloom tucked beneath the brim of the raised side. We often see Haya in larger, wider brimmed hats and the smaller scale of this one, thanks in part to its vertical position, is especially flattering for her.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC-445 from SS 2018
Previously Worn:

Sheikha Al Jalila and was also on hand to celebrate the Dubai royal family’s win in a small cream button hat with straw twists.

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Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan wore a grey felt top hat while Sheikh Mohammed repeated his top hat in black silk.

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Designer of Jalila’s hat: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Lady Carolyn Warren, daughter of Queen Elizabeth’s late friend and racing manager the 6th Earl of Carnarvon (known by his nickname “Porchy”) and wife of Her Majesty’s current racing manager John Warren, wore a wide brimmed cream straw hat with angular shaped crown and slightly upswept brim on one side. The hat is trimmed with a slim multi-layered hatband, cream silk roses and feathers. It’s an elegant design that pairs beautifully with her aqua tailored suit.

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Designer: Philip Treay
Previously Worn: This hat is new 

The races at Epsom always provide a taste of racing hats to come later in June and wow- what a way to whet our appetites! If this group of royal hats is anything to go by, we’re in for a fantastic month ahead.
Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royal Wedding: Other Royal & Noble Guests

The only foreign royals invited to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding were Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, who co-founded the Sentebale charity, and his wife, Princess Mabereng. Princess Mabereng’s printed dress embellished with pink flowers and a matching pink head wrap are made from traditional Basotho fabrics, a lovely Lesotho connection to Prince Harry, who has great affection for this small country.

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Guests at the wedding also included numerous members of the Spencer family. Countess Spencer wore a Rachel Trevor Morgan designed vertical saucer hat in regal purple straw, decorated with multiple organza bows in the same hue. With her purple Pamela Roland jacket and dress, the hat tops a striking ensemble.

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One of my favourite ensembles of the day was worn by Charles Spencer’s daughter, Lady Kitty, who paired an emerald crepe floral Dolce and Gabanna dress with a matching custom straw calot hat with side knot, feathers and veil. Kitty placed the Philip Treacy design further forward on her head than a calot is traditionally worn but the effect, with her simple hairstyle, open neckline on the dress and restrained jewelry, is so very beautiful.

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Kitty’s sister, Lady Eliza Spencer, wore a half circlet headpiece in black lace around the lower back of her head. Another unusual placement, the piece contrasted beautifully against her blonde waves. Their mother, Prince Harry’s aunt Victoria Aitken, wore a veiled black fedora hat. Both black designs were from Philip Treacy.

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Prince Harry’s aunt, Lady Jane Fellowes, topped her grey and blue floral coat with a large navy straw hat with mushroom brim, trimmed with a ruched navy hatband and large flower on the side. While the two pieces coordinate,the pairing feels rather bland. Maybe I can’t get beyond the grey coat, which I don’t think is the best colour for Jane.

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Lady Sarah McCorquodale also wore a navy straw hat. A more angular shape, the crown on her hat featured squared angles and the upswept brim, a short upturned kettle edge. The hat’s lines are softened with a spray of multicoloured flowers that tie with Sarah’s floral coat. Sarah’s daughter-in-law, Bianca, visible directly behind her in the photo below, topped her pink jacket and floral dress with a matching large teardrop shaped percher hat trimmed with a multi looped bow.

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Sarah’s daughters Celia, below center, and Emily, below right, both wore lively pink percher hats.

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While I have not yet spotted a photo of Countess Mountbatten of Burma, British milliner Dillon Wallwark posted this photo of her daughter Lady Alexandra Hooper (née Knatchbull) in a stunning hat from his studio. The pale pink straw design is lavishly trimmed beneath the upswept brim with silk roses and bows.

The Grosvenor family was also in attendance. The Duchess of Westminster wore a wide brimmed black straw hat trimmed with striped black and white feathers that linked with her zebra printed dress.

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The Duchess of Westminster’s three daughters each wore a saucer hat from Rachel Trevor Morgan. Lady Tamara topped her bright, peacock feather printed dress with an upswept navy saucer embellished with navy silk bows and  turquoise and lime ombre dyed, arrow trimmed feathers. Balancing two vibrant pieces is a challenge but this ensemble got it just right and remains one of my favourites of the day. Lady Viola contrasted her orange dress with a smaller navy percher saucer trimmed with a swath of dotted tulle. Lady Edwina paired her pink and black dotted dress with a pink saucer rimmed in black piping.

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The Van Cutsem family was also in attendance. Emilie van Cutsem topped her orange coat with a matching bumper hat trimmed with an orange net tulle veil and spray of orange and fuchsia feathers at the back.

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Her son William’s wife, Rosie van Cutsem, topped her printed coat with a large button base percher hat trimmed with what looks like a lavender bow at the back. Her son Hugh’s wife, Rose Astor van Cutsem, topped her bright floral printed frock with a textured white button percher trimmed with a burgundy tipped silk rose and white curling quills by London based milliner, Cara Meehan.

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Lady Carolyn Warren, wife of Queen Elizabeth’s racing manager John Warren (daughter of the late Lord Porchester, who was a close friend and former racing manager of the queen) wore a prepossessing cream straw hat with domed crown and wide, lattice patterned straw, trimmed with multiple straw twists on the back half of the hat. It’s not the first thing I’d think of to pair with a lace dress but it’s a wonderful combination. Lady Carolyn’s daughter Susanna, wore a natural straw bumper base percher hat trimmed with an explosion of white feathers. The combined look of her high necked floral dress, hairstyle and hat is a fresh and elegant one.
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Zoe Warren, Lady Carolyn’s daughter-in-law and and mother of the littlest bridesmaid Zalie Warren topper her bright pink Dea Kudibal dress with a matching percher hat from Bundle MacLaren. The design features a wired net tulle brim and arrow trimmed feathers. If you’re going to go bright pink from head to toe, this is how you do it.

While not officially nobility, the Middleton family’s royal connections feel secure enough to include in this post. Carole wore an elegant green silk Catherine Walker coat and dress with a matching seafoam green straw fluted saucer hat. The Jane Taylor design is embellished with green silk flowers and leaves and grey tulle. The trim on the hat gives enough dimension to the piece to keep the ensemble from looking too one note- truly a beautiful pairing.

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Another one of my favourite looks yesterday was on Pippa Middleton Matthews, who topped her pleated floral dress from The Fold London with a Jess Collett hat. The hat’s natural straw button base, ivory silk flowers and densely woven beige cut net trim pairs so perfectly with the ivory, green and beige dress.

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Update- The Duchess of Cornwall’s daughter Laura Lopes and daughter-in-law Sarah Buys were also both in attendance. Laura is in a green patterned dress and black straw teardrop percher hat with yellow trim. I love that she chose an African print for this wedding and the small hat in a strong colour stands up well against the dress. As for Sarah Buys ‘ crushed velvet dress and patterned, waved headpiece- I think the whole look has an unfortunate Miss Havisham vibe. 

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There are such strong hats in this group- which ones stand out most to you?
Photos from Getty as indicated