Royal Ascot Day 3: Wrap Up

Photos released very late in the day (long after bedtime in the UK!) show a few more members of the royal family attended the races today. Princess Michael of Kent wore a new, wide brimmed hat with mushroom bound in a black stripe, trimmed with a flat black bow.

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Prince Michael looked characteristically stylish in his black silk antique top hat- a hat that makes Lord Frederick’s shorter, felt version look rather squat and dowdly in comparison!

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This day of the races also saw a few hats atop noble and notable heads:

Lady Carolyn Warren’s wide brimmed, pink pyramid with silk floral trim beneath the brim

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Viscountess Brookeborough in a wide brimmed cerulean blue hat with feather trim

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Lady Alice Manners, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, in a Philip Treacy percher

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Our guest milliner Ellie Vallerini’s pick for top non-royal hat and favourite outfit of the day is: British milliner Awon Golding in a self-made  magenta boater hat with black ruffled flowers. Ellie writes, “She looked amazing! Modern, chic and elegant, the outfit was fun and daring and a real statement while still letting Awon shine out. She definitely wore that hat and it didn’t wear her!”

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Awon Golding’s hat topped my list as well. Here are some of the other hats that caught my eye today:

Lizzie’s Hat owner Elizabeth Hughes in an oversize black straw saucer with vibrant flowers by Guibert Millinery
British milliners Ian Bennett in a scarlet silk top hat and Viv Jenner in a pink percher, both by Ian Bennett
Milliner Vivien Sheriff in a blush sidesweep saucer with explosion of patel feathers of her own design
Emma Winter in an ink blue straw beret with incredible, sculptural silk abaca trim by Ana Bella Millinery
Racing journalist Liz Price in fabulous feathers from Rachel Trevor Morgan
Natalie Dormer’s
blush straw waved disc with pleated crin trim by Jane Taylor
Jax Meehan in a turquoise funnel hat with feathers from Lizzie’s Hats
British milliner Yuan Li in a dramatic red hat with feather pinwheel of her own design
Francesca Cumani’s orange and pink feathered bandeau by Vivien Sheriff
Anika Livesley
in a large-petalled Stephen Jones design (with the milliner himself on her arm!)
Heather Morris’ hat with giant pink maribou pompom trim by Yuan LI
Ana Bella Millinery owner/designer Ana Pribylova in a dandelion hat of her own design
Alexa Holman’s
pouring floral teapot

My sincere thanks to British milliner Ellie Vallerini for taking the time from a very busy week of hatmaking to join us today. It has been our great honour to have you our conversation!

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Royal Ascot Day 2: Prince & Princess Michael of Kent

I’m so happy to be joined by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, creator of  La plus belle!  bespoke millinery in The Hague, to chat about today’s royal hats at Ascot!

Princess Michael of Kent repeated her arctic silver white silk covered pillbox hat, trimmed with trailing plumes of white ostrich feathers.

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Wies Mauduit: Again, this hat works well with today’s colder weather. I like the way the feathers soften the outline of Marie-Christine’s face. Without them, this hat would look plain, but the feather trim makes it festive enough for Ascot.

Royal Hats: This hat has been worn several times and while it sometimes seems a bit much for the average royal extended family event, it fits right in here. The colour scheme is so sophisticated and I really like the slightly flared crown shape, which gives it a bit more gravitas (if it needed any more!)

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Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: May 18, 2019; October 12, 2018June 13, 2015;  Oct 18, 2014Jun 16, 2014

Prince Michael repeated his black silk antique top hat.

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What do you think of Princess Michael’s pillbox today?

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 

Wrapping Up The Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Royal Windsor Horse Show concluded over the weekend with a number of royal attended events and a quintet of royal hats. On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth presented the day’s awards in a repeated her pink felt hat with square crown and short, cartwheel brim. The hat is trimmed with slim hatband of braided chevron-edged felt, a wide blue quill and curled copper feathers. Her Majesty wears pink so well and while I’m still not a great fan of the bouclé fabric used for her coat, the hat coordinates well with it.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: Sep 2, 2017Feb 2, 2014Apr 21, 2017

Sunday, the final day of the show, saw The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society held in Home Park. Prince Michael of Kent was one of three members of the royal family to take part in carriage driving, looking dapper in a classic black felt bowler hat.

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The Countess of Wessex made her carriage driving debut in a hat that has become a workhorse in her millinery closet, her navy moulded straw percher with swirling cream and gold feather trim. On its own, the hat is great on Sophie- great scale, great colour, great placement- but here, it’s fantastic. Matching one’s riding crop to the feathers on one’s hat is a whole other level of chic.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: Mar 12, 2018Nov 14, 2017Nov 24, 2016;  Aug 16, 2015Sep 15, 2012Jun 5, 2012

Lady Louise took part in this, her second event of this year’s show, with a repeated lichen green plaid top hat with caramel suede hatband and piping around the saddle brim. It’s a quintessential carriage driving hat but one Lady Louise wears well.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: May 14, 2017

Queen Elizabeth was on hand for the final day of the show yesterday to present winning awards in a vibrant new blue hat. In dark turquoise straw, the hat features a flat, straight-sided crown and upturned kettle brim edged in a wide band of the same silk crepe as Her Majesty’s matching coat. A slight sidesweep gives elegant movement to the shape, as does the tall straw ‘wrap’ around the crown; the hat is finished with a slim silk crepe hatband and silk roses on the side.

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The colour of this ensemble is perfection and it’s lovely to see a slightly wider brim on the Queen. I think I’d prefer the brim edge be a smidge narrower but that’s nitpicking- it’s a great new addition to the Queen’s hat wardrobe

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

It looks like a wonderful time was had here by all, in addition to these great hats. Which one stands out to you?

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

Ascot Day 2: Gloucesters & Kents

Members of the Gloucester and Kent families were also in attendance for the second day of Royal Ascot. Duchess of Gloucester, who celebrated her 72nd birthday today, surprised in a new hat! In warm caramel hued natural straw, the picture hat follows a traditional shape with rounded crown and flat brim. An additional stripe of crin around the brim extends the hat’s footprint and adds both formality and lightness to the design. It appears that the hat is finished with a mass royal blue flowers on the side that link with Brigitte’s vibrant dress. It’s a great hat for her and I adore its warm, orangey undertone with her blue dress.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

Princess Alexandra repeated her cream straw hat with a rounded crown and cartwheel brim embellished with a cream widely woven net veil overlaying the brim and silk roses and tiny curling feathers in the same palest barely-there mist green as her suit. While it’s a beautifully executed and balanced hat, I think the ensemble would benefit from an ever so slightly deeper hue of green on the suit and the hat’s trim.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 1, 2017June 25, 2016

Princess Michael repeated her pale ecru straw hat with shallow rounded crown and high, upturned kettle brim, trimmed with white silk flowers and leaves placed on the left side of the hat, both on top and below the brim. I’ve always loved the way the flowers frame Marie Christine’s face – not something we often see on a royal hat – but I really think the height of the upturned edge on the brim means the hat should be placed as a sidesweep on her head. Wearing it straight on, as she did today, leaves the hat looking off in proportion which is such a shame because  its detail is really lovely.

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Designer: unknown. 
Previously Worn: June 14, 2014; June 4, 2013; June 28, 2012
Prince Michael repeated his black silk top hat.
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I suspect the Duke of Kent was in attendance today (ChicagoChuck spotted him yesterday) but alas, he’s not to be found in any available photographs. Until I locate him, I’m curious, dearest readers about your thoughts on these hats! 
Photos from Getty as indicated