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

Ascot Day 1: Kents & De Mauleys

 Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were in today’s royal carriage procession into the Ascot grounds, joined by Rupert Charles Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley and his wife, Lucinda. Princess Michael repeated a hat we’ve not seen yet here at Royal Hats. In an interesting saddle shape, the hat is made of cream windowpane straw and is trimmed with a wide cream hatband around the crown and a mass of black silk roses under the raised left side of the brim. I’m not sure the saddle shape works successfully in this instance, where the oddly proportioned hatband makes the piece look like it has been badly flattened. It’s creative, yes, and the hat’s colour plalate coordinates nicely with Marie Christine’s printed silk dress but but I’m not sure the hat is particularly flattering.

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Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: June 21, 2012

Lady De Mauley topped her textured white suit with an almond straw vertical saucer hat trimmed with a fan of burnt feathers tucked behind the hat’s raised edge.

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Prince Michael and Lord De Mauley both looked dapper in black silk top hats.

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Thoughts about Princess Michael’s interestingly shaped hat today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Royal Windsor Horse Show

Yesterday saw the close of the Royal Windsor Horse show, an annual five day event held in Windsor Great Park.  The Queen attended several events this year and on Saturday, was on hand to award show prizes in her repeated pale blue bouclé hat trimmed with navy silk roses tucked inside the upturned brim.

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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: Sep 29, 2017Mar 16, 2017Nov 27, 2015

Lady Louise took part in carriage driving events yesterday, joined by her mother. Both women sported new hats- Louise’s dark loden felt top hat features a sharply upturned brim and is trimmed with a silk ribbon and braid hatband and an exuberant spray of swirled pheasant feathers at the side. The Countess of Wessex’s felt fedora is trimmed with an overlapping band of pheasant feathers as a hatband. Both designs are a great scale for their wearer and fit the bill of ‘country riding chic’.

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Designer of Sophie’s hat: Hicks & Brown. It is the Suffolk Fedora in Camel
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prince Michael of Kent also drove a carriage yesterday, with his wife as passanger. Michael sported a traditional black bowler hat while Marie-Christine wore a camel felt design with flat crown and saddle shaped brim.

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Queen Elizabeth was all smiles yesterday for the final awards presentation in her bright pink and grey straw cloche hat. While I’m still not a fan of the sloped crown on this design, the wonderful straw flowers and high contrast grey trim on the brim and hatband keep this hat in the winner’s circle for me. And of course- matching one’s lipstick to one’s hat is always a good thing.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: Oct 19, 2017July 5, 2017
This event is clearly one enjoyed by the royal family (and also saw the first appearances of the Duke of Edinburgh since his hip operation, seen here yesterday watching his granddaughter’s carriage driving event). What do you think of the hats at Windsor this weekend?
Photos from Getty as indicated

October Review: Week 1

Hello again, dearest readers! It’s wonderful to be back with you- thank you all so very, very much for keeping the conversation going while I was away. I want to quickly review the hats we’ve seen this month and give you all the opportunity nominate any designs you wish to see in our October favourite new and repeated hat polls. Here are the hats we saw October 1 to October 7:

Sunday, October 1: Empress Michiko in a repeated pale grey rimmed saucer with origami circular trim worn on a visit to Ehime Prefecture

Oct 1, 2017 | Royal Hats

Tuesday, October 3: Crown Princess Victoria attended the opening of the Swedish Church meetings at Uppsala Cathedral in a new headpiece of dark green silk folded into dahlia blooms, each with a knotted silk center scattered with beads.

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Tuesday, October 3: Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako attended the closing meeting of the 14th Science and Technology in Society forum in Kyoto in a repeated caramel brown bowler style hat with upturned Kettle brim, edged in a wide stripe of ribbon.

Oct 3, 2017 | Royal Hats

Tuesday, October 3: For the opening of Danish Parliament, Queen Margrethe repeated her blue beanie hat with black patent leather cuff by Per Falk Hansen. Princess Benedikte repeated her red felt brimless hat with stacked crown by Susanne Juul, Crown Princess Mary repeated her Jane Taylor designed purple pillbox with beaded side feather trim and Princess Marie repeated her navy straw fedora with wide net tulle hatband wrap and silk flower trim

Oct 3, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 3, 2017 in Susanne Juul | Royal Hats

Oct 3, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats Oct 3, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats

Oct 3, 2017 | Royal Hats   Oct 3, 2017 | Royal Hats

Danish Royal Family, Oct 3, 2017 | Royal Hats

Tuesday, October 3: Princess Hisako of Takamado attended a conference on public nutrition in Shimane Prefecture. She repeated an oyster grey straw variation on a boater hat with textured straw hatband, side bow and feather spray.

Oct 3, 2017 | Royal Hats

Wednesday, October 4: Queen Máxima  opened an exhibition at the Mauritshuis museum in a new cranberry felt Garbo hat with hatband and side bow from Fabienne Delvigne

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Wednesday, October 4: Princess Ayako in a black straw Breton hat to attend the National Sports Festival

Wednesday, October 4: Princess Anne was joined by the Duke of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent at the memorial Mass for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor at Westminster Cathedral. Princess Anne repeated a black cocktail hat with net veil wrapped beret base circled in feathers. Princess Michael repeated a  black felt Breton hat with side bow.

Oct 4, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 4, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 4, 2017 | Royal Hats

Wednesday, October 4: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Brunei Embassy in Tokyo to sign a guest book of good wishes for the Sultan of Brunei. The Empress repeated a small grey rimmed sauce hat with origami bow.

Thursday, October 5: The Earl and The Countess of Wessex attended The Sultan of Brunei’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Sophie repeated the natural straw saucer hat she first debuted at Ascot, with a slight change of trimming. The hat’s first outing featured black silk twists which were replaced here with taupe crin ones and a large coral pink feather.

Thursday, October 5:  Queen Máxima attended a Teachers’ Congress in Amersfoort, repeating her midnight blue felt fedora.

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Friday, October 7: Princess Beatrix in a navy straw bumper hat (with giant belt loops) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Team Motor Assistance in Driebergen.

That wraps up the hats we saw during the first week of October- do any of them receive your nomination for top new or repeated hat this month?

Photos from Asahi; Stella Pictures; Sankei; Press Association; Keld Navntoft/Scanpix; Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix; Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk; Chugoku Shimbun; Asahi Shimbun via Getty

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