Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to August 15, 1995 and a sharp navy and white Philip Somerville hat worn to watch a parade down the Mall during V.J. Day commemorations. While the colour scheme is classic, the oversized, flared crown shape and wide hatband are certainly of the time.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Ascot Hats: Princess Diana

During this year’s summer lull, we’re going to look at a number of royal hat topics and events we can’t get to during busier times in the royal calendar. This will include a few looks back at Ascot hats, starting today with all those worn by the late Princess Diana. Over the 11 years of her royal life, Princess Diana wore made 23 Ascot appearances in 22 different hats.

1981: Four John Boyd designs including a white veiled hat (the under the chin veil is unique, isn’t it!) and prim tomato red hat with velvet hatband and large white flower at the back, both with short brims. A wider brimmed cream straw small-scale bergere with peach carnations and lilac straw hat with ostrich plume wrap round out the hats Lady Diana wore in 1981, a month before her wedding.

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1982: Pale pink silk-covered hat with cuffed brim trimmed with a side ruffle by John Boyd in 1982, just before Prince William’s birth

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1984: On a Canadian tour during Ascot 1983, she returned in 1984 while expecting Prince Harry in a hat with rounded crown covered in the same dotted peach silk as her dress, with a wide cream transparent crin brim.

1985: A bolder black and white hat with asymetrical brim and a repeat of the peach silk and cream crin hat from 1984 with a view of it’s fantastic brim.

1986: A streamlined cream straw wide-brimmed boater with pleated hatband; a graphic white hourglass shaped hat with black domed crown and bowed hatband; and another of the trendy polka-dot ensembles she wore that year, this one in high contrast jade and black with a dotted silk covered crown and wide, black straw cartwheel brim.

1987: Even bigger brims! A cream picture hat with pale bow and floral trim on June 16; a vibrant blue design with ruched hatband and large bow on June 17; and a white picture hat with kettle brim and navy hatband by Philip Somerville on June 18 (while unconfirmed, I suspect the first two were Somerville designs as well).

 

1988: A striking straw hat with striped black and white brim on June 14;  more polka dots, this time in black and white on a wide brimmed design with slim black hatband on June 15;  and a white Philip Somerville hat with rounded crown and wide, gently upturned brim on June 16

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1989: Dramatic electric blue ruched turban with oblique white brim and feather trim on June 20; a wide brimmed pink picture hat with pork pie crown and upturned brim at the back on June 22

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1990: Two Philip Somerville designs- the purple “pagoda” hat with red hatband on on June 19 and a pale pink straw Breton with tall, upturned brim edged in a wide purple stripe on June 20

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1991: Wide brimmed black straw hat with upturned kettle brim and wide silk hatband on June 18; A textured hat in natural straw with square crown and kettle brim lavishly tucked with silk flowers in shades of pink and cream on June 19

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1992: A navy straw lampshade hat with wide mint stripe around the brim, hatband and twee bow on June 16; a high-contrast fuchsia straw picture hat with graphic black hatband and stripes around the upturned brim on her June 17

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I’m struck by a few things here- first, is the slow increase of brim sizes during the mid 1980s until 1987, when they really couldn’t have been any bigger! The small hats she wore during the first years of her marriage were quickly replaced by larger designs- not surprising, I suspect as she honed her style through her early 20s. From 1985 forward, there’s a breadth of shapes, styles and colours here, many of which require a fair bit of confidence to carry off. It’s a bolder group of hats than I expected.

What do you think of Princess Diana’s hats worn to Royal Ascot?

Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hatsto June 17, 1992, the final year that Diana, Princess of Wales, would attend Royal Ascot. Her fuchsia straw hat with black silk hatband, brim piping and stripe around the raised kettle brim is a bolder and larger scale design than many of her other designs, making this one stand out. The Queen Mother’s yellow straw capulet hat with silk flowers and veil is her quintessential millinery look for the last decades of her life.

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Do you remember seeing this hat before? Please also share any additional royal hats worn around the world today, in the comments below.

Photos from Getty as indicated

Millinery Exhibition In Brighton Includes Royal Hats

A millinery exhibition of hats made by leading British milliner Stephen Jones over the past 40 years opened yesterday at The Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

 

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Among the hats included in “Stephen Jones Hats at the Royal Pavilion” are at least four that we’ve seen step out on royal heads:

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Princess Diana’s stitched camel tam with chocolate band and bow worn in Wales, November 1982
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Princess Eugenie’s green straw percher with floral trim and flying leaves worn at Ascot, June 14, 2011
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Lady Sarah Chatto’s navy textured straw picture hat with mushroom brim worn for the Sussex’s wedding, May 2018
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The Duchess of Sussex’s ivory felt formed beret with stem worn to the Commonwealth Day Service, March 12, 2018
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Stephen Jones’ millinery aesthetic defies a single style and pushes limits of creativity and art. His designs aren’t ones I would always describe as beautiful but they are always interesting. The exhibition will be open until June 9 and if you are able to attend, let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the exhibit and, if you’re game, feature your visit here on Royal Hats. 
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Ascot Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to June 16, 1981 and a wide-brimmed lilac straw hat with double hatband and wonderful ostrich trim that caught all eyes at Ascot. This was one of Lady Diana Spencer’s earliest hats worn in public – she would marry the Prince of Wales a month later.

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I’ll check in when I can to hear your reactions and reminiscing about this hat. If there are any royal hats worn today, please share and discuss in the comments as well.

Designer: John Boyd

Photos from Getty as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1989, twenty-nine years ago, and a wide brimmed hat I don’t recall seeing before. The late Princess of Wales donned this shallow crowned design in deep purple, with a coordinating Catherine Walker coat, for a visit to St.Bride’s Church in London.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats thirty-one years to this day in 1987 and a royal visit to Hamburg that saw this faux fur tam o’ shanter by Arabella Pollen (who also designed the coat). We can thank the 1980s for such slouchy-chic shapes as these!

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Photo from Getty as indicated