Commonwealth Day Service 2020

Queen Elizabeth was joined by members of her family yesterday morning at Westminster Abbey for the annual Commonwealth Day Service.

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For this event, the Queen repeated her blue felt hat with stepped crown and upswept brim trimmed with a multi-looped felt bow and spray of blue and copper feathers. Yesterday’s photos provide a closer look at the detail on this piece than we’ve seen before- the looped bow is beautifully piped in the same woven grey fabric as is on the upper side of the brim and the width of top stitching on the matching coat’s collar is exactly the same as the width of the brim binding. Such details seem minor but add significantly to the overall look a hat. Now, if only we could peek at this ensemble’s silk dress and see how those copper feathers fit into the overall picture!

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat by Stewart Parvin.
Previously Worn: Oct 20, 2018; Nov 16, 2017

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her  navy brushed felt hat with off-center peaked crown, wide brim with gently sweeping upturn on one side and dramatic navy ostrich feather wrapped around the crown. The hat has a decidedly painterly quality to it, thanks to the deep hue of the felt and its sumptuous feather trim. It pairs so well with Camilla’s navy silk coat, the coat’s lace trimmed bottom half balancing beautifully with the hat’s equally luxurious texture.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Bruce Oldfield
Previously Worn: Dec 11, 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a new saucer hat in scarlet peachbloom felt. The hat is trimmed with a circle of piping around the crown and leaves in a deep oxblood/aubergine felt and a trio of scarlet silk camellia flowers above and on the underside of the raised brim.

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Head to toe looks in a single colour can easily look one-note but the mix of textures and shades of red give enough contrast to make this look work. The hat plays particularly well with the coat’s velvet accents, the oxblood trim fitting surprisingly well with the darker velvet shadows and the hat’s trim hitting just the right balance, neither too stark nor too cluttered, against the traditional lines of the coat. The saturated colour makes this a strong look for Kate, again, that is balanced by the hat’s smaller scale. There’s so much here that just works.

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Designer: Sally Ann Provan. It is the Sada design from AW 2019. Coat by Catherine Walker
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Sussex wore a new hat for this, her final official royal engagement. A felt beret percher in the same emerald green as her dress, the hat’s dramatic statement comes from it’s net veil trim, wrapped in two linear stripes around the round base and tied on the side in an exuberant bow.

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Throughout her royal life, Meghan has worn hats only in neutral shades- ivory, blush, olive, navy, brown and black. This design is the first one in a vibrant colour… I won’t read into the symbolism of this beyond saying how fantastic it is. The use of square dotted net veil as the hat’s only trim is a bold one that gives such wonderful texture and movement to the design. High necked frocks such as this can be tough to style with a hat and this percher hits just the right balance and proportion. While I wish the Sussexes much happiness in the life they are creating for themselves, I can’t help but mourn the fashion moments we’ll miss with them outside the royal realm.

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Designer: William Chambers. It is a bespoke version of the Veiled Teardrop Explosion from SS 2020. Dress by Emilia Wickstead.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex also wore a new pillbox hat in navy felt. With a slightly domed crown, the design is completed with a generous wrap of navy dotted net veil.

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While navy and cream is a classic combination, this ensemble is decidedly more sleek and modern. This pillbox’s veil trim gives it an air of effortlessness that pairs wonderfully with the sleek lines of Sophie’s dress and again, the hat’s scale works wonderfully with the high neck on the dress. It’s an ensemble that works better together than its components do on their own and I love how the classic pieces are interpreted in a way that is so modern and fresh. Sophie has several dark blue pillbox hats in her wardrobe but I think this addition might be my favourite.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Suzannah
Previously Worn: This hat is new

This event always brings us several hats and after several weeks where royal hat sightings have been sparse, this group is particularly welcome. What do you think of these hats in London yesterday?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

My sincere thanks, everyone, for continuing the royal hat conversation here over the past month. It was wonderful to step away from the blog and know you would care for it while I was away. Thank you very much. 

You have all done an amazing job sharing all the royal hats that have made an appearance over the past month. Here’s another look at the pair for church this morning at Windsor. Queen Elizabeth repeated her lilac-grey straw hat with handmade blooms by Rachel Trevor Morgan while the Duchess of Sussex wore a headpiece of what looks like black straw and crin petals that I believe is new.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
From UK milliner Vivien Sheriff, a fuchsia beret percher covered in orange lace with beaded applique flower trim
Black & white straw saucer with black lace applique flower trim by French brand Mei Mei France Chapeaux
Fantastic handmade gold wire floral bandeau by Irish milliner Ashleigh Myles
For our dear gents, these dapper and very sleek wool caps by UK brand Marrison Millinery
Wide teal dotted silk bandeau with feather explosion and sequinned bow by Kentucky-based The Mad Duchess
Sleekly elegant ecru straw cuffed teardrop design with pearl trimmed quill by Irish milliner Sheila McCarthy
Olive and ochre felt wide brimmed saucer with slim gold trim and bows from British milliner Sarah Cant
Midnight blue fur felt beret percher with wonderful leather twist trim from Australian milliner Tracy Mackinnon

And from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, this fantastic cocktail hat with silk satin covered button base trimmed with a mass of blue and black feathers studded with crystals and pearls and the most wonderfully patterned birdcage veil.

Princess Marie Chantal is releasing a book this week

Great message from Princess Esmeralda of Belgium

Sheikh Mohammad attempted to keep the terrifying ways he has treated female members of his family a secret but it came out this week.  This solidifies my support behind Princess Haya and makes me hope there will be further investigation into Sheikha Shamsa and Sheikha Latifa’s current realities. (BBC)
Lovely pair of photos released by the Swedish court in celebration of Prince Oscar’s fourth birthday. A few weeks ago, another pair were released for Princess Estelle’s eighth birthday.

Photos from social media as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hatsto February 15, 1968 and a braided turban with giant tassel trim on Queen Elizabeth to attend a reception for the Confederation of British Industry. Surprising to see a hat with such a craft-project vibe on Her Majesty.

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Please share any Royal Hat related updates and conversation in the comments below.

Photo from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Princess Beatrice rang in Chinese New Year in a pearl trimmed Zara bandeau
Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia in streamlined black hats (and headpiece) on Tuesday for the funeral of Dagmar von Arbin

On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth wore a silk headscarf for an engagement- something we don’t often see her do. She officially opened the new Wolferton Pumping Station 72 years after father, King George VI, opened the original station on February 2, 1948.
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On Thursday, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia were in warm winter hats for the Jokkmokk Fair in northern Sweden
Queen Margrethe repeated her smart navy wool covered hat with tartan hatband by Mathilde Thoe Førster yesterday to open the new Copenhagen Museum
The following new millinery designs caught my (and my mum’s !) eyes this week:
Fantastical floral wire vine headpiece made of recycled plastic by Australian milliner Brea Moreland
Ochre straw retro mushroom brimmed hat with blue silk bowed hatband by UK brand Gillys MIllinery
Red straw beret percher with feather flowers and wired crin loops by British milliner Rosie Olivia

And two to highlight- the first, from British milliner Marissa Groom, is a cream straw button percher with pastel sinamay flames and rows of cream ruffles. The second, from Japanese brand Maxim, is a brown felt design with cut felt feather hatband and woven chain detail around the brim edge.

The Danish monarchy released new portraits of Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie to celebrate their respective birthdays this week

Sweet new family portrait of Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and family (I think Princess Estelle’s hairbow is from Livly)
We end this week with an interesting clip of Queen Elizabeth, shared this week on the anniversary of her accession.

Photos from Getty Images and social media as indicated

Queen Visits Air Force Training Center

Last Monday, Queen Elizabeth visited the new integrated training centre at RAF Marham. For this day out, she wore a new ensemble with matching hat in a cream, peach and pink textured bouclé plaid. The hat features a gently sloped crown and upturned brim and is trimmed on the side with a wired plaid bow and spray of pale peach feathers

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The feather trim gives some welcome textural contrast to this ensemble, as does the bias pattern of the plaid on the bottom of the upturned brim. I’m not sure I would have chosen the plaid pattern for all three pieces (hat, dress and coat) of the ensemble but the colour palate is a pretty one that the Queen wears well.

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Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: This hat is new

What do you think of this new addition to Queen Elizabeth’s hat closet?

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Photos from Getty as indicated