Queen Elizabeth and Duchess of Sussex Visit Cheshire

Queen Elizabeth was joined by the Duchess of Sussex today for a ‘day away’ in Cheshire with a program that included opening Mersey Gateway Bridge, a visit to Chester Town Hall and opening a combined theatre, cinema and library facility. For these events, the Queen repeated her lime straw hat with tall crown and short, sideswept brim trimmed with a lime crepe silk hatband in the same fabric as her coat and a handmade straw flower.

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For a small hat, this design has a lot going on- unique crown shape, sharply upswept brim, strong colour, oversize flower trim – but Rachel Trevor Morgan’s adept hand pulls the design into balance. Stewart Parvin’s design hand also helps here- the streamlined neckline on the coat gives a clean foundation to show the hat off to great effect and the coat’s open bottom allows the outfit’s patterned dress to peek through, linking with the red stamens on the flower. Yes, the ensemble is a lot of lime but not to the extent that it overpowers and, as these photos show, allows Her Majesty to be easily spotted in a crowd. It’s a lighthearted hat and outfit that fit well with the events of the day.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn: June 20, 2017June 6, 2014

The Duchess of Sussex followed the more casual dress code adopted by other British royals (Princess Anne, the Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Cambridge to name a few) for many similar daytime engagements and went without a hat. I don’t expect her to become a great hat wearer so this is not a surprise. Hats aside, the two women appeared to enjoy a lovely day together. 
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Thoughts about this third outing of the Queen’s lime hat?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Trooping The Colour 2018

A tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, the Trooping the Colour ceremony was performed today on Horse Guards Parade by St. James’s Park. The event marks the monarch’s official birthday celebration and concluded, as in years past, with the entire British royal family appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to witness a military flypast.

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For the event, Queen Elizabeth her repeated sky blue hat with straw sideswept brim and wool silk covered crown. The hat is trimmed with a wide stripe of wool silk binding on the brim’s edge and a posy of blue and white silk flowers, blue seed pearls and slim white feathers, along with several looped blue blue wool silk bows.

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The bright turquoise hue of the piece made Her Majesty stand out in the sea of red uniforms. It’s a lovely colour on her, as is the scale and shape of this piece. I’ve said before that the beautiful detail of the floral trim is lost except at close-up view, which is a bit disappointing at such a high profile event as this.

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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: July 6, 2016; November 28, 2015

As in years past, members of the royal family holding the rank of Colonel in various regiments rode along in the military parade.  The distinctive plumes in each of their bearskin hats signify their respective regiments-  striped green and white plume of the Welsh Guards for the Prince of Wales, St. Patrick’s blue plume of the  Irish Guards for the Duke of Cambridge and white plume of the Grenadier Guards for the Duke of York, who rode in this year’s parade for the first time. The Princess Royal again appeared in uniform as Colonel of the Blues and Royals with the wonderful red plumed bicorne hat of this regiment.

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Trooping the Colour is a highlight of the British royal year and the event creates a spectacular backdrop against which to enjoy these wonderful hats. The only disappointment here was the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh, who turned 97 years old today. We wish him the happiest of birthdays. 
Photos from Getty as indicated

Queen Opens Jubilee Galleries

Queen Elizabeth was joined this morning by the Prince of Wales at Westminster Abbey to officially open The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries.

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For this event, she repeated her mulberry straw hat with stepped crown and gently sideswept brim, trimmed with a side posy of handmade silk flowers and mulberry a straw multi-looped bow.

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There’s not much to add about this hat- the colour, scale, stepped crown shape and balanced trim are all lovely on Her Majesty. I can only imagine she agrees, as it’s not often a new design is worn four times in its first year as this one has!

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan. Coat by Stewart Parvin.
Previously Worn: April 1, 2018;  July 12, 2017June 24, 2017
Did today’s outing of this hat change your thoughts about it?
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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

Queen Hosts Palace Garden Party

The third garden party of this summer season was held today in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty, The Queen.

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For the occasion, Queen Elizabeth repeated a hat we’ve not seen in nearly three years. With a dark blue silk covered crown, the design features a double straw brim (turquoise on top, dark blue on the bottom) with turquoise silk covered kettle raised edge. The hat is trimmed with diagonal pleats of overlapping dark blue and turquoise silk and a pair of peacock feathers at the side.

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The colour and contrast in this piece is lively and energetic and the dark blue, with its wonderful purple undertone, grounds the bright turquoise so well. If I’m honest, I don’t exactly love the crown shape – the diagonal slope and the pleated trim give two sharp peaks that if softer, could be more flattering. This, however, is not a soft hat and I suppose the shape is meant to mimic the punchy colour scheme. The last time we saw this hat, it was worn primarily with a matching coat which made for almost too much graphic contrast. Today’s outing, with the printed dress, is a really lovely pairing on the Queen.

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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: June 25, 2015

The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge, in morning dress and a top hat

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Princess Eugenie topped her navy summer coat with a black straw boater hat trimmed with a silk hatband, a wide swath of dotted net tulle veil and a message of love hand beaded in silver beads. A quick look through Eugenie’s millinery history shows this is her first publicly worn boater, a shape that works very well with her face shape and hairstyle. The other first- I think this might be the first word we’ve seen written on a royal hat! The hat is perfectly timed after one family wedding, months before her own, turning what might be a cheesy statement into a rather sweet one. If there was ever a time for Eugenie to wear a declaration of love, now is it.

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Designer: Misa Harada. It is the “Nina” design from SS 2018
Previously Worn: this hat is new

The Duchess of Gloucester looked to be wearing a new straw pillbox in vibrant blue that paired beautifully with her pumpkin shirtwaist dress. I love how the Duke matched his silk tie to this hat!

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Princess Alexandra repeated a hat with tall, squared navy straw crown and upswept brim in almond straw printed with navy dots and bound in a stripe of black straw. The hat is trimmed with a multi-knotted bow in the same dotted straw as the brim and a handful of trimmed navy feathers. It’s a great pairing with her dotted skirt and jacket, which highlights the uniquely patterned brim.

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 3, 2012
That’s a handful of handsome millinery designs, don’t you agree?!
Photos from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

While a certain wedding took much royal focus over the past week, there were a few other events (and hats!) we need to catch up on! First up is Queen Elizabeth headed to church yesterday in her sage cloche hat with tall yellow crown wrap and feather trim.

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While we usually see a hats on the Norwegian queen and crown princess for their country’s National Day celebrations, Thursday’s festivities only saw hats on the men. King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon both stepped out for the annual balcony appearance in top hats.

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An informal garden party was held last Thursday afternoon at Buckingham Palace for recipients of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. While The Duke of York, Countess of Wessex and Princess Royal did not wear hats, the Earl of Wessex donned a natty straw summer Panama design.


If you will be in London on June 21, you’ll want to take in Clair Hughes’ lecture “Uneasy Heads: Royalty And Their Hats) at the Fashion and Textile Museum and pick up her recently released book. 

The following new millinery designs caught my eye last week:

Multi hued pink “Polaris” cocktail hat from London-based Australian milliner Lisa Tan
Large saucer with creative black & white bubble cutouts from British millinery brand Mind Your Bonce
Black wide brimmed hat with dented crown and white flowers from Canadian brand The Saucy Milliner
Straw hat with brilliant green shantung silk binding and trim from British milliner Dillon Walwork
Merlot silk covered button percher with stunning feathers from London-based Bundle McLaren
Exquisitely trimmed smaller scale hats in pastel hues from British milliner Sarah Cant

And from Dutch milliner Myra Van de Korput, this vibrant pleated jinsin disc hat with red bound edge.

 Royal Hats

Beautiful new portraits of Princess Charlene taken for Rooi Rose magazine.

Adorable set of pictures released by the Swedish Monarchy of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar enjoying spring

And we head into the new week with this photo of Queen Elizabeth at the Chelsea Flower Show today.

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British Royal Wedding: Immediate Families

We start our look at this wedding’s many hats with those worn by members of the bride and groom’s immediate families. Queen Elizabeth topped her lime yellow silk coat with a matching design that features a slightly flared, square crown and wide mushroom brim with upturned kettle cuff. The hat’s crown and brim edge is covered in the same fabric as Her Majesty’s coat while the brim is straw; the purple feather spray and beaded flower and leaf trim links with the ensemble’s silk dress.

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Upturned kettle edges are usually seen on flat brims- this version, on a mushroom shaped brim, is unique twist. The detail of the beaded flowers and leaves, which are also studded with pearls, is beautiful to see at the closeup image below. I’m afraid, however, the volume of purple feathers overwhelms the piece and takes it into the dreaded realm of ‘overtrimming’.

Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren. Dress and coat by Stewart Parvin
Previously Worn:Previously Worn: This hat is new
The Duchess of Cornwall wore an interesting pinwheel hat of feathers attached to a large button base. I can’t remember the last time we saw a hat brim made up entirely of feathers and while the hat wins many points for creativity, I’m not sure it flatters its wearer. Maybe I’m just distracted with the conviction that it’s going to start spinning at any moment?

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Anna Valentine
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of Cambridge topped her cream coat with a large saucer statement hat in pale biscuit straw. The hat is sharply upswept in a fluted curve on one side to reveal lavish straw twists and pale yellow silk roses trimming the underside. The organic shape is unusual without being zany and makes a bold style statement that counteracts the piece’s quiet colour, giving it movement and life. I’m not surprised to see Kate in a neutral ensemble and familiar coat – this hat keeps the ensemble safely away from boredom.

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Designer: Philip Treacy OC 458 from SS 2018. Coat by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Doria Ragland topped her floral embroidered mint dress and jacket with a smooth white para-sisal beret beret. The hat is simply trimmed with a small, flat bow in mint Petersham ribbon at the back. It’s certainly not a statement piece but a great choice for someone who doesn’t likely wear many hats and it balances well with her coat and dress.

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Designer: Stephen Jones. Dress and coat by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim for Oscar de la Renta.  
Previously Worn: This hat is new

At many royal weddings, the non-royal family members sometimes stick out with their fashion choices but I thought Doria’s ensemble not only fit in, but complimented the others at the center of this wedding. Thoughts about these four hats?
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Photos from Getty as indicated