Ladies’ Day at Ascot also saw a number of royal men in attendance! In addition to the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Michael of Kent, Lord Frederick Windsor and the Duke of York, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Prince Nikolaos of Greece also attended the races in fine morning suits and top hats.
While the cameras somehow missed her, Princess Alexandra also attended, arriving in the main carriage procession with princess Beatrice and the Duke and Duchess of Fife. Alexandra wore her teal blue straw hat with curled burnt feather trim, designed by Rachel Trevor Morgan (see a better photo of this design at its début last year).
The Duchess of Fife, who is new here to Royal Hats, wore a large navy saucer hat studded with seed pearls and trimmed with a feather quill.
Lady Kitty Spencer wore a striking black cocktail hat from Philip Treacy with striped crin detail. Lady Laura Cathcart, a royal milliner in her own right, topped her yellow houndstooth dress with a beautifully whimsical white pillbox trimmed with yellow butterflies, presumably of her own design. Both hats are memorable pieces, in the best ways possible.
I know a number of you have mentioned non-royal hats at Ascot that you have enjoyed as much as the royal ones- please feel free to share them in the comments of this post. I have a few I plan to add to your discussion!
Members of the British Royal Family officially kicked off the summer racing season today with attendance at the Epsom Derby Festival in Surrey. For these races, the Queen repeated one of my least favourite pieces in her millinery closet, a hat in white textured straw trimmed with piping and a hat band made of the same blue fabric as her coat. While my initial response to this piece might be a little strong, I still think the shape and embellishment on this piece doesn’t work toether and leaves the piece several steps short of being elegant or attractive.
Princess Michael of Kent was also in pale grey, repeating her silk covered pillbox with white feather plume trim. Even in a neutral colour, Marie-Christine has a knack for standing out and the plume on this hat always makes me smile. It’s such a great hat for raceday. Like Prince Philip, Prince Michael chose a grey top hat with black hatband. It’s a handsome hat on him but I would have preferred it paired with a grey waistcoat instead of the beige one he wore today.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, who are also racing enthusiasts, were also in attendance today. Prince Haya paired her sleek white coat dress with a black straw disk hat rimmed in a wide stripe of white straw and trimmed with a large white silk flower. While the hat crowned a very elegant ensemble, it was less of a statement than we usually see Haya favour and left me just slightly underwhelmed. Sheikh Mohammed sported a gleaming antique silk top hat that contrasted nicely with his punchy raspberry tie.