How Her Majesty has always shown she's got a great head for fashion
For winter style inspiration, look no further than Queen Elizabeth II, who always works a bright coat and matching hat with aplomb, writes Lauren Taylor
If you're planning to head out to a Christmas service, winter wedding or any other occasion that might call for a classic, formal hat this festive season, there can be no one better to take inspiration from than the Queen.
After all, we see Her Majesty more often in a hat than out of one.
Every year she attends church on Christmas Day, she always, always wears a hat, so we've taken a look back at some of her best festive headwear through the years and asked milliner Awon Golding to talk us through the Queen's style evolution in hats.
In 1978, the royal hat of choice was a felt pillbox hat. "It's a style she'll come back to many times in her life," says Golding. "It was popularised in the Sixties by Jackie Kennedy.
"We'll see throughout the Queen's sartorial life that she consistently wears hats that are swept up and away from the face. When meeting with dignitaries, it was important they could see her eyes, and that the official photographs were able to capture her whole face."
The hat selected by the Queen in 1983 feels just as fitting for a winter wedding as it would have been for royalty to attend a Christmas Day church service - we'll go for faux fur now, of course.
"This feathered pillbox is decorative, featuring a coque feather trim and delicate veiling. From the photo it looks like the hat itself is also covered in what could possibly be pheasant feathers," says Golding.
The Queen has been rocking bold block colour way before it became mainstream fashionable, and in a sea of Nineties beige, she radiated in purple in 1992.
"This exaggerated Breton is made in matching purple tweed to the Queen's coat," explains Golding. "Once again, we see the sweeping uplift of the brim, exposing the face and framed by her signature curled hair."
The Nineties really was a time when the Queen began to match her coat and hat colours. Golding says her 1999 sculptural beret in blue wool would have a canvas base to it, which would be covered and lined with fabric.
The Queen always needs to look her best on Christmas Day, because many people see her outside the church at Sandringham, and hand over flowers.
As the Noughties dawned, she went for a bright colour-match combination, with her trademark black leather handbag.
This 2001 hat is made from parasisal, a type of milliner's straw, and sinamay, a popular hat-making foundation made from the stalks of the abaca tree, and would have been hand-dyed to match the Queen's outfit, "perfectly mirroring the turquoise and cobalt of the jacket and dress", says Golding.
The new millennium saw the Queen start to experiment with bolder hat choices, textures and accessories, and her 2002 choice stands out.
"This fuchsia tweed and black fox fur Cossack is both elegant and warm," says Golding. "More than likely this would have a felt body underneath with fabric and fur blocked and sewn on top."
Matching was the theme again in 2005, this time in a muted peach outfit - but that doesn't stop the Queen showing a stylish flourish with the bow detail on this hat.
"This peach bloom felt and silk hat is another classic shape for the Queen," observes Golding. "Her Majesty's ubiquitous hat pin is clearly visible here, holding the hat in place."
We're enjoying the red and grey feather explosion of 2008. "This hat is made from a soft grey melusine fur felt, with crimson velvet trimming and button, and matching coque feathers," notes Golding.
It is also, of course, perfectly coordinated to the Queen's coat.
Cloche hats were very fashionable during the 1920s, and the Queen clearly knows how to work vintage - for her Christmas choice of 2011 is a lesson in retro revival.
"This ivory velour felt cloche with asymmetrical brim and exaggerated crown is trimmed with a matching waffle weave lavender tweed trimband and felt and fabric twist," says Golding.
The burnt orange hat of 2017, made from a sinamay base covered with matching orange fabric, features an elegant handmade floral sinamay and wire trim.
"You can see the end of the hat pin here - almost all the Queen's hats feature one or two hat pins to hold the hat in place in all circumstances," explains Golding.
So what will it be in 2019? We can't wait to see.