All The Queen's Hats

In the past  months, we have been watching Queen Elizabeth II at many events — the wedding of her grandson, the Diamond Jubilee, and many annual ceremonial events.  We are constantly fascinated by her lovely hats. 

Her hats cannot cover up her face, since that is why people come out — to see her!  So that means none of the big brims or fluttery veils that can be so flattering. And since she so often is climbing in and out of limos, they can’t be too big.  Or in danger of blowing off. However, her milliners certainly manage to come up with a wonderful and colorful selection of styles — here are a selection of our favorites.

For the Silver Jubilee in 1977, The Queen’s pink chapeau, decorated with 25 bells for the years in her reign, was designed by milliner Frederick Fox, who made more than 350 hats for Her Majesty.

At the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, 2011

The Queen with the Duchess of Cambridge in Leicester

Boarding the Spirit of Chartwell for the Thames Procession
Both of the Queen’s ensembles were created by her chief dresser-designer, Angela Kelly, who also made the creamy lemon outfit Her Majesty wore to the Royal Wedding.
At the Silver Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 5 June, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II in Northern Ireland, June 26, 2012, in Wedgwood Blue

Below, the pink number that is Victoria’s all-time favorite, worn at Ascot, 2011.

Another view below:

Trooping the Colour, 2011.

A rainbow of colo(u)r:

The Queen at Epsom Derby, this hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan
A paler blue hat by Philip Somerville, also a long-time milliner to Her Majesty

The Queen rarely wears beige, brown or black, being more visible in her favorite colorful couture, but there are exceptions!

At Remembrance Day, November 13, 2011

Sometimes, while not on official duties, the Queen enjoys a headscarf!
Regalia of the Order of the Garter

The Real Thing in Headware
9 May, 2012 opening Parliament

Windsor Greys Jubilee Statue Appeal

Private individuals in Windsor and Berkshire are seeking to raise funds for the Windsor Greys Jubilee project to raise a statue to a pair of Windsor Greys,  the breed of horse that always draw the Queen’s carriage, as well as all the Royal carriages – see photo below of the Greys pulling William and Kate’s Wedding Carriage. Windsor Greys are not a specific breed of horse but are rather a name applied to a group of horses that are specially bred and selected according to appearance and temperament for the ceremonial duties of the British Monarchy. At present, about thirty Greys are in Royal service and are housed at the Royal Mews.

The statue project suffered a setback when the chosen artist, sculptor Althea Wynne, was killed in a car crash. Robert Rattray, a sculptor specializing in wildlife, will now carry the project forward. It is hoped that the bronze statue will be placed on the A308/A322 roundabout adjoining the Long Walk in Windsor and will commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in the town of Windsor, as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee is commemorated there by the statue of that monarch at the entrance of Windsor Castle.

Rosemary Ussher, one of the driving forces behind the campaign, told The Observer, “It is very important we recognise The Queen’s contribution to our society, but the horses will now also be in memory of Althea.”

You can donate by sending a donation to Windsor Greys Jubilee Appeal, 35 Queen’s Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3BQ or by clicking here.

The Diamond Jubilee Events

Tuesday’s Events live from The Telegraph.

Reprise of Archbishop of Canterbury at the Service of Thanksgiving via BBC.

A few photos from Monday’s Diamond Jubilee Concert:

The spectacular staging…
Familiar faces in the audience…
Robbie and the trumpeters and Jessie J

Sir Elton John
Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole
Sir Paul McCartney
The Queen
Prince Charles thanks the Queen on behalf of all
Elizabeth II
Spectacular Fireworks
Gallery at:
Video at:
BBC Coverage:

Be There! At the Queen's Jubilee

Victoria here, barely recovered from the news that a friend’s husband has secured a spot for her to observe the Thames Pageant aboard one of the boats on the river.  I had to retreat to the fainting couch to recover from my envy.  I hope she takes really good pictures.  And I am happy for you Molly, I really am.  Really.

I will be at home, in the U. S. upper midwest, watching as much as I can find on television.  In case you are going to be looking too,  I am eager to share the good news that BBC America will do live coverage on Sunday and Tuesday.  I have made snarky remarks about the US version of the Beeb (which must be a cash cow for them) because as much as I am eager to watch BBC America, it seems like all they run are shows of that nasty chef, the very noisy Top Gear and (forever) Dr. No.   Where is good old Alan Titmarch?  Or those two ladies who clean the houses?  Or some reruns of their wonderful dramas? Whoops, here I go again. 

BBC America will carry coverage of the Diamond Jubilee on Sunday, June 3, and Tuesday, June 5.

For more information:

Sunday June 3, 2012:

Beginning at 5:30 am EDT: Previously presented programs include William and Harry: The Brother Princes; and All the Queen’s Horses, et. al.

8:30 am EDT, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: Thames Pageant

1:00 pm EDT Memories of a Queen

2:00 pm EDT Britain’s Royal Weddings

4:00 pm EDT William and Kate: A Fairytale Romance

5:30 pm EDT Prince William and Prince Harry: Into the Future

6:30 pm EDT William and Harry: The Brother Princes

8:000 pm EDT The Diamond Queen

11:00 EDT The Diamond Queen

Some programs repeated until 4:30 am EDT Monday

Tuesday, June 5, 2012:

4:15 am EDT The Queens Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving and Royal Procession Part One

6:00 am EDT The Queens Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving and Royal Procession Part Two

8:30 am EDT The Queens Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving and Royal Procession Part Three

Coverage of the Tuesday evening concert can be found on ABC stations.

Tuesday, June 5, 9 pm EDT Concert for The Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration

ABC has the exclusive American broadcast rights to Concert for The Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration, which features Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Kylie Minogue, Stevie Wonder and young recording sensation Jessie J.  Katie Couric will take viewers backstage for a unique view of the festivities, including interviews with the concert’s biggest stars.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” will broadcast Live from London June 4 and 5 mornings.

Expect coverage also from CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC all weekend, particularly on morning and evening news programs.
CBS has a couple of websites showing their coverage of events leading up to the Jubilee – click here

For full coverage, depend upon the official Diamond Jubilee site.

So, while I know you will BE THERE, Molly, I just might see more if it from over here.  At least I can comfort myself with that thought.


Kristine and I hope all of Number One London’s dear readers enjoy the upcoming events as much as we plan to do.  God save the Queen. Long may she reign! 

The Longest Reigning Monarchs

In this year celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, we can look back on those majestic beings who top the longevity lists for English monarchs.

Still number one is Her Imperial Majesty Victoria Regina (1819-1901) with sixty-three years, 216 days  on the throne, from 1837 to 1901.
Victoria’s Coronation portrait by artist George Hayter, 1837
Perfectly indicative of the incredible changes in the world during her long reign is the fact that she was portrayed at the beginning by an artist in oils and near the end by a photographer.
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Portrait, 1897
She celebrated the only Royal Diamond Jubilee until this year.  Below is one of the many souvenirs created for the event.  Festivities took place all over the empire, as they will throughout the Commonwealth for Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee this year.
Elizabeth II was born in 1926 to the second son of King George V, the future King George VI (1895-1952) and his wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later best known as the Queen Mother (1900-2002). The present Queen succeeded her father upon his death in 1952 and was formally crowned in 1953.  Now in second place for longevity of reign, Elizabeth  II might  surpass Victoria’s record in another four year or so.


Elizabeth II in 1953
The official Diamond Jubilee Portrait by John Swannell
I rather prefer her in the pink hat worn at Ascot in 2011!
Number three in longevity is George III who reigned from October 25,1760, when he was merely 22 and succeeded his grandfather George II, to January 29, 1820, though his duties had been taken over in 1811 by his son, George, Prince of Wales, as Regent.
George III, by Allan Ramsay, 1762

George III is perhaps most renowned in the U.S. as the King who “lost the colonies” for his country.  It is said that this fact plagued him for many years. But his eventual mental breakdowns were more likely to have been caused by inherited disease, usually attributed to porphyria, from which other members of the Hanoverian family may have suffered.

In fourth place is James I (1566-1625), because his time as James VI of Scotland is included.  James I was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587), and was crowned King of Scotland at age 13 months in 1567.   Mary was a cousin of Elizabeth I, but the two women were never to overcome the rivalries of their circles and develop a cooperative relationship.  Elizabeth I (1533-1603) eventually had Mary put to death. 
Mary, Queen of Scots, by Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1578

Ironically, it was Mary’s son James, the Scottish King, who untied Britain and Scotland and became Elizabeth I’s successor, King James I.
James I
Britain under James I continued its Renaissance flowering of literature (Shakespeare, Donne) and the arts in what became known as the Jacobean Age.  The bible — King James Version — was translated into English; we celebrated 400 years of this great work in 2011. 
The next two monarchs in longevity are Henry III (reigned 1226-1272) and Edward III (reigned 1327-1377), 56 and 50 years respectively.  Next is William I of Scotland (1165-1214), followed by Llywelyn of Gwynedd (1195-c.1240).

Taking 9th place in longevity is Elizabeth I (1533-1603), who followed her sister Mary Tudor and brother Edward VI as a successor to Henry VIII.  Elizabeth was age 25 when she was crowned and reigned for more than 44 years.

detail of Elizabethan procession, c. 1575
Our own Elizabethan Age began in 1952. Above is the Queen with her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  The royal couple has celebrated their  64th  wedding anniversary.


Elizabeth has been on the throne throughout the terms of office of eleven U. S. presidents, from President Eisenhower to President Obama.  Congratulations and best wishes to Elizabeth II and Philip — and all their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren too.

Elizabeth II and some of her subjects