Hats off to Camilla and Carole

Our experts on the royal-wedding millinery

Carole Middleton, The Queen and Camilla show off their royal wedding hats

From the day they received their invites to the royal wedding, guests were on the hunt for the perfect hat to top off their outfit. We’ve rounded up our millinery experts and got the lowdown on the hat hits – and misses…


Style Insider

Jane Taylor of Jane Taylor millinery designed hats for many of the guests on the day: “One of my clients, HRH The Countess of Wessex, is a lady who knows how to dress with understated glamour – perfect for this type of occasion,” Jane says. “I was honoured and very proud to be asked to design her bespoke hat for this occasion, made from fine straw hand-dyed to match her outfit, and trimmed with soft roses, feathers and gold lace.”

Jane also designed a bespoke headpiece for Sunetra Atkinson, wife of comedian Rowan. “Her beautiful outfit had a romantic Italian feel,” she explains, “and I was commissioned to create her beaded rose headpiece, which I dyed to pick up the colour of the accessories. Then I added a touch of gold for elegance.”

The Royal Circle

Meanwhile Sarah Rhodes, owner of Get Ahead Hats, adored Carole Middleton’s elegance on the day: “Looking glamorous in a grey and blue parisisal straw, shallow-crowned hat, she was certainly fashionable – which is very important for such a key member of the wedding party,” she says.

Sarah was also a fan of the Duchess of Cornwall’s daring look: “Camilla, like many other guests, chose to wear a muted shade – she went for a champagne-coloured hat by Philip Treacy with a large upturned brim. This type of hat is very difficult to carry off, but she succeeded because she has plenty of hair to balance such a dramatic style.”

A Step Ahead

So which styles should your wedding guests be stocking up on? Sarah pegged saucer hats and perchers as trends to watch this season – particularly for younger wedding guests. “Kate made the style popular, and it’s no wonder they’ve taken off because they’re very easy to wear,” she explains. “A percher won’t give you hat hair, and is perfect for hot weather because it is worn on a headband or elastic and only covers half the head.” Expect to see plenty more of the summer staple in the coming months…

Sarah Rhodes is owner of Get Ahead Hats, which has 17 showrooms across the UK.

Jane Taylor is owner of Jane Taylor Millinery, and a sought-after milliner.


Harriet Small