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The 32 Worst Royal Wedding Hats Ever – MarieClaire.com

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While we don’t see as many wild and over-the-top hats at royal weddings these days, it was once a time-honored upper-class tradition. Particularly in the ’90s and ’00s, the bigger and more exuberant the headgear, the better. Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were particularly well-known for this, but as you’ll see, they’re far from the only wedding guests to rely on an outrageous topper. And though huge and hilarious headgear at royal weddings has fallen out of favor in recent years, we still cherish these pieces fondly. Below, the wildest and most talked-about royal wedding hats and fascinators ever.

Princess Beatrice

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Back in the day, Princess Beatrice and sister Princess Eugenie seemed to really enjoy going for the biggest, boldest hats at royal weddings. For the 2011 wedding of Mike Tindall and Zara Philips, Beatrice’s teal topper reminded onlookers of a fashion satellite.

Princess Eugenie

royal hat eugenie

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At the Mike Tindall-Zara Philips nuptials, Princess Eugenie pulled out a graphic brown and white hat that looked like it had feathers poking straight out of the top. It wasn’t as eye-catching as Beatrice’s teal circle, but it was befuddling nonetheless.

Princess Diana

royal hat princess diana

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For the wedding of Helen Windsor (daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who is the cousin of Queen Elizabeth) to Tim Taylor, Princess Diana wore a very ’90s look in this convex black and green bow hat. I actually think without the bow it could have worked??

Princess Michael of Kent

royal hat princess michael of kent

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The rather controversial royal attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding with an enormous dinner plate of a hat, surrounded on one side by two bulbous roses. Eye-catching, certainly, although my biggest question is the bit of sheer fabric at the front.

Maria Margarita Vargas Santaella

royal hat Maria Margarita Vargas Santaella

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At the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco to Charlene Wittstock, Princess Marie-Marguerite of Bourbon, Duchess of Anjou, is bedecked in gray. I confess that I don’t love the “UFO-style” hat in general, and the fluffy feathers on the side are distracting.

Kate Middleton

royal hat kate middleton

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Early in her days as a royal (this is the 2006 wedding between Laura Parker Bowles (Camilla’s daughter) and Harry Lopes), Kate Middleton had an adventurous eye for her headgear. I think I might like it better if we didn’t have those very thin strands popping out at all angles.

Queen Camilla

royal hat queen camilla

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Now this is a big hat. The future Queen Camilla wore a petal pink topper that was deemed “extravagant” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Perhaps she was simply aiming to be visible, much like Queen Elizabeth always did with her headgear?

Princess Anne

royal hat princess anne

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The no-nonsense royal (whose fashion sense is a fun combination of colorful and quirky) attended the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston in a blue and yellow striped hat. I’m reminded a tiny bit of Willy Wonka—I think it might be the shape.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

royal hats queen beatrix

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The former Queen Beatrix has always had a liking for a dramatic hat at a royal event (and this won’t be the only time she graces this list). For the wedding of Prince Floris & Aimee Sohngen, Beatrix debuted an enormous gray hat—and she even matched her eyeshadow to it!

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

royal hats Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

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The late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson had a love for a distinctive hat and/or fascinator to a royal event (in a way I appreciate)—this one is to the wedding of then-Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles. It has a lot happening, to be sure, but I actually find myself more confused by the beige gloves.

Princess Martha Louise

royal hat princess martha louise

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In theory, I like this flowy concoction (Princess Martha Louise is attending the wedding of Crown Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano here), but I actually just think there’s too much color at play. Imagine this in white, cream, or even yellow?

Princess Anne

royal hat princess anne

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This picture of Princess Anne (here attending Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding) just delights me. There’s a lot of color happening, and the circular purple and green headpiece-looking hat is a whimsical finishing touch. Again, she’s very visible, so mission accomplished.

Sophie of Wessex

royal hat sophie of wessex

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, historically has loved a big and bold headgear choice. This, to the wedding of Charles and Camilla, is…really something. It’s dramatic! It’s bold! It’s so asymmetric and so very patterned (including the pheasant feathers)!

Princess Eugenie

royal hat princess eugenie

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Even though this photo includes Princes Beatrice (more on her later), we’re looking at Princess Eugenie’s fascinator here—if you’re unfamiliar, they’re quite possibly the most infamous pieces of headwear at a royal wedding (William and Kate’s, in this case). Eugenie’s isn’t quite as over the top as her sister’s), but the explosion of flowers and feathers at the top is still quite memorable.

Kirsty Gallacher

royal hats Kirsty Gallacher

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At Zara Phillips’ wedding, Kirsty Gallacher chose a fascinator with an unusual color. I think I understand why she chose it (there’s teal in her dress), but for me it’s much too bold and bright to feel coherent with the rest of the outfit. And it sort of looks like a tentacle?

Queen Camilla

royal hats queen camilla

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I feel a little bad including this Philip Treacy fascinator on this list—it’s Queen Camilla’s wedding day, and she opted for this gold set of feathers instead of a crown. I think that my eye is getting confused, thinking it’s an extension of her actual hair, and the overall effect is confusing.

Princess Rosario

royal hat princess rosario

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For the wedding of Princess Alexia Of Greece And Carlos Morales Quintana in 1999, Princess Rosario went all-out in gold. Commenters jokingly wondered whether she’d taken a spray gun filled with gold paint to her hat, but I’m actually more intrigued by the feathers.

Sophie of Wessex

royal hat sophie of wessex

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For the wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Maxima Zorreguieta, Sophie opted for big, taupe, and asymmetrical. I don’t care for the color, but I also wish it wasn’t quite so…substantial. It just feels so heavy for an attendee at a royal wedding.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

royal hat queen beatrix

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I’m just going to go ahead and say it: Queen Beatrix looks like she has a huge gray teacup on her head. This is at the wedding of Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme and Princess Annemarie Gualtherie van Weezel, and the hat is characteristically epic for the former queen.

Katherine Kelly

royal hat Katherine Kelly

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Katherine Kelly wore this enormous pink and orange hat by H’atelier to the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall. I’m torn: if it wasn’t so asymmetrical, it might be a little more boring—but as it is, it just feels incredibly lopsided. I keep thinking her neck must hurt.

Infanta Elena of Spain

royal hat Infanta Elena of Spain

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Infanta Elena has historically been one of the royals to enjoy a big hat—including one enormous furry concoction that’s also on this list. This is the wedding of her sister (Infanta Cristina) and that brim on her purple hat is ginormous. There’s no other word for it!

Zara Phillips

royal hat Zara Phillips

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This fascinator is huge. And, judging by pictures showing Zara Phillips reaching up to adjust it, it might have been a little too huge. This is for William and Kate’s wedding and—while it didn’t take the cake for most eye-catching hat—it’s certainly in the top five.

Princess Mathilde of Belgium

royal hats Princess Mathilde of Belgium

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This teal picture hat on Princess Mathilde is a modern iteration of a quite old-fashioned shape. I might argue that it needed a little more modernizing, specifically in how wide it is and the fact that if you turned it upside down it looks like a serving bowl.

Joss Stone

royal hat joss stone

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This hat on Joss Stone feels quite in keeping with a shabby chic aesthetic (this is at the wedding of Will and Kate). The asymmetry gives the illusion that it might be melting off her head. And the little pink sprigs aren’t nearly vibrant enough to match with the rest of the dress.

Princess Miriam

royal hat princess miriam

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To the wedding of Prince Guillaume Of Luxembourg and Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg, Princess Miriam wore a capital-b Bow on her head. Maybe I would have liked it more if it wasn’t so tilted, and the middle didn’t look quite so frayed and messy.

Princess Martha Louise

royal hats princess martha louise

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For the wedding of Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhors, Princess Martha Louise wore this intriguingly shaped hat. I grant you that it’s an imaginative choice, but to me it looks like a very orange, very feathery frown that contrasts with the lavender dress.

Infanta Elena of Spain

royal hats infanta elena

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To attend Princess Alexia’s wedding in 1999 (Alexia was getting married to Carlos Morales Quintana), Infanta Elena wore what I can only describe as a fluffy circular pillow atop her head. It looks like it might have been hard for her to see? Also, imagine being the person sat behind her.

Princess Katharina Nina von Hohenzollern

royal hat Princess Katharina Nina von Hohenzollern

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I love the imagination and daring here, but this hat on Princess Katharina Nina von Hohenzollern (at the wedding between Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prince of Prussia to Princess Sophie of Prussia) looks like a sea anemone. I cannot unsee it, despite my best efforts.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark 

royal hat Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

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This chapeau-inspired hat on the former Queen Margrethe would not be quite so astonishing if it didn’t have those little curled tendrils on the side, I think. Blue was a popular color at Will and Kate’s wedding, but this looks like a sea creature to me.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

royal hats Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

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The late Tara Parker-Tomlinson wore this epic Philip Treacy hat to Will and Kate’s wedding. While the almond hat shape itself is not unusual, the electric blue color, rose inset, and slanting upward shape all meant that it drew comparison to a shark fin.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

royal hat queen beatrix

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Frankly, this whole list could just be hats that Queen Beatrix has worn to royal weddings. This was the wedding of Prince Johan Friso and Mabel Wisse Smit, and it’s so feathery I can’t even see the hat underneath. It’s pretty magnificent, I won’t lie.

Princess Beatrice

royal hat beatrice

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And we have arrived at what might have been the most controversial royal fascinator of all time: Princess Beatrice’s “O” with encircling tendrils that she wore to Will and Kate’s wedding, which commenters deemed “pretzel-esque.” Did you know? She later sold it on eBay, and it made $130k (the funds went to charity).

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