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The Most Iconic Hats and Fascinators Worn by Royal Wedding Guests – MarieClaire.com

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Among the most well-known upper-class traditions: Wearing big, intricate hats and fascinators to formal events. Often, they’re part of the dress code, and when the formal event in question is in the sun (like the Kentucky Derby), these accessories also serve a practical purpose. But this seemingly old-fashioned tradition has evolved with the times: Hats and fascinators have become larger and more creative, but they’ve also become products of intense craftsmanship, in some cases pushing the boundaries of what headwear can be.

Hat-watching at royal events is fun no matter what—but at royal weddings, guests break out their coolest, most innovative accessories for the occasion. So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy the most magnificent hats. and fascinators from royal wedding history.

Emma Louise Connolly

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At Eugenie’s wedding, Emma Louise Connolly went on the nose in a great way (I love the heart on the belt—a wedding is about love, is it not??), and matched with a hat that looks like a puffy headband. I like it! It’s different, but sometimes that’s a good thing.

Sabrina Dhowre

royal wedding hat Sabrina Dhowre

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I already like Sabrina Dhowre’s casual-but-not-really cardigan coat, but add on the sheer navy topper with pretty detailing over and under the brim, angled jauntily to one side, and you’ve got a fancy outfit worthy of Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Hi, Idris!

Sarah Ferguson

royal wedding hats sarah ferguson

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The Duchess of York‘s style has always skewed a little idiosyncratic. Here, as she punches the air in celebration of her daughter Eugenie’s wedding, her hat’s ribbon kind of makes her look like she has bunny ears.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

royal wedding hats eugenie beatrice

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These fascinators will probably make my list of “wildest royal wedding hats,” too, but for the sheer audacity of wearing such architectural (and vertical) concoctions, I applaud it. Eugenie and Beatrice (who appears again on this list) really loved OTT headgear back in the day.

Kate Middleton

royal wedding hats kate middleton

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In her early days attending royal events (this is Camilla and Charles’ wedding), Kate was a bit more…adventurous, let’s say. And actually, I love it. This feathery concoction looks a little bit like a hedgehog, but there’s a youthful conviction about it that I appreciate.

Kitty Spencer

royal wedding hats kitty spencer

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I really love how carefully this fascinator is constructed—it’s literally hugging her head. The feather and rope accent is striking, but my favorite part is probably the veil, which is thin enough to be unobtrusive but long enough to be complementary.

Amal Clooney

royal wedding hats amal clooney

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Yellow: not the easiest color to pull off! But the trick is to lean in, and Amal Clooney does that brilliantly here. This hat has a lot of cool design features, from the turned up brim, to the angled placement and veil that falls over half her face. The effect is to elevate the whole outfit.

Oprah

royal wedding hats oprah

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Oprah, I treasure you. The Mad Hatter-esque Philip Treacy hat and cluster of flowers would be over-the-top enough, but then we have an explosion of feathery fluff erupting from one side. And it is magnificent. I hope she just puts it on from time to time at random.

The Queen Mother

royal wedding hats The Queen Mother

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In her day, the Queen Mother often went in for hats that looked like frothy concoctions encircling her head like a halo. Even though the effect might look a little voluminous by today’s standards, it was also in keeping with her personality (here she looks pleased at Charles and Diana’s wedding).

Queen Elizabeth II

royal wedding hats queen elizabeth

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At then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana‘s wedding, Queen Elizabeth opted for a floral hat to match her cornflower blue outfit (she often wore bright colors so spectators could see her). This is an older style of hat, but still delicate and precise in construction.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne

royal wedding hats Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne

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I just really love this photo of Sophie and Anne, wearing matching grins and matching floral toppers. Obviously, I don’t mean matching in a literal sense (I might give slight preference to Anne’s for the color and structure) but more in general volume and vibe.

Princess Diana

royal wedding hats diana

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At the wedding of Viscount Linley (son of Princess Margaret) to Serena Stanhope, Princess Diana blessed us with this upside down bowl. She could make just about anything look awesome, but I do like it on its own merits—maybe just keep the brim a bit flatter in a more modern iteration.

Serena Williams

royal wedding hats serena williams

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Proof that headgear doesn’t have to be big to make a statement, Serena Williams wears this minimal, beautiful fascinator that looks like sheer petals extending towards the sky. It’s taller than expected, which is part of its appeal, but doesn’t look OTT.

Pippa Middleton

royal wedding hats Pippa middleton

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We probably weren’t going to get through this story without one dinner plate joke, so here it is. This hat on Pippa Middleton looks a little like a dinner plate (fun fact: it almost blew off her head on the way inside!). But of all hats that look like this, hers does it the best.

Laura Parker Bowles

royal wedding hats Laura Parker Bowles

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At her mother’s wedding to then-Prince Charles, Laura Parker Bowles gives us a gold fascinator (which is an unusual and welcome color) with a ton of leaf detail extending out in every direction. That and her generally ebullient attitude makes this a joyful choice of headgear.

Pixie Geldof

royal wedding hat Pixie Geldof

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When you’re a model, you can work more unusual and edgy looks—as is the case with this futuristic and lopsided hat. (I bet it was a little hard to keep on, hence the helping hand to stabilize it.) I appreciate that it’s a novel and counterintuitive shape while still being, clearly, a fascinator.

Kate Middleton

royal wedding hats kate middleton

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Even farther along in her time as a working royal, Kate Middleton would occasionally experiment with a big hat. For Meghan and Harry’s wedding, she wore a wide, flat Philip Treacy hat (quite similar to one she wore to Zara Tindall’s wedding) with all the floral detailing ingeniously under the brim.

Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece

royal wedding hats Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece

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To be clear, both women have solid headgear, but Maria-Olympia chose an unusual color (silver) with a floral design that looks like tendrils delicately blooming from her head. It’s giving me strong Medusa vibes—yes, the mythological woman with snakes for hair—but in a great way.

Princess Beatrice

royal wedding hats Beatrice

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Yes, this could absolutely go in a list of “weirdest royal wedding hats,” but I refuse to apologize about its inclusion here. At the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, Princess Beatrice graced us with a swarm of butterflies. Yes, please.

Poppy Delevingne

royal wedding hats Poppy Delevingne

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Poppy! I’m not wild about her dress here, but the hat really sells it for me. (This is at Eugenie’s wedding, and sister Cara, who’s also on this list, went menswear-inspired with a top hat). It looks objectively very silly, but it also makes me smile. Mission accomplished.

Lara Inskip

royal wedding hats Lara Inskip

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This looks like a cloud and a jellyfish had a baby, and I enjoy it. This was at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and in a sea of colorful hats and fascinators, this stark choice was a smart one (proof that a topper doesn’t have to be colorful to be noticeable!).

Karen Spencer

royal wedding hat Karen spencer

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Princess Diana’s sister in law really leaned in on color at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and I appreciate her for it. The petaled folds of her dress are a cool look, and the hat has similar curves—with some serious height—to give us a chic maximalist look.

Victoria Beckham

royal wedding hats victoria beckham

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At William and Kate’s wedding, Posh Spice Victoria Beckham wore this semi-hilarious fascinator. It sort of looks like a hat that she tilted forward to wear on her forehead, does it not? And the huge twisted sprig is just a treat. I love her forever for this.

Princess Anne and Princess Margaret

royal wedding hats anne margaret

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At Charles and Diana’s wedding, mother (Princess Margaret) and daughter (Princess Anne) went with deliciously frothy toppers that match each other nicely. I like Anne’s for the placement—it hits right at the top of her head—but Margaret’s looks great with her hair.

Queen Elizabeth II

royal wedding hats queen elizabeth

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Queen Elizabeth favored bright colors so that she would be visible to onlooking crowds, and the wedding of Harry and Meghan was no exception. I admit that I didn’t have lime green on my bingo card that day, but with the contrasting purple it’s such a statement.

Queen Camilla

royal wedding hats camilla

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Camilla! Your hat! The royal is more likely than others to favor a wide, tall hat, and the history of her headgear is worth a look back. But this feathery pink circle takes the cake (and kind of looks like a cake, if I’m being honest). It’s so audacious!

Kate Middleton

royal wedding hats kate middleton

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For Eugenie’s wedding, Kate chose burgundy, so I’m already on board. And she went a little bolder with her fascinator (as she sometimes does at weddings), with a robust bouquet of burgundy, wine, and fuchsia flowers, and with a very pretty veil to match.

Santa Montefiore and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

royal wedding hats Santa Montefiore and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

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At William and Kate’s wedding, we got these absolutely exceptional fascinators (I maintain that blue one kind of like a sideways Eye of Sauron. Prove me wrong.) No one was going to outdo the fascinators of Beatrice and Eugenie, but these two certainly tried.

Priyanka Chopra, Abigail Spencer, and Another Guest

royal wedding hat priyanka chopra jonas

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All three of these women have great headgear at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, but I do believe the gold medal of hattery goes to Priyanka, with a hat as a bold and expansive as her personality. And she matched her earrings, which is a pro move that’s tough to pull off.

Cara Delevingne

royal wedding hats cara delevingne

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Technically, I don’t think this is breaking dress code? (Women are supposed to wear hats and fascinators, and this is one!) Now, wearing menswear might usually be frowned upon at such a conservative royal event, but Cara pulls it off with absolute aplomb (and asked Eugenie for permission to wear this, which makes sense).

Naomi Campbell

royal wedding hats Naomi Campbell

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Naomi Campbell knows how to pull off all manner of intense looks, but this hat is a crowning achievement (pun semi-intended). The effect of the swooping fabric is that of a very chic shark, and the flowers make it softer. Frankly, I love it, even though I sympathize with whomever was sitting behind her and unable to see.

Beatrice Borromeo

royal wedding hats Beatrice Borromeo

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At the weding of Prince Felix Of Luxembourg and Claire Lademacher, Beatrice Borromeo could have gone with a traditional hat or fascinator with flowers or ribbons. Instead, she went with the most striking, minimal design—and it absolutely stole the show.

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