For a certain headwear-obsessed segment of the viewing public, the couple to watch at the royal wedding on Saturday were not Harry and Meghan but Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew. After all, at the last royal wedding in 2011, the sisters’ fascinators—especially the towering, tentacled creation worn by Beatrice—stole the show. This year’s crop of headwear didn’t give us anything quite as iconically outrageous as the notorious “twiglet hat,” but it did offer opportunities for royals and commoners alike to get creative with silk flowers, color-blocking, and birdcage veils.
Perhaps anticipating the heightened scrutiny, Beatrice and Eugenie both opted for much more understated looks this time around: Eugenie kept things simple with a classic, white pillbox hat from Fiona Graham to top off her ‘60s-inspired look, while Beatrice chose a Stephen Jones design that resembles a multi-strand headband.
While Beatrice and Eugenie chose subtlety, other members of the royal family stepped up their hat game to fulfill our wonky wedding headwear dreams. Somewhere under that enormous camilla is its namesake, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Camilla’s hat, by Irish milliner Philip Treacy, was so flamboyant that it even risked upstaging the stunning statement piece worn by Kate, who was seated next to her in St. George’s Chapel. Like Camilla, the recent mother of three made the focal point of her outfit a swooping number also created by Treacy, who is known for his bold, sculptural designs. Peeping out from under the fabric is a large bouquet of crinkled, silk flowers, a floral motif that was shared by Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, in her smaller fascinator.
Queen Elizabeth wore a brimmed hat, as she typically does, in the same shade of lime green as her coat, a fashion statement that also lets her be easily seen by her subjects. Her hat, designed by Angela Kelly, picked up on purple accents in her outfit with a large floof made up of sinamay as well as “handmade lace crystals and pearls made by Lucy Price,” according to the palace.
That pop of color set the queen apart from the rest of the crowd by eschewing another big royal wedding trend: guests matching their headpieces exactly to their outfit color.
Amal Clooney got on board with the bold, monochrome style, though the shade she chose, a sunny, marigold yellow, helped her stand out. Her wide-brimmed hat, precariously perched on the side of her head, put her among the best-dressed from the shoulders up.
Clooney’s hat was also among the many to make use of netting and birdcage veils, including a particularly daring fascinator worn by Lady Kitty Spencer, courtesy, once again, of Philip Treacy.
For those who chose hats over fascinators, wide brims were en vogue, though Oprah’s, with its enormous spray of feathers, overpowered the rest of her look. The best hat of the event was actually not hat at all but a clever fascinator in disguise, worn by friend of the bride Priyanka Chopra. It was designed by, you guessed it, Philip Treacy.