Queen Elizabeth, Camilla & more at Royal Ascot: who had the best hat?

These are some assorted photos from Day 1 and Day 2 of the Royal Ascot. I’ve been looking at the photos for the past few days and I just decided to pull the trigger on writing about all of the crazy, fabulous hats because who knows? Some of you may enjoy them as much as me. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla have been at Ascot for both days. There’s a Lord Dalmeny in one of the photos, and Aishwarya Rai came on the first day and she wore a charming little hat/fascinator. Also pictured: the Countess of Wessex, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

I hate to admit it, but everything’s coming up roses for Camilla these days, right? She’s more accepted within the royal family than ever before. She gets to sit next to the Queen at Royal Ascot. She gets to wear a rather stunning green coat dress and a giant hat that looks like a satellite dish and somehow, she pulls it off. My theory is that the Queen tries not to like Camilla, but the Queen can’t help it – they get along really well. Camilla is horsey and compliant, she’s supposed to be funny and down-to-earth once you get to know her, and I can see how Camilla and the Queen would get along really well.

Also: Beatrice and Eugenie have been showing up for lots of public events lately. It feels like they’re trying to compete (on some level) with Duchess Kate. While they are blood princesses and they always will be, they will never win the PR battle against Kate. Ever.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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81 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth, Camilla & more at Royal Ascot: who had the best hat?”

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  1. Anna says:

    The queen looked the best overall. I love her springy green & pink combo. I also like the little cap on Eugenie’s head.

  2. Emily says:

    Ahhh the Queen looks adorable!! Actually all of the ‘older’ royals always look super cute

  3. LAK says:

    B & E lost the media PR game at birth. No one will ever give them an inch because of their parentage. They will always come out on the losing side.

    Sophie looks so amazing generally speaking. Loved her hat for day 2. This hat, not so much.

    • bluhare says:

      LAK, but don’t you think Andrew will turn up the offensive to get B&E bigger roles while Kate is out of commission? He doesn’t want them to actually *cough* work for a living, does he?

    • Bridget says:

      Hasn’t Charles talked about reducing the number of working royals? Lainey had some interesting commentary on the Charles-Andrew dynamic, especially regarding this subject. And B&E really do have an uphill battle considering their parentage (BOTH Fergie and Andrew).

    • Bucky says:

      Still, Bea and Eugenie look great here, and I never knew Bea had such great legs because I’ve never really seen them. Her shoes are fantastic.

    • Thinker says:


      I think the press can be a mean to the girls, but at the same time, Andrew’s expectations are unrealistic. Now that succession has changed, Andrew wouldn’t even have been the spare among his siblings, Anne would be. And when you compare anyone to Anne they look bad. Princess Anne has been a committed public servant, a real workhorse, and she seems to be completely unimpressed with titles and putting on airs. Peter and Zara both made their own way in the world, and both seem to be very personable, well respected individuals. I think it’s good for Bea and Eugenie to make their own way. Royals look especially ridiculous when they buy into their own hype and think themselves above everyone else. In my opinion, Andrew is the most guilty of buying into his own superiority. He’s got more medals and more fake honors than anyone, earned the nickname air miles Andy, and just seems like an all around idiot.

      • rtms says:

        Except it hasn’t changed for him. THe new line of Succession is not retroactive, it only starts with Prince CHarles and his children etc. So Andrew and Edward and their children are still in front of Anne.

      • Thinker says:

        Rtms, except nothing. I fully understand that the change in succession is not retroactive, which is why the verb tense I chose was “would have been” – meaning had the 4 children of Elizabeth been born today, Andrew’s position would be even further reduced than what he expects it should be. My point still stands, he’s not nearly as spectacular as he thinks he is.

      • bluhare says:

        Thinker, I couldn’t agree more about Andrew. I think he’s an asshat and more. Along with questionable acquaintances, he’s a snob and a boor. And thinks the world revolves around him because he’s mummy’s favourite.

      • LAK says:

        Thinker – Comparisons with Zara and Peter are unfair since Zara and Peter have had 8-10yrs headstart to prove themselves whilst Beatrice and Eugenie are only just beginning.

        Further, any suggestions that Zara and Peter are independent should be set against the fact that they are also recipients of Royal family trusts, just like W/H/B and E. Both Peter and Zara live on Anne’s estate. Zara’s horses come straight from the Queen’s stables, so P&Z have had as many advantage as the other grandkids.

        So far, the only proven troublesome grandkids are William and Harry. Zara had some trouble in the years before she met and started dating Mike. I am not saying B&E are saints, but so far they aren’t causing any trouble. They were brought up with expectation that they would join the senior royals in duties, when that expectation was removed, they have gone out and found jobs. They don’t have airs and graces.

        I suppose only time will improve their image as it did Anne’s image because i remember a time when press would say what a rude, snotty person she was. And reprimand her for not conforming to media expectation of what a princess should be.

      • bluhare says:

        LAK: You know what bugs me about Anne? She declined titles for her kids, and I understand why she did it and actually commend her for it, BUT she’s the first one wanting acknowledgment of her title (getting Princess Royal for example) and not wanting to curtsey to Kate. If she doesn’t give a crap, why all that? I’m actually serious here.

      • LAK says:

        bluhare – i agree. I’ve been giving some thought to the paradox that is Anne. I haven’t quite formulated a coherent thought, so any suggestions are welcome from my Royal CBs.

        It’s puzzling how she can be thought of as down to earth for refusing to give her children titles when she accepted an ungrade to her own title, and insists on her own status and partakes of the perks and privileges as much as everyone else.

        If some of her pronouncements are true, then she’s a snob as well. In the tradition of Margaret.

      • Flower says:

        Annes situation is a bit trickey.

        Unlike Andrew or Edward’s children, Anne’s children were never entitled to be called Prince or Princess. The rules are very clear the only people who can carry the title Princess or prince are

        1.the legitimate children of a British sovereign

        2. the legitimate male line grandchildren of a British sovereign

        3. the wife of a British prince.

        On other words the son’s children can be titled prince or princess but not the daughter’s children (I’m not entirely sure but I think that this may still be the case even after the new succession laws are applied )

        There are two ways the Queen could have gone

        A. To make Anne a peer in her own right by giving her an hereditary title such as Duchess or Countess of XXX. The Children could have then had a title such as Lady Zara or Viscount XXXX. Keeping in mind that it would need to be an hereditary title (i.e passed on to the next generation) for these titles to apply.

        B.The Queen could have awarded Anne’s husband a title, as in the case of Princess Margaret’s husband Anthony Armstrong Jones who was made an Earl (thus we have Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones)

        But times have changed and hereditary titles are rare occurrences these days and almost unheard of for a women, maybe the Queen didn’t like Mark Phillips and suspected there might be an eventual divorce or perhaps Anne vetoed that ideas as she didn’t want to give Mark too much prestige so she could keep the upper hand in the partnership , either way no title was given to either of her husbands.

        Which still asks the question of why Edward’s children are not known as Prince and Princess but take the secondary titles attached to their father’s Earl of Wessex title ….Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.

      • LAK says:

        Flower – I understand the legality of Anne’s situation. What i don’t understand is the public perception of her as down to earth and sensible in ‘not giving her kids titles’ and as having no airs and graces.

        I know many people don’t think about the legal ramifications of her position based on gender. And she’s the only one who can explain why she refused her husband a title which could have been passed down to the children.

        However,in respect to her own person, she has accepted an Upgrade to her own original title [she could have refused it], as well as all other privileges of that rank and insists upon the status accorded to her rank and as a ‘princess of the blood’.

        If she truly didn’t want these things, she could have lived a life as an ordinary member of the public, albight with royal pedigree, accepting no royal duties as everyone is insisting B&E do.

        With regards Edward’s kids, they were born at a time the royal family was trying to seem modern, post-Diana’s death. To that end, The Queen issued a statement saying they would be known as the children and style of an Earl rather than a Royal Prince.It’s not clear whether she adjusted the letters patent to reflect this wish, but if she did not, then they could style themselves as Princ[ess] later in life because legally, they retain that right.

        HRH is a sovereign’s gift, as it hasn’t been conferred on them, they can’t take it up later.

      • bluhare says:

        LAK: So If I’m reading between the lines correctly, Anne declined titles for her children because they couldn’t be Prince or Princess?

    • Aeryn39 says:

      Hi Lak, I have some questions also and you seem to be really knowledgeable on the subject :)

      I too heard that the Prince of Wales wanted to reduce the number of working Royals. It was painfully obvious during that last balcony appearance of the Diamond Jubilee when Prince Philip was in the hospital – it was just the Queen and the Wales contingent.

      Of course the Queen, Prince Philip, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles himself have hundreds of engagements each year and a prodigious number of patronages. But there are other hard-working Royals like the Princess Royal and the Earl & Countess of Wessex, plus others like Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie (despite having jobs), the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and the Duke & Duchess of Gloucester – all of them undertake hundreds of engagements each year and are patrons of a wide variety of important charities/organizations.

      How can the Wales contingent alone be expected to cover all of this without the other Royals? I fear the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do not have the same work ethic as earlier generations. Will these charities simply loose Royal patronage? Will many engagements and tours simply not be undertaken anymore?

      Also, I know it is pretty much a sure thing that Prince of Wales will succeed the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth, but haven’t other Royals undertaken tours on her behalf to Commonwealth countries throughout the years (I have an old poster of Princess Margaret in Africa for an independence event and I believe Prince Andrew took a visit(s) during Jubilee year)? Will the Cambridges really be able to pick up the slack?

      • LAK says:

        That is the conundrum. All the people you’ve mentioned undertake duties on behalf of the Queen, including tours. Past and present.

        The balcony 6 are problematic for the reasons you have mentioned.

        Plus, Charles as monarch will finally have a job and won’t be able to carry almost half of his current engagements. Which leaves only 5people to carry out all those engagements.

        I know that they are letting the older royals carry on untill they are unable, at which point most of their active patronages will fall by the way side unless a younger royal adopts them eg Edward taking on DoE awards. It implies that many organisations will lose their royal patronages in the long run. In the case of DoE, Alexandra and Kent, it may be sooner than we think.

        Looking at WHK’s foundation, they seem to have pooled their patronages together under it’s umbrella which might be a way for the future IF the foundation works equally for each patronage.

    • lisa says:

      i like B + E and i want them to dress better, I’m really happy when they look good. sadly that isnt so often. but i dont hate most of their looks because their parents are dislikable.

  4. phaksi says:

    Beatrice looks so pretty. Gorgeous skin

  5. LadyMTL says:

    Is it weird that I actually like the top hats the best? LOL. Aside from those, I like Camilla’s big beige satellite hat, but then I’ve always adored massive head-toppers (and like to think that I can pull one off too).

  6. Micki says:

    Camilla’s and Beatrice’s hats.
    The Queen wears always fitting hats but they vary seldom from the clasic form she’s adopted.

    I find it funny how patronising Kaiser becomes when she covers Camilla.

    I don’t think the Queen will “try not to like Camilla” for the public sake.
    She’s made of sterner stuff

  7. Spooks says:

    I love Camilla. I saw a picture of her talking to a horse. What’s not to love? If you have an useless royal family, they could at least be entertaining.

  8. Jen says:

    Fun gossip about the Queen’s outfit:

    So the Ascot bookies actually take bets on what colour she’s going to wear every day. How ADORABLE is that.

    And they had to make a huge pay-out today, because she wore THREE of her favourite colours – green, pink and purple (apparently the bookies had to back down and admit that her hat could either have a pink or a purple stripe).

    The British are so, so cute.

  9. Beatrice says:

    I’m not a fan of Camilla but have to admit she looks better than ever in these photos. That satellite dish hat is really flattering. But no one looks better than the Queen. I love the pink and green outfit. I could only hope to look that classy and great when I’m in my 80′s. Pricesses B & E always look a little tragic to me.

  10. Harpreet says:

    Aishwarya Rai can pull off ANYTHING. Love her hat.

  11. Jade says:

    Camilla and the Queen looks great! I have a soft spot for Camilla. Yes, she is flawed but she has grown on me, she doesn’t try too hard and at end of the day she just wants to be with Charles and grow old together. I hope.

  12. Shelley says:

    Camilla had the best hat. She really looks good these days

  13. Lucybelle says:

    I have hat envy. I wish I had a reason to wear a fabulous hat. Not too many chances on an Indiana homestead to wear anything but a bandana over a ponytail. Sigh…maybe I’ll buy a ridiculously large straw hat to wear while working in my garden.

    What do you think they do with all these hats after they are worn?

    The queen is adorable. Love her grouchy faces.

  14. Pixie says:

    I know people like to hate on Camilla and everything but I can’t help it, I love her. She seems really nice and funny!

  15. teehee says:

    I also still have somethign against Camilla. Not her, but just the principle- this woman who was the other woman, is now put on a throne. Its not too out of line though, with any other royal scandal, going back hundreds of years- it isnt unusual. But still– I will never have full respect or acceptance of her. Its strange to see someone smiling as if everything was okie dokie when in truth, her presence was everything but harmless. Me no likey at all. She caused a lot of harm knowingly and is now just basking in the benefits- it doesnt make sense.

  16. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    I’m sure the Queen secretly loves Camilla & wish he would have married her in the first place & saved a lot of anguish. Camilla dresses perfectly, behaves perfectly in public, & loves horses & a
    Country pursuits just like the RC.

    • Bridget says:

      Um, no. Camilla was deemed an unacceptable match way, way back when both she and Charles were young. She was just able to outlast those objections over all these years.

      • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

        The rumor at the time was that Camilla was not acceptable because she was not a virgin. In light of subsequent scandals and the discarding of this “requirement” I’m betting Queen wishes he’d married her back then when he had the chance. I’ve also heard that it was perhas not just her suitability that was an issue it was Charles dithering so she decided to go with Parker Bowles instead.

      • Barhey says:

        The queen wanted royal grandsons/daughters. Not grandsons through a commoner. She couldn’t approve of Camilla marrying Charles because Camilla was technically a commoner, while Diana was not. Charles and Diana were set up in a disastrous marriage, but one that followed tradition nonetheless.

        Now that the Queen’s legacy is secure – two princes with royal blood – she seems to have relaxed regarding Charles’ choice of partner. It helps greatly that Camilla has played her part perfectly in recent years. Shes keep her head down, avoided scandal, put in a lot of appearances, and generally has made Charles very happy (who is in turn his mother’s clear favorite). That’s why the Queen accepts her now.

    • Flower says:

      Actually technically Diana was a commoner and remained a commoner all her life. The term Commoner is a legal term in Britain meaning someone who does not have a right to sit in the ‘House of Lords’, any British citizen if elected to parliament can sit in ‘The Commons’(the main governing body of the realm) hence ‘Commoners’.

      Even Princess Anne and Prince Harry are legally commoners because they do not have their own title and can not sit in The House of Lords, William was legally a commoner until he was made Duke of Cambridge.

      What the royals really wanted was noble blood which may not be what they ended up with anyway, if the Goldsmith stories are true.

  17. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I never thought I would say this, but I’m getting over the hats. If I forget tradition (never thought I’d say that either) and just look at them objectively, I’m starting to think,”Why? WTF are the women wearing on their heads?”

  18. Mich says:

    Am I the only one who finds it offensive when people refer to the elderly as “cute” and “adorable”? It is belittling. Puppies are cute and adorable. This particular octogenarian is still one of the most powerful women in the world and deserves more respect.

  19. Lee says:

    Someone needs to buy Charles a package of Whitestrips, stat.

  20. MademoiselleRose says:

    Camilla looks older than the Queen, ha! That picture of her and Charles, they both look sad and droopy. I love the Queen’s hats. I think she always looks lovely.

  21. FLORC says:

    I love every single outfit! So summery, and complimentary.

    The York girls only have to continue doing what they’re doing. Working, having social lives, and pulling their own weight in this world. And it’s sad to say since the baby is about to be born, but Kate and Will will eventually divorce. Then Kate will be slaughtered in the news to make William look good. And because of the york girl’s parents they will never have it easy.

    • Faye says:

      I wouldn’t take bets on Kate and William divorcing. She worked 10 years for that position; she’s not giving it up that easily. And he’ll never find another woman as accommodating and enabling of his behavior as she is.

      • bluhare says:

        I’m with you, Faye. Kate will fight tooth and nail to keep her position, and if he thinks of giving up her mother will be right in there.

      • FLORC says:

        Faye & Bluhare

        Here’s why I feel this way.
        Kate did stand up to Will once that we know of and told him his chasing skirts reflects poorly on her. So we know there’s some kind of backbone there.
        William is a brat. He may feel some day that Kate is just more trouble than she’s worth and he doesn’t need anymore kids so why keep her around.
        Kate worked very hard to keep William, but he didn’t care much to keep her. He might also fall in love with someone else and decide to divorce.
        There’s also a level of contentment with how little she works and how greatly she spends which can easily be spun back onto Will and he woudn’t take that well.
        And finally Will LOVES his inlaws, but if sh!t hits the fan about Gary or their business sweatshops or whatever it will be he will bail.

        If they were living together or just occasional were seen together without it having to be a function or vacation I’d believe there’s a friendship there if nothing else, but since Canada he just doesn’t look happy with her and she looks so strained trying to get his approval. Without that foundation and her always at her parents my money is on him either getting caught fooling around or he falls in love with the mistress and divorces Kate so he can do as he likes without hiding it so much.

        Just my 2 cents. It’s years away though. 10 or 15 i think.

      • Flower says:

        Remember Charles’s famous quote about being in love with Diana ……”yes I’m in love, what ever that means”.

        There was a quote from William soon after his engagement along the lines of ‘I was never sure that I could love one person for the rest of my life’ not an exact quote but very reminiscent of Charles words on his engagement.

        It doesn’t bode well for happy ever after. If William decides he wants out she will go no matter how much she tries to cling on. I’ll bet the ranch on MI5/MI6 having a very fat dossier on Uncle Garry and the Middleton’s business mechanics, which will suddenly see daylight if needed. Kate will never build up universal Diana like adoration so public opinion will be easily manipulated to turn against her if need be, while William will be made to appear the victim for trusting her and the family etc. etc.

      • LAK says:

        Flower – i agree 100%. I would be willing to take that bet too. We already have a precedent in the form of Paul MacCartney and Heather Mills.

      • bluhare says:

        Flower et al: But you don’t think that having produced an heir (or heirs) Kate will be able to hang on? She’ll give William the freedom to have his own life while keeping her position and title. Unless she does something really awful that’s how I see it going.

  22. Faye says:

    Aishwarya Rai for the win! Love that outfit; she looks adorable.

  23. Murphy says:

    Y’all might not want to believe it but the Queen loves Camilla. Plain and simple. She’s not the favorite but still-she fits right in and works hard. She’ll make a great consort, no matter what the Diana lovers think.

  24. j.eyre says:

    For the record, I am always excited for some good hat p0rn.

  25. Maggie says:

    What a Frumpfest! They all look like those old muppets who sit in the balcony.

  26. lisa says:

    aishwarya is about the cutest thing i have ever seen in that pic

    HMQs pink and green hat FTW among the royals

    not pictured here but i thought katherine jenkins looked adorable too

  27. I Choose Me says:

    The Queen gets my vote. Love that pink and green combo.

  28. Peg says:

    You had me at: …”a giant hat that looks like a satellite dish”.


  29. xxx says:

    Charles always looks so happy when he’s with Camilla. I like that!

  30. Zombie Shortcake says:

    Since Waity joined the firm, Cam is no longer QEII’s least favourite family member. Now she’s allowed to get close enough to give mum in law a peck on the cheek when they are out in public; it will be a cold day in Hell when Kate is going to be able to do that.

  31. hayley says:

    Beatrice will always look like Lon Chaney in The Phantom Of The Opera to me. Eugenie is a beauty, though.