One thing is true: The British take their hats as seriously as they take their tea. And although Queen Elizabeth may not be heard often, she is certainly always seen thanks to her flamboyant style. (By the way, here's why she wears all those bright outfits in the first place.) Put the two together, and you have a recipe for fascinating—and fun!—fashion.
As the longest-reigning monarch in British history, there’s no end to the archival evidence of her avant-garde head décor. We’ve rounded up photos of the best (and brightest, literally!) hats the Queen has worn in her lifetime.
Queen Elizabeth won’t let the decades bring down her style! She celebrated her 80th birthday in 2006 wearing a hot pink number with a matching hat, to boot. Its tilted silhouette and fuchsia plumes added a tasteful twist to the otherwise monochrome number.
The Queen attended the 2013 opening of the Welsh Assembly in Wales wearing a blue turquoise hat with applique flowers. Though the hat might appear extravagant to the untrained eye, take a peek at Duchess Camilla, Prince Charles’s wife, behind her; the foliage on the second woman’s hat might change your mind.
If you are familiar with the Queen at all, you will know that this is not her usual attire. In fact, the black velvet hat with white plume feathers is a traditional pageantry piece, worn for the Serve for the Order of the Garter at St. George’s Chapel in 2013.
Queen Elizabeth attended the 2013 Royal Ascot, a horse race known for its strict hat dress code, in stunning style. She donned a white straw hat for a light summery touch, and then accented it with a blue plumage to match her attire of the same shade.
Here, the Queen stepped a little outside of her typical style with prints (gasp!) and an off-white hat adorned with dark leaves.
Millennial pink is all the rage, and Queen Elizabeth is no exception. Her hat’s dark adornments accentuate its otherwise simple shape and light pink color.
Daily Mail/REX/ShutterstockCommemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2005 was a somber affair, but Queen Elizabeth spiced it up with an airy off-white tulle hat and lavender plumes.
When the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Toronto, thousands of people packed the streets to catch a glimpse of her. But they needn't have worried; Queen Elizabeth's coral hat, topped with matching flowers and lime green accents, popped against the background scenery.
This lavender hat adorned with summery flowers and a purple bow dazzled at the 2013 Royal Ascot horse race.