Britain

Ascot Appreciation—Queen Elizabeth

Let’s round out our week of Ascot Appreciation with the grande dame herself, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Each Hofdame will post one of her favorite appearances.

The Handbag: Here she is, all swish and glamour in 1954. Honestly, none of the young ‘uns these day hold a candle to her.

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LiL: I’m going with a super recent appearance. Last year to be exact. One was having a splendid summer season in 2019, and was not about to let a bit of rain slow her down. I love the color of this coat on her, and the floral trimmed hat is tons of fun. LLTQ!

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LG: Like The Handbag, I’m hopping in the way back machine and heading to the 50s; 1955 to be exact. Love this floaty floral.

OC: Not the most flattering images of our lady, but I am super interested in this outfit because of the swirly peaches & pink paisleys I see in the floaty dress underneath. Fab hat. Blech brooch.

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What are your favorite Ascot appearances by Queen Elizabeth? Show us your favorites in the comments and tell us why you love them!

Britain

Ascot Appreciation—The Duchess of Cambridge

Housekeeping Note: The Designer Diaries will return in approximately two weeks in order to make way for some special programming. Also, Getty is temporarily down today so any post with Getty links will be missing photos. Fingers crossed that it resolves itself soon!

For some reason, I thought the Duchess of Cambridge had a long history of Ascot attendance, but she has only been there a mere three times as a royal. She has definitely set out a certain style for the event, and that style can be summarized in one word: lace. Lots and lots of lace.

I have my share of lace fatigue, but I think the lacey effect works for this event. It’s both formal and summery, and Kate has stuck with shapes that flow – that adds to the summery effect.

2019

Kate turned to Elie Saab for this event. The blue midi was a customized version of the designers Resort 2019 collection, and included a detailed bodice with a neck bow. The detail on the bodice is actually macrame, not lace, but the effect is close enough to not veer from her theme for the event. The skirt has a tulle overlay with embroidered dots. She wore a Philip Treacy hat, in the same style as her floral hat from 2016’s Trooping the Colour.

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2017

For her 2017 entry, Kate stepped out in her favorite designer, Alexander McQueen. This dress is definitely all lace, and although it’s summery and appropriate, it’s the accessories and hair that grab my attention here. She is wearing the fantastic Bahrain Diamond and Pearl earrings borrowed from HerMaj, and a lovely bespoke hat. The chignon is one of my favorites of her updo tricks.

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2016

Kate wore a Dolce & Gabbana lace dress for her Ascot debut, with a saucy Jane Taylor hat perched atop her head. The dress sported a very big dust ruffle at the hem, with long sleeves and a round neck.

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The thing is, none of these dresses is something I would wear, or really something anyone I know would wear anywhere. I think that’s the entire point. They are quintessential “Duchess at Ascot” dresses. The Duchess is going for feminine and classic for this event, and I am onboard. I think you could look at her years from now and say, “Queen-to-be”.

I mean, just look at these photos. They could have been taken any time from 1900 to now.

Britain

Ascot Appreciation – Diana, Princess of Wales

This hofdame is kickin’ it old school and taking us on a voyage back to the 80s/90s when Diana was Queen. Of Ascot that is.

June 1981: Diana at her first Ascot, if I’m not mistaken. I loved (and still do!) this outfit. The color is wonderful on her.

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June 1986: I’ve always loved a good peplum, and this one is no exception.

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June 1987: This is a bit of a cheat, since the photo isn’t technically from Ascot. This is from Charles’ post Ascot polo match, but she’s wearing the same outfit. Again, a two piece suit with a bit of oomph at the hipline.

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June 1988: I loved this dove grey Catherine Walker creation. Diana looked great in any type of coat dress, and this was no exception.

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June 1988: Another from ’88. That’s a lot of polka dots, but if anyone is going to pull it off, it’s her.

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June 1981: Back to ’81 for this look. I shouldn’t like this at all. Stripes, checks, purple, yellow, sheer white tights…separately it all would set my teeth on edge. But she looks so darn cute here! I love it.

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And that brings me to the end of my list, and to what quite possibly could be my favorite Diana at Ascot hat ever. Good sized brim, jaunty feathers/muppet hair, pretty purple…what’s not to love.

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Now it’s your turn! Blow the dust off of those old “The Royal Family Photo Yearbooks” (You know you bought them!) and share your favorite Diana at Ascot photos in the comments below!

United Kingdom

Ascot Appreciation – Alexandra and Autumn

We’re talking about two of our favorites today – Princess Alexandra of Kent and Autumn Phillips. Both have attended Ascot for years, and usually turn up looking great.

Here are my faves and not-so-faves for these two lovely ladies.

Princess Alexandra of Kent

Favorite: While we can’t see the entirety of this outfit, from what we can see, it’s fabulous!

Not-so-favorite: Again, we can’t see all of this one, and for me, that’s ok. It’s just a bit much…

Autumn Phillips

Fave: Shockingly my fave, despite it being my least favorite color.

Not-so-favorite: Like Princess Alex above, this is just too much. Maybe if the sleeves were shorter, the neckline different, a couple of inches were chopped off…well, then it would be a different dress…

So…what do you guys think? Agree, disagree, think I’m completely nuts?

Britain

Brit Brief Open Post #2 – Ascot Days 2,3,4 and 5!

Welcome to your new home for all Ascot discussion! Day 1 was HUGE, so we needed to make a shift. Same rules apply, so fill up the comments with all of your photos and Ascot discussions! And thank you for making our Handbag as fun as it is!

Day Two

Here is the Day 2 rundown, starting with HerMaj, again in blue, this time in a lightly textured Stewart Parvin coat with a silk floral dress underneath – also, great sighting of Prince Albert’s sapphire brooch!

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Cams wore her honking great big aquamarine with three pearl strands, and coordinating with HerMaj in a lovely light blue. It’s amazing how often that coordination happens ; ).

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Princess Anne decided to bring out the florals and I am not mad about it at all – florals and a velvet blazer, no less. And a horse on her hat, of course. More of this, Anne!

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The 20th Anniversary Kids were there too. I like this look from Suzannah on Sophie much better than yesterday’s Wickstead, even if the hat isn’t my cup of tea. Check the comments below for a look at the whole outfit.

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Day Three – Ladies Day

Let’s just get this one out of the way immediately: Sophie in a Wickstead crepe jumpsuit and a Jane Taylor band hat. I love the hat. If you don’t want your illusions about the jumpsuit ruined don’t click through the photos. Who am I kidding? I am pretty sure all of you have seen this already and have OPINIONS.

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The Phillips clan checking in today. Zara and Autumn are both wearing Claire Mischevani, and I think it is sublime on Autumn and serviceable on Zara. Maybe I am just not that thrilled with the color on Zara, or maybe it’s that I wore those ruffles in my sixth grade photo. Zara’s hat – which I love – is by Juliette Botterill and Autumn’s hat is a Bee Smith .

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Princess Eugenie and new bride Gabriella (with handsome husband escort, Thomas Kingston) came dressed to party. Eugenie is wearing a super flattering design by Cefinn and a Bundle MacLaren hat. I don’t have an ID on Gabriella’s dress or hat, but I will say I am glad to see the netting on hats making a comeback.

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Her Majesty, the Queen, has also entered the house. I can’t even call her Betty here because this is grade A++ royaling. Described as a dove grey coat with yellow floral accents around the neck, it is a perfect complement to the Daffodil Spray brooch. Swoon and bow down, folks.

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Princess Michael was also there, in head to toe black and white chi-chi. No intel on her coat, but her enormous butterfly brooch is certainly eye-catching.

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Day Four

We must lead off with HerMaj, in a brilliant, visible raspberry coat by Angela Kelly. This is a terrific color to show off the Jardine Star, the most beautiful of all her brooches. Yes, that is its official title ; ).

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Lady Helen and Tim Taylor rode in the first carriage with the Queen. I know I said yesterday that I was glad hats with netting were making a comeback, but perhaps this hat has a surfeit of netting? You tell me. Tim Taylor has always made me swoon and it is no different here.

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Yes, Sarah, Duchess of York was there, and yes, she went entirely multi-colored. I actually like the idea of a green, yellow and purple convergence, particularly in these vibrant hues, but I would like the hat and clutch to match. I could probably offer other suggestions for things I would like, but Sarah will Sarah – as we say around here – and she is not going to listen to me.

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Let’s do a mini Spam a Man on this post. Because…..well, I don’t have to tell you why. Just look at these gents!

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Day Five

On the final day of hattage and sartorial fun, the Queen arrived with Prince Andrew in the first carriage. She is wearing what is being described as muted lime green, a color that I didn’t know could be muted ; ). The Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch blends and flows with it, so I approve of this choice.

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Peter and Autumn Phillips also made another appearance, and, yes, jumpsuits are on the agenda again. Jumpsuits with gigantic trouser/pants. She topped it with a hat that comes with built-in defense weaponry. Oh well, the entire ensemble is a good color for her, right?

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That’s a Wrap!

Five days of brooches and fabulous hats. Brooch tally, from last to first: Queen Mother’s Shell, Jardine Star, Daffodil Spray, Prince Albert’s Sapphire, and the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake. Ensemble Color tally, from last to first: muted lime, non-muted raspberry, dove grey, mottled blue and baby blue. Her choices are harder to predict than an accurate March Madness bracket. Thank you for keeping us on our toes, Your Majesty, and thanks to you, our commenters, for providing such fun contributions. It was a great week here at The Bag.

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