Past royal weddings are remembered for all manner of posh hats, and sometimes they can be downright divisive: The navy pillbox hat perched precariously on the front of Victoria Beckham’s head in 2011 was admired by some as understated, and others as off-putting. And of course, the most memorable headgear at that wedding was Princess Beatrice’s controversial “toilet seat” fascinator, which made the previously little-known royal an international sensation.
Whimsy is part of the point, says British Vogue editor and author Bronwyn Cosgrave, noting that when it comes to British wedding hats, fashion isn’t always the the best lens. “There is no style,” she told me in a phone interview. A wedding is supposed to be fun, she said, so British guests will choose a “funny or humorous hat, just in the spirit of celebration.”
A comeback for British millinery
From medieval England’s humble flat cap to Winston Churchill’s homburg, hats have a long and a significant history in British culture, and often have the power to signify class, occupation, and social stations.