09 June 2018

Royal Fashion Awards: Trooping the Colour 2018

It’s time for the Queen’s official birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, the biggest royal gathering of the year so far and a second opportunity in 2018 for the Windsors to showcase their chapeaux.

Savannah Phillips playfully silences Prince George on the balcony
And maybe showcase a little of their own royal kiddo antics. Can’t let the Swedes have all the fun, you know.

Leaders of the Pack
The Queen and her Royal Colonels
The Queen led the way on her official birthday in light blue with her usual brooch selection, the Brigade of Guards Badge. It’s a symbolic choice tied to the regiments that perform this ceremony; you can read more about the brooch as well as the Trooping the Colour event here.

Royal Colonels, L to R: the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal
Sgt Randall RLC/MOD Crown Copyright 2018
Her Maj was well accompanied despite the absence of the retired Duke of Edinburgh, thanks to the members of the royal family that serve as Colonels to the Household Division regiments riding behind her: the Prince of Wales (Welsh Guards), the Duke of Cambridge (Irish Guards), the Duke of York (Grenadier Guards), and the Princess Royal (Blues and Royals). It was the Duke of York’s first time participating on horseback; he took over as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards from his father. The Duke of Kent (Scots Guards) no longer rides and instead accompanied the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their carriage.

Most Coordinated
The Duchess of Cambridge
Any time the Cambridges appear with the kids, you know the Duchess will be orchestrating some sort of color coordination within their group. She started off outside the Cambridge circle by inadvertently matching her Alexander McQueen dress and Juliette Botterill hat with both the Queen and her carriage mate, the Duchess of Cornwall, who was repeating an icy blue ensemble from Bruce Oldfield and a Philip Treacy hat. Absolutely one of the best from Camilla’s current outfit rotation there.

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Blue for Prince George and Princess Charlotte on the balcony completed the Cambridge's own very specific family coordination. Charlotte even had red accents (shoes and hair ribbon), which I suppose you could say ties in William’s uniform. (By the way, while I see the Cambridge family coordination as intentional, I'm not prone to believing the elaborate family-wide color memo schemes some people like to suggest. The Queen is not said to notice nor care about what anyone else wears. So for this sort of thing? Like, when isn't half this family in blue?)

Most Nearly Repeated
The Duchess of Sussex
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The Duchess of Sussex made her Trooping the Colour debut and her Buckingham Palace balcony debut in a pink dress from Carolina Herrera and a pink hat from Philip Treacy. Repeating her color palette from her first post-wedding appearance, this hat is so close to the same that you have to examine things closely to determine that it is in fact a different hat. I’m really not a fan of the whole “two things nearly the same but not” deal.

It all certainly suits Meghan, though, and it’s cleverly selected for the event; this outfit improves when she’s seated in a carriage, which matters when most pictures will only show the top of the ensemble. So that’s well played. (Hat tip to Autumn Phillips while we're here, once again using a magenta hat as a surefire way to pep up any outfit.)

Most Interesting Carriage
The York Princesses, with the Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise
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Embed from Getty Images
There was a treasure trove of sartorial interest in Carriage #3, carrying Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, the Countess of Wessex, and Lady Louise Windsor. Sophie’s got the intriguing cutout category all to herself (thankfully), in this Emilia Wickstead repeat from last Ascot, while the York sisters own two of the most interesting hats on the balcony.

The positioning of Beatrice’s hat is fascinating; it’s labeled a pillbox, but I want to throw a brim on it and stick her in a Pride and Prejudice remake, with that front view. It frames her really well with this hairdo. (Her dress is a royal twin moment; Crown Princess Victoria wore it in 2016.)

Princess Beatrice's Lola straw bow pillbox hat by Sally-Ann Provan; dress by The Fold
Princess Eugenie's Leaf Brim hat by Bee Smith
Eugenie might have my favorite hat of the day, for the combination of brim and interest and the way that lovely green dress coordinates.

And the rest…
Oh yes, wasn't joking about this being the biggest royal gathering of the year. (Bigger, in terms of numbers of family members, than the recent royal wedding.) I may add some close ups later, but for now, I'm leaving the identifying to you all.

Who takes home your prizes for Trooping the Colour 2018?