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Getting garden party ready: The royal style files from 2018



That time of year on the royal calendar is upon us once again. That’s right, it’s time to brush off your best hat (if you’re lucky enough to receive an invitation) and get ready for a season of royal garden parties.

In anticipation of the first garden party of 2019 this week, we’re taking a look back at some memorable outfits from last year’s events.

The first garden party of the year took place on 15th May, and the Countess of Wessex kicked off the 2018 season with a gorgeous red dress from Alaïa. The bright colour and scalloped trim on the sleeves and hemline made this dress a stand-out at the event. Even though the Countess wore this piece on previous engagements, the addition of a re-worked Jane Taylor hat and different accessories made it look fresh.

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One of the most buzzed-about appearances, of course, was the Duchess of Sussex’s first garden party. Attending just three days after the royal wedding, on 22nd May, the Duchess chose a pale blush coloured dress from Goat Fashion with a sheer bodice and sleeves.

Meghan received some criticism in the media for the outfit as it seemed to suffer from some fit issues, but overall it made sense to choose something conservative for her working debut as the Duchess of Sussex. She paired her dress with a gorgeous oversized disc hat by Philip Treacy and neutral accessories.

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Princess Eugenie stepped away from the typical summer pastels and florals, wearing a navy three-quarter sleeve shirt dress by Palmer Harding with some interesting sleeves at a garden party on 31st May. But the standout of the outfit was her Misa Harada hat, with a small veil and the word “LOVE” embellished on it in beads – perhaps as a nod to her impending nuptials last year.

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Meanwhile, at the same party, The Queen dazzled in peacock blue with a matching feather in her hat. Her Majesty made headlines last summer after wearing sunglasses on several occasions, and it turned out she had eye surgery to treat a cataract. Rather than cancel engagements, she wore shades (usually a no-no for The Queen). We think she should wear sunnies more often.

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Princess Anne joined her mother in rocking sunglasses at the next garden party, which took place on 5th June. She teamed her shades with a sunny yellow and grey ensemble featuring a bolero jacket and matching dress, and an equally summery yellow fascinator.

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A fabulous feathered hat is nearly always a good idea, and the Duchess of Cornwall can pull off a bold cap better than most. Her pale blue outfit at the 5th June party with embellished detail at the shoulders and dropped waist was a perfect summer look, teamed with her signature pearls and a show-stopping white chapeau.

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And who could forget the cheerful pink hydrangea-print ensemble Her Majesty wore to the final garden party of the year on 4th July at the Palace of Holyroodhouse?  Her white floral dress, paired with a bright fuschia feather-trimmed hat, definitely made her stand out from the crowd. Naturally, she carried a matching Fulton bubble umbrella in case of a rainy Scottish afternoon.

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What’s in store for 2019’s garden parties? Whilst Meghan will be on maternity leave, we should certainly see the Duchess of Cambridge at one of this year’s events. I would bet on some fun fashion from Princess Eugenie and some excellent hats from the Duchess of Cornwall and The Queen. Look for all of the garden party details this summer in our regular feature, “This Week in Royal Fashion.”



About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. She blogs about royal fashion and travel at royallybroke.com. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.