The Queen

The Queen’s milliner reveals the truth behind Her Majesty’s EU hat


Copyright House of Lords 2017 / Roger Harris

The Queen’s milliner, Angela Kelly, has revealed the truth behind Her Majesty’s ‘EU hat’ which caused a storm in 2017 when she wore the headpiece to the State Opening of Parliament.

The hat, which was blue with yellow flowers, had an uncanny resemblance to the flag of the European Union, with many commentators suggesting the monarch could be giving away a subliminal message in regards to Brexit.

However in her new book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, Angela Kelly sets the record straight.

In excepts of her new book published in Hello! Magazine, Mrs Kelly says that Her Majesty personally approved the design of the hat, but the resemblance to the EU flag was purely coincidental.

“I already had in stock some material suitable for Her Majesty’s outfit, so after I’d checked the background against which The Queen would be sitting – to be sure that the colours wouldn’t clash – I made the design and passed it, with my instructions, to the in-house dressmaker. Then the milliner, Stella, and I sat down with a cup of tea to discuss the design of the hat. 

“We chose a Breton-brim block style, which would create an upturned brim, so Her Majesty’s face could be clearly seen, and The Queen could see everyone in the room. We chose a large square crown to balance the brim and five flowers, made from feathers with tiny seed pearls, painted yellow. It never occurred to Stella and me that people might think we were copying the European Union flag. The press and the rest of the media were quick to assume that was the case.”

Mrs Kelly added that the media speculation “made us smile.”

The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser, and the Wardrobe on 29 October through HarperCollins, who holds the rights for world release in all languages. Kelly also narrated the audiobook for The Other Side of the Coin, which will be released the same day.