Going to the Chapel

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A very special engagement was announced recently and people are buzzing with excitement over the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The wedding is planned for May 19, 2018.

Prince Harry is the second and youngest son of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997). He is currently fifth in line to the British throne.

Meghan Markle is an American actress, born and raised in Los Angeles. She is probably best known for her role as Rachel Zane on the television series Suits. Meghan is also recognized for her humanitarian work, and has been outspoken in her support of gender equality and women's empowerment.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The late Princess Diana was similarly a champion of humanitarian and charity work. She worked for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, as well as groups advocating for children, HIV/AIDS and cancer patients, and the mentally ill. When asked about what his mother would have thought of Meghan, Prince Harry said "Oh, they'd be thick as thieves, without question, I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me... But then, as I said, [they] would have probably been best friends." (BBC television interview)

Princess Diana and Prince Harry

 Princess Diana with young Prince Harry, 1986

The most recent royal wedding was that of older brother, Prince William, to Catherine (Kate) Middleton in April 2011. Estimates of the global audience for the event ranged around 300 million or more; 26 million watched the event live in Britain.

One of the most talked about aspects of the wedding was the millinery. In Britain, as in many countries, wearing a hat to a wedding is de rigueur. Of the 1900 guests, most wore hats; top hats for the gents and both brimmed and fascinator styles for the ladies. Obviously, a wedding of this size and prestige is a huge boon to the millinery industry. UK milliners were busy for months. And the sheer number of fantastic hats at the wedding, plus the widespread press coverage, raised awareness about hats as a statement accessory. For several years afterwards, most of my customers would mention the Philip Treacy headpieces created for Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, or talk about Duchess Kate as a hat-style icon.

Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton

Prince William and bride Catherine Middleton

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice

Royal Wedding 2011

Guests at the Royal Wedding, 2011

When choosing a hat for a wedding, there are many time-honored rules of hat etiquette.

First, if you have any questions or concerns about the dress code, ask the bride or groom before you start shopping.

Choose a style that suits the outfit, the event, and your personality. The hat should be comfortable enough to wear all day.

Do not match the event color scheme unless asked to do so.

Avoid wearing all white, ivory or black, as well as overly bright and bold prints, which do not photograph well.

Opt for traditional styles and trims. Your outfit should never draw attention away from the bride. Coordinate hat, dress, shoes and clutch.

Small hats and fascinators should be worn on the proper right side; trims on brimmed hats should be on the right. Men's hats are always trimmed on the proper left side.

The hat worn by mother of the groom should never be larger than that of the mother of bride.

Large brims are only acceptable for mid-day ceremonies, when it might be sunny. Choose a small hat or fascinator for a morning or evening wedding. A later time of day dictates a smaller hat.

Be mindful that a large brim does not obscure your face. Saucer hats or hats with turned-up-brims are best for wedding day photographs.

A woman's hat can stay on while indoors as it is an important part of the ensemble. A man should remove his hat when indoors and when greeting or speaking to a lady.

No one else should remove their hat until the mother of bride has done so. Hopefully, that's before guests hit the dance floor.

Mother of Bride Hat

 Custom Milli Starr hat for Mother of the Bride, 2016

Mother of the Bride custom hat

Custom Milli Starr hat for Mother of the Bride, 2015

 Tiffany Blue silk fascinator for Bride

Custom fascinator in Tiffany Blue silk for bride

to wear at wedding reception



British royals fascinators harry and meghan hat etiquette hat rules hats mother of bride mother of groom royal wedding wedding etiquette wedding hats will and kate

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