Hats Ahoy: 9 Stylish Head-Toppers from Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Christening

October 11, 2010
(3:30 p.m. EDT) -- The inimitable style of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, may be one reason why the tradition of millinery, also known as the making of hats, continues to intrigue today. After all, who'd even dream of turning up at Ascot Racecourse without some kind of feathered head-dress? And of course, it does seem reasonable that an event like the christening of Queen Elizabeth, the ship, helmed of course by Queen Elizabeth, the monarch, would bring out some wide rims.

In the tips and hints sheet sent out by Cunard public relations staffers to American media attending the event, we were given some advice (presumably our British-born colleagues already know the drill): "While it is customary for ladies to wear hats on royal occasions, this is not compulsory."

Declining to don a topper, I nevertheless loved the styles of many of the women onboard today who did come capped (didn't see any men with hats, alas). Here are my favorites, in slideshow form.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief