A Princess Diana Hat Replicate?

Back in May or June 2013, I spotted a charming white bowler-shaped ladies hat with a white ostrich plume and veiling at the Vancouver Eastside Flea Market. The hat was by André, a Montreal millinery company. Since the veiling had quite a few tears, the woman selling the hat offered it to me for $5. What a steal for a vintage (anything pre-90’s?) hat! I’m not very good at dating hats but it had to be at least 15 years old, if not older.

I decided to wear the white hat to the Deighton Cup at the Hastings Racecourse on 10 August, and wore it with a royal blue empire-waist Jacob dress. I wasn’t sure if this would be Aston-Cup-worthy, but this is Vancouver, and anything goes.


For the full outfit, see the photo on Solo Lisa’s Deighton Cup blog post and just for your random information, I was originally wearing Nine West’s Andriana nude pointed-toe heels but had to switch with my Mum when she found the Clarks Society Ball pumps too large for her.

Today, as I was looking for photos of Diana, Princess of Wales, I spotted two photos of the princess wearing a blue bowler hat with veiling and a dipped centre. It looks very similar to mine. This is the blue John Boyd hat that Diana had worn in late November 1982 after it was announced she was expecting William.


You can see there’s a feather hanging from the back.

Upon further research, I realised that Diana had worn quite a few John Boyd hats in various colours, all with feathers but only one with veiling. Perhaps this silhouette became known as the Lady Di hat by John Boyd, known for its distinctive feather, but I haven’t been able to find more information on it. The Lady Di hat (whatever it looks like) became quite popular after Diana had worn it for her ‘going away outfit, after the wedding in 1981,’ that it was copied worldwide. (source: FashionModelDirectory) If these hats were the Lady Di silhouette, then it’s no wonder that Montreal’s Andre created a copy of the hat.


Another John Boyd hat in burgundy for the visit to Wales in October 1981.

I can’t tell if the hat on the left is the same as the emerald or hunter green hat in the middle and right. Based on what Diana is wearing, it looks like they were two separate occasions. Does anyone know the date and year of these pics?


Here’s a peach or pink hat with a light pink feather made out of a harder straw it seems (I can’t remember what it’s called. Not sinemay). Anyone know when and where she wore this?


This cream yellow hat appears to be a slight variation to the blue pregnancy hat, with the plumes worn at the back.


Worn to Summerside in Prince Edward Island, Canada in June 1983.

When I spotted this pure-white hat in Google Images, I was ecstatic because it is the closest to the ivory-white hat that I have. It looks as if Diana had worn this hat twice. While I cannot find the source for the photo on the left, I do know that the photo on the left was taken in April 1983 when the Prince of Wales and his wife visited New Zealand. (Photo 1 & photo 2)


Same hat, two different occasions? The photo on the right was worn to NZ in April 1983.

For this very reason, I will now name my white hat ‘Diana’ and assume it’s around 30 years old. 🙂

Further reading: Diana Forever – Hats

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