Crowning Glory: Supporters given royal treatment

4 min read

As the UK gets ready to mark the historic coronation of King Charles III we're delighted to once again be working with the prestigious British Hat Guild and The Jockey Club on our own Crowning Glory.

Created by members of The British Hat Guild, a fascination of hats inspired by the royal racing colours are being auctioned to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. The 22 hats have been designed in combinations of scarlet, purple, black and gold, the colours of the royal racing silks, to celebrate the Coronation which takes place this weekend (Saturday 6th May).

The one-off pieces are being promoted online using the hashtag #AllTheKingsColours and feature in an online auction until 11th June, with proceeds going to the charity.

A group of our supporters were given the supermodel treatment at Epsom Downs Racecourse, taking part in a stylish photoshoot to help us showcase these wonderful hats.

Paige Gouge is currently undergoing treatment for a glioblastoma (GBM) and returned from her sixth round of privately-funded immunotherapy in Germany the night before taking part in the photo shoot. Paige is the second member of her family to be diagnosed with this type of brain tumour. Her father Mark passed away in June 2000, aged 37.

Paige modelling Regal Red Polka Dots

Paige modelled a Martha Lynn hat named Regal Red Polka Dots and was joined by her mum Tracy, who wore a Camilla Rose piece called Orb. Paige said: “It was really nice to be pampered, and to have my mum there as well. It was a really fun day. Everyone was so lovely and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.”

Tracy and Paige

The hat collection will be hosted by The Jockey Club over the Coronation weekend at the QIPCO Guineas Festival in Newmarket (Friday 5th – Saturday 7th May) and The Derby at Epsom Downs on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June. Also on display will be a signed set of royal silks from last year’s Platinum Jubilee Derby.

Amateur jockey Jess Llewellyn wore the royal racing silks for the photoshoot where she modelled a red and purple hat by Ellie Vallerini called Amaryllis. Last time Jess was at Epsom in 2019, she won the Ladies Derby supported by her beloved father, Gwilym Llewellyn, who died from an anaplastic astrocytoma in May 2021.

She said: “It felt great to be pampered as I am usually a bit nervous and focused on the race when I am at a racecourse. The colours weren’t too dissimilar to the berry shades I normally wear. Swapping my equestrian helmet for a beautiful hat felt surprisingly natural and I felt proud to wear the King’s colours.”

Jess and Cerian at the finishing post

Jess was joined by her mum Cerian on the day, who wore a piece by Alexandra Harper, named Regality. She said: “All of the hats were beautiful and the one I wore made me feel very special.”

Olivia Kold also lost her father to a brain tumour. Svend-Erik Kold was a renowned equine orthopaedic vet who worked at Ascot for more than 30 years and at Jockey Club-owned racecourses including Epsom Downs. Following his GBM diagnosis in 2021, he underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but died in October 2022, aged 69.

Olivia modelled a hat called Desert Crown

Olivia, a media manager and content creator in the racing world, modelled a Lisa Tan hat at the photo shoot.

“It’s incredibly important for events like this to raise awareness about brain tumours, as well as funds for research. I haven’t opened up much about what my family went through but think this provides a platform for people to be able to share their experiences. It’s one I’m more comfortable with because this audience is my colleagues and peers. The industry means a lot to me and involves people Dad worked with and knew so it’s especially close to my heart,” Olivia said.

Brain Tumour Research is a cause close to Jude Campbell’s heart as her husband Peter died from a GBM in 2021. Last September, Jude completed a seven-day trek to raise funds in Peter’s memory.

Jude supports Brain Tumour Research in memory of her beloved husband

Jude, who wore a piece called Ruby by Beverley Edmondson, said: “It was very moving to meet the others, but I knew they were mostly not well with brain tumours so it felt bittersweet for me. I also kept thinking ‘Pete would have loved this’. He was very much into hats and always wore them. My hat was inspired by the richness of the royal colours and I really loved wearing it. I felt special in it and know Pete would have loved it.”

Having originally been diagnosed with an inoperable low-grade brainstem and spinal cord glioma in 2015, Melissa Ross continues to suffer with debilitating pain in her neck, head and shoulders and underwent chemotherapy following regrowth in 2021. Further progression means she will soon be starting six weeks of radiotherapy.

She described how she felt “honoured and privileged” to be involved in the photoshoot during which she modelled a hat named Height of Fashion, which was inspired by hats worn by the late Queen Elizabeth II and named after one of her horses.

Melissa modelled a Vesna Pesic piece

Melissa added: “Funding research is so important because it’s the only way to improve treatment options for patients like me. My brain tumour is inoperable so, as things stands, there’s not much more that can be done for me.”

Mum-of-three Linda Goode modelled a John Boyd hat, created by Sarah Marshall and called Royal Wave which she said made her feel “quite special”.

Linda on the balcony

Linda was diagnosed with a GBM in October 2021. She has since undergone surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy and has been stable for more than six months. She added: “Funding for research is massively important to ensure there’s a pathway to a cure for others. If I’m not around, I’d like to think other people going through what I am have hope.”

Whilst Tina Papworth summarised the day perfectly: “The experience gave me a lifetime memory which I will treasure.”

Tina was left blind in one eye after surgery to remove a low-grade sphenoid wing meningioma. She wore a spectacular piece called Aurum and said: “It was incredibly flamboyant and wearing it made me feel very special.”

Tina wore an eye-catching piece by Jenny Roberts

Our thanks go to all the supporters, as well as the stylists, photographers, make up artists and hair stylists for their time in helping create these wonderful images for the auction.

We've also had some help from some big names from the world of showbiz and horse racing who have kindly given their time to help us promote the event. Keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be sharing a behind-the-scenes on our blog soon.

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