All the King’s Colours celebrated in racing showcase

4 min read
 by Alexa Copson

Crowning Glory: A Milliners’ Celebration of All The King’s Colours features 22 hats by some of the biggest names in UK millinery, including royal milliners Stephen Jones OBE and Rachel Trevor-Morgan. Members of The British Hat Guild have generously created these bespoke pieces which are being auctioned to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

The hats are one-off pieces which hold a retail value of between £350 and £2,000 and all are fashioned in combinations of scarlet, purple, black and gold, the colours of the royal racing silks, to celebrate the Coronation.

Chairman of The British Hat Guild Stephen Jones OBE is a high-profile supporter of Brain Tumour Research following the loss of his friend, the pioneering fashion stylist Dizzy Downes, to a brain tumour in 2006.

Stephen, who has created a fun yet elegant piece called Glimmer, said: “It is an honour for our Guild to be involved in this prestigious exhibition to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research. We are delighted to be able to use our millinery skills to support such a fantastic charity. I hope everyone enjoys seeing all the wonderful creations our members have provided for this event and cannot wait to see you with All The King’s Colours creations atop people’s heads.”

Glimmer by Stephen Jones

Last week, we shared a behind-the-scenes blog about our photoshoot at Epsom Racecourse, where supporters were given the royal treatment as they helped us showcase these wonderful hats. Read more here.

We’ve also had support from some big names from the world of showbiz and horse racing who kindly gave their time to help us promote the auction.

Actress Vicki Michelle MBE is currently on our screens starring in EastEnders. She has a close connection to the disease as her sister has only recently undergone surgery for a glioblastoma (GBM).

Vicki attended a photoshoot in London where she modelled a striking royal purple piece called Regality by Alexandra Harper and a rich royal red hat by Beverley Edmondson called Ruby (main image).

Vicki wearing Regality

Vicki also looked fabulous wearing Edwina Ibbotson’s Royal Guineas Stakes which features all the King’s racing colours; and Height of Fashion by Vesna Pesic which is inspired by hats worn by the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Royal Guineas Stakes (left) and Height of Fashion (right)

Our grateful thanks also go to The Jockey Club who hosted the hats over the Coronation weekend at the QIPCO Guineas Festival in Newmarket (Friday 5th – Sunday 7th May). The hats will also be on display at The Derby at Epsom Downs on 2nd and 3rd June; an event loved by the Queen who attended on all but five occasions in her 70-year reign.

Amy Starkey, Managing Director at Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Brain Tumour Research, The British Hat Guild and Go Epsom again this year, and expanding the hat display across both the QIPCO Guineas Festival in Newmarket as well as The Derby. This project links the important role style can still play in attending racing with the spectacular atmospheres at Newmarket and Epsom Downs as well as the strong royal links to both places. We can’t wait to build on the funds raised last year and continue to support this important cause at two of our premier race meetings.”

Karen Pengelly, representing Go Epsom which is generously supporting the exhibition, said: “Hats have long-been synonymous with horseracing and what better place than Epsom to showcase this Coronation collection for a great cause.”

There has been great support from the world of racing, including a number of big names who generously gave their time to model the creations.

TV racing presenter and former jockey Leonna Mayor wore the royal racing silks as she modelled Desert Crown, a stunning sinamay halo creation by Lisa Tan. 

Leonna wearing the racing silks and Desert Crown

Leonna also wore Orb by Camilla Rose Millinery with stunning gold decoration designed to emulate horses galloping; Royal Purple by Bee Smith which features purple bows inspired by the button knot detail of the King’s racing silks; Sovereign by Rachel Trevor-Morgan which is inspired by the King’s love of all things botanical; Rafa Peinador’s Seville (pictured below) which features traditional-tyle embroidery; and Stephen Jones’ Glimmer.

Presenter and former model Rosie Tapner also showcased some stunning hats, including Giulia Mio’s Midnight Star which features handmade organza roses and golden wire leaves and a statement piece called Aurum by Jenny Roberts which is inspired by the gold braiding on the King’s racing silks.

Rosie wearing Agnes Boater with Crystal detail

Rosie also modelled Judy Bentinck’s Sawasa which has been inspired by the cultural exchange of artefacts between Asia and Europe in the 17th century, and Justine Bradley-Hill’s Agnes Boater with Crystal Detail, crafted from silk, veiling and crystals.

Laura (left) wearing Amaryllis and Rosie (right) wearing Midnight Star

Mezzo-soprano Laura Wright is no stranger to the races and regularly performs at the UK’s largest sporting fixtures. Laura wore Ellie Vallerini’s Amaryllis, which is inspired by the flowing forms in nature and John Boyd Hats’ Royal Wave – a playful and fun piece perfect to celebrate the Coronation in style.

She also sported the eye-catching and bold Mini Beret by Karen Henriksen and a whimsical Alice in Wonderland inspired piece called Queen of Hearts by Lomax & Skinner.

Queen of Hearts worn by Laura

Our spokesman Hugh Adams said: “We are delighted to be working with The Jockey Club and The British Hat Guild for the second year. This unique selection of hats really captures the excitement and expectation as we mark the historic moment of the King’s Coronation. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and the awareness and funds raised by this fantastic project will help us as we work towards finding a cure for this devastating disease.”

Our thanks go to all those who generously gave their time to support the photoshoot and showcase these brilliant hats: Tim Kent (photographer), Maria McKenna (make up artist), Alice Hare (stylist) and Chris from Glow and Dry (hair stylist).

The auction is now live and runs until 11th June. Place your bids and good luck!

Remember to share on social media using #AllTheKingsColours

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