Duchess Sophie's striking feather hat and relaxed low bun combination was fabulously flamboyant

The Duchess of Edinburgh went for a fabulously flamboyant hat and a pared-back hairstyle for Day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh takes part in the carriage driving event on day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Duchess Sophie's bold feather hat and relaxed low bun was the perfect blend of striking and casual styling.

Hats might not be part of everyone’s summer capsule wardrobe but, for the royals, they're an essential part of so many seasonal outfits. Hats are typically worn by the likes of Queen Camilla and Princess Anne for formal occasions and services, however the Duchess of Edinburgh’s take on this regal wardrobe staple tends to be far more playful. Her latest hat was no exception as she took up the reins (literally, that is!) at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. 

Taking part in the carriage driving event on Day 5, Duchess Sophie’s bold top hat was every bit as flamboyant as we’ve come to expect from her and was nestled perfectly over her low bun. Crafted with an elegant angled brim that she often goes for with her hats, this one was a gorgeous deep navy blue and ecru. 

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh takes part in the carriage driving event

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

This contrasting combination immediately draws the eye but is slightly softer than a full-on monochrome look. Textured all over, this was echoed in the adornment on Duchess Sophie’s hat which was several large white feathers. An exciting hat is Duchess Sophie’s statement accessory of choice and she's gravitated towards feathered headpieces over the years.

This time the fan-like shape of these two feathers covered the hat in a more subtle way and gave it softness. They were connected by a navy blue bow which really pulled the look together. Sweeping over her face at the front, the senior royal’s pared-back hairstyle was also clearly visible.

Shop Bun Hairstyle Essentials

Duchess Sophie has been a huge fan of short bob hairstyles in the past but since growing her hair longer she’s come to enjoy a variety of updos, including buns. At the Royal Windsor Horse Show she went for a low bun secured at the back of her head with a lovely amount of messiness to it. 

This gave it a relaxed feel that worked given she was competing in a sporting activity rather than being too tight or immaculate. Kiki Koh, Creative Director at John Frieda, previously told woman&home that for hair up styles, to look "chic" they also need to "look effortless".

"Even if you went to a salon, it needs to look like you could have done it yourself," the expert said.

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh takes part in the carriage driving event on day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, according to hairstylist Lee Stafford a messy bun or chignon is a look that nails this sense of effortlessness.

He declared, "It’s completely effortless and anyone can put their own unique stamp on it by choosing different accessories or making the whole look sleek and glossy."

The Duchess of Edinburgh’s low bun definitely achieved the "effortless" look and was a beautiful hairstyle choice for the show. Just like her daughter, Prince Philip taught Duchess Sophie carriage driving. She’s previously revealed, as per Hello!, that she had to hang up her reins initially because she fell pregnant with Lady Louise and that Prince Philip was always so "encouraging" of his granddaughter.

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh during the Pol Roger Meet of the British Driving Society

(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

She told BBC Radio 5 in 2021, "He was so pleased when she took the sport up because I took it up - I was at the beginning of my carriage driving career and I fell pregnant with Louise so I had to hang up the reins."

"He was really encouraging of Louise and when she not only said can I have a go, but then showed a flair for it, he was just brilliant with her," Duchess Sophie added.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!