The surprising reason the Queen once wore her hat backwards

Upping the style stakes!

queen wore hat backwards surprising reason
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen is always out in a perfect and polished outfit. But it turns out one time that she took a bit of a risk with a last minute change.

The Queen is always seen out and about looking polished in perfectly tailored and thought-out outfits.

With the help of her personal advisor and senior dresser Angela Kelly, Queen Elizabeth plans each and every one of her bright colour co-ordinated outfits down to the last tiny detail.

But it turns out that she once attended an engagement with her statement hat facing the wrong way round. And she did it on purpose.

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According to Angela, the Queen made the risky fashion move when she closed the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Opening up about the occasion in her tell-all book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, Angela admitted that she once chose a rather unflattering hat for Queen Elizabeth, revealing that she only realised her faux pas when she unpacked it for the monarch to wear.

'As soon as I had it in my hands, I knew, deep down, that it was not going to suit the Queen.

queen wore hat backwards surprising reason

'With a commanding shell-like brim and a very large flower on the reverse, it was certainly an interesting and beautifully made piece, but I had a gut feeling that it would not complement the outfit or enhance Her Majesty’s features.'

'As the morning went on, I became increasingly worried,' continued Angela, 'so I decided I had to raise my concern and face the consequences later.

'So, I waited for the Queen to come into the dressing room, took a deep breath, and said, "Your Majesty, I don’t think you should wear this hat. It is not the right design for you and it won’t suit you."

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'A long silence followed before she eventually looked up and said, "Well, it’s a bit late now. What else can I wear? I must wear it."

'Although I admired her pragmatic approach, I was insistent.'

Angela revealed that they then decided to try the hat backwards instead.

queen wore hat backwards surprising reason

'I told her I had been examining the hat from all angles and that it would be better worn back to front.

'The Queen couldn’t believe that this would work. I told her that, if she did not believe me, she should consult the Duke of Edinburgh, as he always tells her the truth.At this point, I left the room feeling somewhat terrified, as you can imagine,' Angela went on, adding, 'Before long, Her Majesty called me back.

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'She had consulted His Royal Highness and, after an amusing conversation, in which I imagine The Duke didn’t hold back, the Queen had decided to wear the hat the wrong way around, as I had suggested.' Who knew Prince Philip was a handy man to have around in a fashion crisis?

Thankfully, it seems like it all worked out in the end!

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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Email: aleesha.badkar@futurenet.com