The reappearance of Kate Middleton’s iconic hat from 2006 for Remembrance Sunday service has got us feeling seriously nostalgic

Kate Middleton's hat for the National Service of Remembrance was an old favourite and it worked perfectly with her respectful outfit

Kate Middleton's hat
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The Princess of Wales’ hat from 2006 was brought back for this year’s National Service of Remembrance and it has such a special history.

The Princess of Wales was the epitome of understated elegance at this year’s National Service of Remembrance and her outfit was perfectly in-keeping with the poignant focus of the day. We rarely see her wear black, which is what made Kate’s all black ensemble for an engagement a few days before especially striking, but the Remembrance Sunday service is one of these occasions where this is expected. 

The Princess of Wales re-wore her gorgeous Alexander McQueen military-style coat dress from 2019 but it was Kate’s hat that really caught our eye. By bringing it out again this year, Kate showed that this piece from her pre-royal days still has a special place in her wardrobe today as Princess of Wales. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales during the National Service of Remembrance

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

The hat was first glimpsed by royal fashion fans back in 2006 when Kate was 24 years old and it remains as beautiful as ever, with a slanted brim and felt adornments forming striking bows. The first occasion where the future Queen Consort was photographed wearing this hat wasn't technically a royal event but it was a major appearance alongside senior royals. 

She attended Prince William’s graduation from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, as did King Charles and Queen Camilla, and both of Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton. For this special event Kate paired her black hat with a vivid scarlet coat, black dress and all-black accessories - including a pair of Kate’s back-in-the-day staple boots and black cut-out detail gloves.  

Kate Middleton attends the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images)

Her long brunette tresses were kept loose underneath the hat, but perhaps in a reflection of her senior royal role as Princess of Wales and the formality surrounding it, Kate’s hair was in a chic chignon under the hat on Remembrance Sunday 2023.

In between these two appearances, Kate’s hat was also her headpiece of choice for the Remembrance Sunday service in 2017. Her decision to re-wear it again this year could be seen as incredibly meaningful and it certainly highlights how much has changed in the past 17 years.

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

The first time she wore it in 2006 she was Prince William’s girlfriend and this was a major appearance for her to see this huge moment in his military career at an event also attended by the then-Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

At her latest appearance wearing this hat, Kate is Princess of Wales, a long-time working royal and also has several military titles of her own. This includes Colonel-in-Chief of 1st the Queen's Dragoon Guards, Commodore-in-Chief, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Honorary Air Commodore, RAF Coningsby which were bestowed upon her by King Charles in August. 

Kate’s hat likely holds special associations with the Sandhurst graduation parade for her and it wasn’t the only aspect of her Remembrance Sunday 2023 outfit that held great significance.

Queen Camilla and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

The Princess of Wales wore a pair of pearl and diamond earrings with a beautiful cluster design and these are said to have belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth. These looked stunning with Kate’s hat and her decision to wear her hair in an up-do underneath her headpiece also gave the earrings a chance to shine. 

Ultimately, this was an incredibly meaningful outfit from the Princess of Wales and the reappearance of her 2006 black hat was a lovely nod to her pre-royal days and her love of classic timeless pieces.


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!