The third season of Netflix’s The Crown is about many things: the unexpected challenges of aging, passing titles (and trauma) through generations, the changes to international relations over the years. It is also, however, a parade of very fancy hat fashions from the 1960s and ’70s, expressively created by costume designer Amy Roberts. As befits a show named for the fanciest headpiece outside of Las Vegas, The Crown’s costumes are masterpieces of millinery. As the world enters a new decade with tightening belts and an expanding sense of fashion forwardness, the royal family keeps apace, breaking out some capital-L lewks for public appearances. Queen Elizabeth’s fondness for chic chapeaus is well-documented, but fortunately for us, Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, and Princess Anne also get in on the act this season. (Certified snack Josh O’Connor, as Prince Charles, also gets to wear a couple cute newsboy hats, but they just don’t compare to the grandeur of the other heavenly headpieces.)
Nevertheless, it becomes quite clear this season that no one can outdo Her Royal Hatness. To wit:
Let’s start this whole thing off with a bang. This hat appeared onscreen during Prince Charles’ investiture in Wales, and I jumped out of my chair and screamed like Joaquin Phoenix in Signs. This look is Elizabeth Debicki in Guardians of the Galaxy playing Judge Dredd. This is a Pinterest tribute to Rick Moranis in Spaceballs. This is one of those old-school football helmets but—and I cannot stress this enough—fashun. None of this is shade, mind you. This hat dares you not to take it seriously. Sea foam green and dotted with pearls, this was made by King Triton’s personal designer. Is it a cloche? Eh, it’s close. It’s a creation all its own. Honestly, I need that for my everyday life. Can you hear in it? Nope, but Charles’ speech was in Welsh so the Queen didn’t understand it anyway.
The best part: The costume is totally accurate.
And the hat from the back is just as detailed.
This is just so much lewk. This is a scene-stealing lewk! Nothing could compare to it…except the other three lewks from the same day.
These women did not come to play! I am loving this color story—it’s very reminiscent of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty, which is neither here nor there but is pretty nonetheless!
Let’s go first to Princess Anne, in cerulean with a pillbox hat accented with an entire loofah. Or one of those flowers you make out of tissue paper at a baby shower. Incredible. Life-changing. Revolutionary.
Then we have Princess Margaret, who is letting us know she received the message “send snoods.” It almost looks like a piece of cloth pinned to the top of her head, but in the photo of the real events, it’s clear it’s a melon-colored snood. Just a regular thing to have lying around the closet.
And last, but certainly not least, feast your eyes upon Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. This is everything. This is like the little fire wheel that Dr. Strange makes in the Avengers movies but made of Muppets. I have never loved a hat more.
It also—again, no shade intended—bears a very strong resemblance to an IKEA lamp shade, so there’s that.
The same can actually be said of the hat that Princess Margaret wears as she leaves the United States in episode 2.
These events took place 20 years after IKEA was founded, so it remains an open question: Who was influencing whom?
Here’s another, from Princess Margaret’s Follow That Bird collection.
Not to be outdone, the Queen stepped out to her beloved racetrack in a similar bonnet, this time in pastel pink petals. Florals for steeds: groundbreaking.
And you just know the Queen Mother wants to join in the fun. This ruched dusty lavender number is just the ticket.
And then here’s the queen combining the two:
Not every hat is a showstopper, however. Some are more simple but no less elegant. Take the brimmed iteration the queen wears to visit France. A simple picture hat, sure, but the way it works with her outfit? Magnificent.
Or the simple hat she wears on the tarmac as Margaret leaves for the U.S. Not terribly complex, but it matches both her coat and the entire plane. When will your fave ever?!
But perhaps the simplest hat Roberts put in this season of The Crown is another historically accurate one: the respectful black beret the queen wore to Winston Churchill’s funeral.
Of course, this being The Crown, Colman’s costume version gets a subtle, chic adjustment:
There are so many great headpieces on this season it’s hard to…crown a winner. Perhaps it’s best to wait until next season’s 1980s pieces get entered into competition. In the meanwhile, I’ll be over here trying to fit my IKEA lampshade over my head.