Happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth II! The beloved monarch turns 94 today, marking the occasion from Windsor Castle with husband Prince Philip. The usual festivities have been called off amid the coronavirus pandemic, but messages of love are still pouring in for the Queen from across the world. Not only is Queen Elizabeth II the longest-reigning British monarch in history, but she’s ruled for those 68-plus years with wisdom, grace, and serious style — including one of the best, most colorful hat collections we’ve ever seen.
The Queen’s birthday is typically celebrated with the Trooping the Colour parade, an event we’re sad to miss in part because of the spectacular royal family fashion that always accompanies it. Queen Elizabeth II (and her many hats) are known for dressing to stand out, and the royal was once quoted by biographer Robert Hardman as saying “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am.”
Queen Elizabeth II isn’t just sporting a hat in every color of the rainbow because she knows it looks fabulous — she wants to make herself easily visible in a crowd, and stand out for the people who are there to see her. And stand out she does, as anyone with an eye for the monarch’s fashion can attest. From neon green to sunshine yellow, the Queen has been there, done that. Any color you can think of, the Queen has a hat for that.
To be clear: the Queen would be a legend no matter what she wore. But her playful, bright sense of fashion makes us love her all the more. In honor of the big 9-4, here are some of our favorite brightly-colored outfit toppers over the years, complete with matching overcoats.