Head Honcho

Head for Fashion: Kate Middleton Is ‘Hat Person of the Year’ (Photos)

The Duchess of Cambridge is 'Hat Person of the Year.' Tom Sykes looks at how she make it to the top.

In addition to her other prestigious titles—Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Most Likely to Save the British Monarchy—Kate Middleton can now add the prestigious accolade of, wait for it, Hat Person of the Year to her list.

Yes, Hat Person of the Year!

For Kate has been nominated the world’s most delightful headgear-wearer by the heretofore little-known Headwear Association. In an online poll conducted by the Los Angeles-based organization, which claims to have been founded in 1908, Kate received 91 percent of the vote, beating out Rachel Zoe (4 percent), Ne-Yo (2 percent), Justin Timberlake (1 percent), Bruno Mars (1 percent), and Charlie Sheen (1 percent).

While the fact that just six people shared 100 percent of the vote and Lady Gaga didn’t rate a mention makes one somewhat suspicious about the extent to which this poll reflects global opinion, Catherine Middleton is surely a fine example of the old maxim that if you want to get ahead, get a hat.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Sandringham Church on Christmas Day

The Duchess of Cambridge met and greeted thousands of well-wishers who waited by the gates of the church in Sandringham at which the royal family traditionally worships, wearing this plum-colored hat. Buckingham Palace issued a statement saying that the hat was designed by Jane Corbett, who in turn was trained by Rose Cory, the Queen Mother’s milliner. The designer of the matching coat was not identified, but we suspect it is by Katherine Hooker.

Phil Noble, AFP / Getty Images

William and Kate Visit Treardurr Bay

Kate looked striking in this delicate Vivien Sheriff fascinator as she attended an event for Britain’s lifeboat service in February last year at Treardurr Bay, near her home with the duke in Anglesea. Sheriff is a traditional British milliner influenced by the English countryside.

Mirrorpix, Splash News / Newscom

Something Borrowed and Something Black

Kate got some stick in the press for wearing black to a friend’s wedding last January—a black Issa dress and Libélula velvet jacket and topped with a black felt beret from Whiteley Fischer, a British hatmaker that's been in the trade for more than 60 years.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Work It, Cowgirl!

According to end-of year audits, the most ubiquitous gift given to William and Kate by foreign dignitaries was a hat. When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Calgary Stampede on July 8, the newlyweds were presented with Stetsons. Gamely they donned them, with happy results for the waiting press pack.

Samir Hussein, WireImage / Getty Images

O, Canada

Also while in Canada, Kate wore this maple leaf hat to a citizenship ceremony in Quebec. The red maple-leaf headpiece went down well with her hosts, but was definitely not a fashion slam-dunk. The hat was designed and made by Sylvia Fletcher, of suitably ancient London milliners Lock & Co., est. 1676.

Carl Court, WPA Pool / Getty Images


Kate wore this restrained headpiece by Rachel Trevor-Morgan when she and William presented medals to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards Regiment at Victoria Barracks in Windsor. Kate rocked the military chic look with an Alexander McQueen coatdress.

Indigo / Getty Images

Memorial Day

In November 2011, Kate looked dignified and stylish for the Remembrance Day ceremony in a Jane Corbett hat.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Royal Wedding No. 2

At the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in Scotland in July, Kate wore a hat she actually helped milliner Gina Foster design.

Carl Court, WPA Pool / AP Photo

Duke of Edinburgh’s Birthday

Kate looked less-than-perfect at Prince Philip’s 90th birthday last year, in a periwinkle blue brocade coat by Jane Troughton and another Jane Corbett creation on her head.

Kirsty Wigglesworth, AFP / Getty Images

Queen's Honors

Catherine wore a dove-gray hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan (who also makes headgear for the queen) at the Order of the Garter Service at Windsor Castle last June. She wore this hat with a dress and coat by one of her favorite British designers, Katherine Hooker.