Betting big on the Queen's hat

At today's Royal Ascot, those who bet on green would have cleaned up with 10-1 odds

David Davies/AP

Unlike the punters in Britain who laid down thousands on what hat the Queen would wear for each of the five days of Royal Ascot (see my story about that here), I only put my reputation on the line for her hat colour on Ladies’ Day, the biggest fashion spectacle—good bad and very, very ugly—of the entire horseracing calendar. Considering I’m not that good at predicting regal colour co-ordination—I thought Queen Elizabeth II would wear yellow for her big Diamond Jubilee church service while she turned up in mint green—I didn’t even consider putting up money. Still, I put some thought into the bet. For her four-day Diamond Jubilee weekend she wore blue, white, gold and green outfits. So I scratched those off my list. And she wore more blue during her Diamond Jubilee event in Nottingham with William and Kate. So I wanted something she wears a lot, but that hadn’t been seen recently.

My vote: purple. According to Vogue, which analyzed a year’s worth of the Queen’s wardrobe, she wears it 10 per cent of the time. Also, she looks amazing in it. And bookmaker William Hill was giving the shade 6-1 odds while Paddy Power had it tied with pink at 6-4. I couldn’t lose.

Wrong again. For today’s Ladies’ Day, she wore mint green (10-1 at Paddy Power and 6-1 at William Hill). Sigh.

Well, at least I wasn’t alone. Ella Kay of the delicious Mad Hattery! blog had gone out on a limb with red (12-1 at Paddy Power and 20-1 at William Hill.) Her choice was slightly redeemed by Carole Middleton, Kate’s mum, who wore deep red for her carriage ride down the course. FYI: Only very, very special guests of the Queen get carriage rides. Everyone else uses those fancy contraptions called cars.

But there are still two days left of Royal Ascot, and considering that the Queen hasn’t missed a day of this event since 1945, my fingers remain crossed for purple to pop up into her hat rotation.



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