Kate Middleton goes to head of the class in hats

It was really no contest .... If you're going to hand out an award for hats for 2012, how could Kate Middleton lose?

The Duchess of Cambridge was the post girl for millinery, showing off the best of British hat makers and even a Canadian one (there's a little cowboy in everyone it appears). With her broad range of hats and fascinators topping her high street outfits, Kate is acknowledged to have made a huge impact on the style industry.

The L.A.-based Headgear Association, which has been promoting hats since 1908, has given the Duchess their official stamp of approval this week by naming her Hat Person of the Year. In a poll, she earned 91 per cent support with fashion stylist Rachel Zoe a poor second at 4 per cent.

Previous winners of the award include Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. In tribute, here's a look at some of the hats that most impressed the Headgear Association folks.


Left: Kate made sure to Canadianize herself for the summer royal tour. For Canada Day, the Duchess sported a red maple leaf-emblazoned hat made by Sylvia Fletcher of Lock & Co. in London. Centre: Following a welcome-to-Calgary tradition, Kate and William were both presented with white cowboy hats made from beaver fur felt by the city's own Smithbilt. Kate joined a long line of royals who have been white-hatted over the years, including Prince Philip. Right: Her military look, in a coatdress by Alexander McQueen, was topped by a hat made by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, who also created headpieces for the Queen.

Left: Kate greeted the Christmas Day crowd around Sandringham in the striking hat by Jane Corbett. Centre: In her first of several pre-wedding public appearances in February, Kate wore a Vivien Sheriff creation as she helped William launch a RNLI lifeboat in North Wales. Right: Kate went solo to a friend's wedding in January, wearing a beret-style hat form Whiteley Fischer.

Left: The Order of the Garter is a big-deal ceremony, complete with well-robed dignataries. Kate stood out with his Rachel Tevor-Morgan hat. Centre: Kate revived a coatdress she had worn before, but wore a new hat by Jane Corbett to help the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate his 90th birthday in June. Right: For the Zara Phillips-Mike Tindall wedding, Kate chose a Gina Foster design, then added her own touch by perching a large flower under the brim.



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" no man who has given any thought to the subject, who has any love of nature in his soul, can see a woman decorated with dead birds, or their wings, or nuptial plumes, without a feeling of repugnance for the wearer, however beautiful or charming she may be" - Kate is advertising the slaughter of many exotic birds on her head. I hope she considers where the plummage comes from and how it was obtained in the future.

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