All The Kings Colours

Group photo of all the Kings Colours hats at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

Epsom Celebrates the King’s Colours ahead of charity auction

A fascination of hats inspired by the royal racing colours has been created by some of the biggest names in UK millinery. This month Epsom racecourse hosted celebrities, influencers and young people suffering from Brain tumours to showcase the ‘hats’ at a unique photoshoot.

Created by members of The British Hat Guild, the haute couture pieces include hats by royal milliners Stephen Jones OBE and Rachel Trevor-Morgan and will be auctioned to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.  People came from as far away as Wales to join the photoshoot, celebrities jumped at the chance to support this event and local suppliers gave their time to dress, make-up and coiffeur the hats to create a stuning display on the steps of the infamous Epsom racecourse.

The hats have been modelled by celebrities, patients, and others affected by the disease, ahead of going on show at two of the highest profile weekends of the summer season. They will be promoted online using the hashtag #AllTheKingsColours and will feature in an online auction which runs until midnight 11 June with the proceeds going to the charity.

The 22 hats are being exhibited as Crowning Glory: A Milliners’ Celebration of All the King’s Colours, will be at  The Derby Festival at Epsom Downs on 2 and 3 June; an event loved by the Queen who attended on all but five occasions in her 70-year reign. Also on display will be a signed set of royal silks from last year’s Platinum Jubilee Derby where the most successful Royal jockeys from across the sport created a guard of honour.

The hats are one-off pieces which hold a retail value of between £350 and £2,000 and all are fashioned in combinations of scarlet, purple, black and gold braid, the colours of the royal racing silks, to celebrate the Coronation?

Among the names showcasing the hats are:

      • actress Vicki Michelle MBE, now on screen in EastEnders, who is working with the charity Brain Tumour Research following the diagnosis of a close family member
      • TV racing presenter and former jockey Leonna Mayor
      • presenter and former model Rosie Tapner
      • mezzo-soprano Laura Wright, who regularly performs at the UK’s largest sporting fixtures

Also modelling are:

      • Beauty blogger Melissa Ross who lives with debilitating pain after brain tumour surgery
      • Olivia Kold who lost her father, also an equine vet, to the disease
      • Amateur jockey Jess Llewellyn whose also lost her father to a brain tumour
      • Tina Papworth, foster mum to 18 children, who lost the sight in one eye after her diagnosis
      • Paige Gouge who has an aggressive brain tumour and is undergoing immunotherapy treatment in Germany

Chairman of The British Hat Guild Stephen Jones is a high profile supporter of Brain Tumour Research following the loss of his friend, the pioneering fashion stylist Dizzy Downes, to a brain tumour in 2006.

He said: “As Chairman of the British Hat Guild, it is an honour for our Guild to be involved in this prestigious ‘All The Kings Colours’ Exhibition to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research. We are delighted to be able to use our millinery skills to support such a fantastic charity. I hope you enjoy seeing all the wonderful creations our members have provided for this event and cannot wait to see you with all the Kings Colours creations atop your heads!”

Hugh Adams, spokesman for Brain Tumour Research said: “We are delighted to be working with The Jockey Club and The British Hat Guild for the second year. This unique selection of hats really captures the excitement and expectation as we mark the historic moment of the King’s Coronation. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 and the awareness and funds raised by this fantastic project will help us as we work towards finding a cure for this devastating disease.”

Karen Pengelly, representing Go Epsom which is generously supporting the exhibition said: “Hats have long-been synonymous with horseracing and what better place than Epsom to showcase this Coronation collection for a great cause.”

Amy Starkey, Managing Director at Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Brain Tumour Research, The British Hat Guild and Go Epsom again this year, and expanding the hat display across both the QIPCO Guineas Festival in Newmarket as well as The Derby. This project links the important role style can still play in attending racing with the spectacular atmospheres at Newmarket and Epsom Downs as well as the strong royal links to both places. We can’t wait to build on the funds raised last year and continue to support this important cause at two of our premier race meetings.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To view the online auction CLICK HERE

TV racing presenter and former jockey Leonna Mayor wearing royal racing colours and modelling
a hand sculpted sinamay straw halo by Lisa Tan

Watch our behind the scenes video from the photoshoot at Epsom Downs Racecourse

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