Platinum Jubilee – Project ‘Hats’

By Viv Onslow

CASE STUDY FOR PLATINUM JUBILEE WITH Epsom Bid

CLIENT: Epsom Bid

Towards the end of 2021, Epsom Bid asked Oracle to create some ideas to help Epsom celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  Particularly pertinent as The Queen was due to be in Epsom for The Derby as part of her Jubilee celebrations.

After reviewing the proposal Epsom Bid chose the ‘Hats’ theme, and we have been working with them over the past few months to help deliver a project which would celebrate the Queen’s lasting association with hats and their continued importance as a quintessential piece of raceday style.

Schools and Care Homes

The first strand was to work with a leading local milliner , Jessia Connelly, to create two videos, to be used in schools and care homes, encouraging the community to create a beautiful headpiece to wear over the Platinum Jubilee weekend.  For younger children, the video focused on using a simple headband and adorning it with beads, feathers and flowers to produce something bespoke and fun.  For older children or adults, they were encouraged to upcycle a hat that might have been lurking in the back of a cupboard or procured from a charity shop, taking something old and shabby and turning it into a bonnet of beauty.

Epsom Bid also organised for a Emms Millinery to do a workshop in Epsom Square, inviting children to come and work with her to make a hat.

The Jockey Club, The British Hat Guild and Brain Tumour Research

A collaboration was formed between Go Epsom, The British Hat Guild, Brain Tumour Research and Epsom Downs Racecourse to deliver create a national story that would have meaning and purpose.

Fifteen of the UK’s leading milliners created a one-off collection of hats inspired by the seven decades of The Queen’s reign which would then be auctioned in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

The collection of hats was entitled “Hats Fit For A Queen” and included pieces by Royal milliners Stephen Jones OBE and Rachel Trevor-Morgan.

Good photography was vital and we worked with several organisations locally to gather together models, a make-up artist, hair stylists and an array of striking clothes.  The most fabulous photoshoot took place in the Royal Box where we were also joined by representatives from Brain Tumour Research.  Lias Connell is suffering from an inoperable brain tumour and Ann McEntee lost her husband to a brain tumour some years ago.

A selection of the hats showcased by local models on the Royal Box balcony at Epsom Downs. The models included Lisa Connell and Anne McEntee (fifth and sixth from left) who represented Brain Tumour Research.

Viv Onslow, PR Director, The Oracle Group said:

“It was such fun working on this project.  I have met so many fabulous people on the journey including lots of PR and communications specialists from the various organisations.  I have been fortunate enough to have been given a ticket to the Queen’s Stand on Saturday which seems a fitting end to a wonderful journey.  I wish Brain Tumour Research lots of luck in auctioning off the hats, it is such a worthy cause.

Comments from the clients:

Karen Pengelly, Bid Manager for Go Epsom said: “We chose hats as a theme because it ticks every box: hats and style are synonymous with horseracing, Her Majesty is the world’s most famous hat wearer and Epsom is home to the University of Creative Arts and some of the brightest young designers. Hats are fun, stylish, visual and colourful, perfectly matching the excitement and ambience of Epsom over the first weekend in June.

Carol Robertson, National Events Manager of Brain Tumour Research comments: “We are proud and delighted to be involved in this project, and it was wonderful to see Lisa Connell model one of the hats at Epsom a few weeks ago.

“The British Hat Guild’s generous contribution of these regal hats for the Derby will raise crucial awareness and fund vital research that can improve the lives of those living with brain tumours across the country”.

Speaking on behalf of The British Hat Guild, Edwina Ibbotson said: “It has been a pleasure to have been involved in this wonderful project which has created 15 ‘Hats Fit for a Queen’.

“Each hat has been expertly crafted in celebration of one of the seven decades Her Majesty has been on the throne and it is inspiring to know that the funds raised will support this vital charity. We hope to raise as much money as possible for such a worthy cause”.

Simon Durrant, General Manager at Epsom Downs Racecourse said: “This year’s Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs is set to be a spectacular celebration across the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and we cannot wait to welcome Her Majesty and tens of thousands of racegoers back after the last two years.

“We’re delighted to be working closely with Go Epsom, The British Hat Guild and Brain Tumour Research in what we hope will be a lasting collaboration.

“We want to play our part by utilising the profile of this year’s event to celebrate the very best in raceday style across The Queen’s reign and raise important funds, and I would urge everyone to donate to the auction if they are able to.”