Ceremony Hat for the High Sheriff of Clwyd

As the newly appointed High Sheriff of Clwyd, Stephanie Catherall needed a hat to wear to her Declaration of Office. It is an official ceremony which marks the start of the High Sheriff’s year and is attended by a host of local dignitaries.


The Consultation

The office of High Sheriff is the oldest Royal appointment in the country with the tradition going back over 1000 years. When Stephanie arrived for her first consultation, she already had a strong idea about the type of hat she wanted. Her uniform was already being made: a suit of black velvet trimmed with cut steel buttons, based on the style of mid-eighteenth century Court Dress. 

The High Sheriff’s hat needed to be both traditional and appropriate for her new role. She needed to wear it to her Declaration of Office and to future formal and ceremonial occasions. Therefore, as well as being highly traditional, the hat needed to be comfortable so Sue took Stephanie’s head measurements to ensure a perfect fit. 

“Sue has a very warm personality making you feel entirely at ease – professional, courteous and very artistic”


The Hat

The completed hat was heavily influenced by Stephanie’s position as the new High Sheriff of Clwyd. It features a large upturned brim, reminiscent of the opulent 18th century dress, three large white ostrich feathers and a plume of beautiful black feathers.

The plume of black feathers was inspired by Flintshire’s shield which features four black choughs. The three white ostrich feathers are reminiscent of the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment cap badge which depicts a plume of three ostrich feathers. 

As a nod to Stephanie’s traditional uniform, black velvet was used to edge the brim of the luxurious hat body and to create a beautiful band around the crown. The band was finished with a beautiful Swarovski feather plume pin. 

“At first, I thought the hat was rather large but once in full uniform, I could see that Sue had the balance and shape just right.”


The Outcome

Stephanie Catherall was appointed High Sheriff of Clwyd at an official ceremony in St Deinol’s Church in Hawarden at the beginning of April 2019. She looked very elegant in her uniform and bespoke large brimmed hat. 

The event was attended by a host of local dignitaries including Lord-Lieutenant of Clwyd, Henry Fetherstonhaugh, Lord Barry Jones and his wife Lady Janet, North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, Judge Rhys Rowland, the Bishop of St Asaph, Right Reverend Gregory Cameron and the outgoing High Sheriff of Clwyd, Lady Elizabeth Hanmer

“I feel very confident wearing the hat. The feedback I received was tremendous. I will definitely work with Sue again. I have and will continue to recommend Sue throughout my year as High Sheriff. It was a treat to deal with somebody who is so passionate about their work and it clearly shows through the finished product.”