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Ann's crowning glory as she creates a hat fit for a queen

IRISH milliner Philip Treacy has a talented new rival who has scooped a prestigious royal garden party commission.

Designer Ann Murphy told the Herald she was "absolutely thrilled" to be commissioned to create a hat for Queen Elizabeth's garden party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The commission – from an Irish guest who wishes to remain anonymous – will see her hat displayed in front of some of Britain's wealthiest individuals, as well as the queen herself.

Traditionally, royal events such as the queen's garden party or major celebrations such as weddings and Christenings are regarded as priceless showcases for fashion designers.

Galway-born designer Philip Treacy (inset above) was flooded with worldwide commissions after his hats earned rave reviews at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But Ann said she was too overwhelmed just by the honour of the commission to anticipate further business as a result.

"The British royal family are synonymous with amazing millinery and the popularity of hats has grown enormously as a result of the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge," she said.



"I am always being asked for designs similar to those worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, but I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would ever have the chance to commission a hat to be worn at Buckingham Palace."

The garden party next Thursday is one of just three hosted every summer by Queen Elizabeth.