What is Balmoral Bonnet

The Balmoral bonnet (more fully the bonnet in Scottish English cap otherwise, and formerly called the Kilmarnoc) is a traditional Scottish hat that can be worn as part of formal or informal Highland dress.

Developed from the earlier blue bonnet, dating to at least the 16th century,[clarification needed] it takes the form of a knitted, soft wool cap with a flat crown.

It is an alternative to the similar and related (informal) Tam o’ Shanter cap and scottish hat the (formal or informal) Glengarry bonnet.

The centre of the crown features a toorie, traditionally red. Some versions have a diced band (usually red and white check) around the circumference of the lower edge .

As worn by Scottish Highland regiments the blue bonnet gradually developed into a stiffened felt cylinder

Often decorated with an ostrich plume hackle sweeping over the crown from left to right.

In the 19th century this tall cap evolved into the extravagant full dress feather bonnet while, as an undress cap, the plainer form continued in use until

the mid-19th century.

As worn by Scottish Highland regiments the blue bonnet gradually developed into a stiffened felt cylinder.

In the 19th century this tall cap evolved into the extravagant full dress feather bonnet while, as an undress cap, the plainer form continued in use until the mid-19th century.


Several Canadian regiments, including the Nova Scotia Highlanders and the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada wear the Balmoral.

Other usage[edit]

The Hong Kong Police Band bagpipes section wears a black and red version. The Balmoral (more fully the Balmoral bonnet in Scottish English or Balmoral cap otherwise, and formerly called the Kilmarnock bonnet).

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