I think it’s an understatement to say that this past weekend was full of news. From Osama bin Laden’s assassination to the skewering of (Bedford resident) Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to the release of President Obama’s ever-anticipated long-form birth certificate, it was one headliner-topper after another. It was almost enough to upstage the event the media has been covering breathlessly for the past month: the Royal Wedding. Almost.
Yes, the marriage of the now-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge feels like forever ago. And, really, like the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding, there’s not that much to keep it in the pop-cultural conversation. (Which is a good thing — it’s usually the bad stuff that sticks around.) Kate Middleton and sister Pippa both looked gorgeous in understated dresses designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Princes William and Harry were handsome in their military uniforms. William and Kate said their vows. They took a long carriage ride to Buckingham Palace. They kissed on the balcony. They ate fruitcake. (Yuck.) They’re not even going on a honeymoon right away. Though it was a beautiful occasion, after considering the events of the rest of the weekend, there’s not that much to keep the wedding at the forefront of pop culture.
Except this one thing. Yes, I’m talking about Princess Beatrice’s hat.
Hats are something Americans don’t really understand to begin with. We wear them mostly to sporting events; even our fanciest millinery is reserved for the Kentucky Derby. But over in the UK, hats are the norm.
That still doesn’t explain how we’re all supposed to understand the cream-colored, vertical bow worn by Princess Beatrice, daughter of Andrew and Sarah, the Duke and Duchess of York. (Can you imagine sitting behind that thing in Westminster Abbey?) And so we did what we always do: we turned it into an Internet joke.
For starters, the hat got its own Facebook page. So far, “Princess Beatrice’s ridiculous Royal Wedding hat” (capitalization theirs, not mine) is “liked” by
123,927 130,624 people. That’s roughly 36,000 more than Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat!
Feeling creative? Check out these sites where folks can Photoshop the hat into other contexts: www.princessbeatriceshat.com (we like “Frankly, Beatrice, I don’t give a damn”) and www.princessbeatriceandherhat.tumblr.com.
I think all of the fun-making is because we really don’t understand the hat. But Phillip Treacy — the designer of that hat and many others worn at the wedding (including Victoria Beckham’s, which is not nearly as strange-looking) — doesn’t really offer any help for those struggling to figure it out. “My inspiration was beauty and elegance in a 21st-century royal wedding,” Treacy told Hollywoodlife.com. “I thought they looked gorgeous and beautiful. But no one is crying if anyone didn’t.”
He continues: “It’s about making you feel a million dollars. So you’ve got something beautiful on your head and the head is the most important part of the body to embellish, because it’s what you meet. When you’re wearing something on your head, you feel beautiful.”
Riiiight. If you’re thinking of getting your own Treacy creation, I’ve got some bad news: there are no stockists in the Hudson Valley, The good news? They’re available in select Saks stores, Neiman Marcus locations, and Samuel’s Hats in Manhattan, in addition to a few other locations. There are also a couple available on eBay for around $150.
Finally, what I really, really want to know is: how the heck did Beatrice attach that thing to her head?