NZ gets its own version of Beatrice's hat

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Master milliner Carolyn Gibson with her take on the hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last month. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Master milliner Carolyn Gibson with her take on the hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last month. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Fancy owning the world's most famous hat? Or maybe you're looking for something to wear to the races ... or to that Halloween party this year.

New Zealand now has its very own version of "that" hat - the now infamous headwear worn by Princess Beatrice to the royal wedding last month.

Auckland master milliner Carolyn Gibson, who owns Le Chapeau Millinery in Mt Albert, has recreated the light pink accessory.

The real hat - made by Philip Treacy - has attracted masses of worldwide attention and has even been called the biggest fashion mistake in history.

Mrs Gibson said she decided to make a replica after several people came to her shop to talk about the Princess' hat.

"After the wedding, people would pop in and ask about what I thought of all the hats at the wedding and this one kept coming up," she said. "So I thought I'd make one."

It took a week and a half, three prototypes and lots of wire to make the finished product. "It's wired in the edges and the bow and then there's soft foam around the whole thing to give it that nice curve.

"I've had it up [on display] for a couple of days and have had some ladies stop and point at it through the window. It's great."

The hat is displayed with red, white and blue decorations.

A blackboard outside on the footpath reading, "To Bea or not to Bea", entices motorists to stop and find out more.

Mrs Gibson plans to auction the hat on Trade Me, with the money going to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund.

Meanwhile, the real hat continues to make headlines around the world, having been put up for sale on eBay.

Princess Beatrice, who is known for her charity work, is selling the accessory as part of The Little Bee Initiative.

All proceeds will be split equally and donated to Unicef UK and the Children in Crisis charity.

Yesterday the bid had reached just over US$80,000 (around $100,000).

The Princess, 22, said on her eBay site that selling the hat was a wonderful opportunity to raise money for the two charities.

"I've been amazed by the amount of attention the hat has attracted," she said. "I hope whoever wins the auction has as much fun with the hat as I have."

- NZ Herald

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