Monday, May 9, 2011

On Brits and Hats

We're packing ready to go to Spain and Morocco next week and my frightfully British husband wants to take his tweed cap with him. He's ignoring my remarks that it will make him look like a lost tourist.

Last week I met a group of English friends for lunch  and we toasted the royal couple in champagne, AND some of us wore hats, even though it was lunch time in a restaurant in the middle of San Francisco! And two of our group had attended a slumber party to watch the wedding and sat wearing hats all night. Those of you who are not British may think this a little strange.

Hats have been a lot on my mind since the royal wedding, especially those two horrifiying and silly creations worn by Princesses Beautrice and Eugenie. So I'm wondering, what is it with the British and hats? We wear them to weddings and royal garden parties and Ascot and the sillier the better. You can even buy those fashionable fascinators --you know, little bits of lace and feather that perch to one side of the head--in Marks and Spencer. Men still wear their bowlers to work in the city. And even Prince Charles wears one of those tweed caps when he tramps over his estates. So why are we so attached to our hats. Personally I'm not a hat person, after having had to wear a hat to school for twelve years--felt in winter, panama in summer. Also I have a small head and most hats come down over my eyes, making me look a bit silly, to say the least.

Is it because we cling to tradition that we bring out our hats on any solemn occasion?  Do our hats let others of lesser status know exactly who we are? What do you think?

Okay I confess that I do own one really gorgeous hat. It's raw Thai silk, pale turquoise with fluffy white feathers on the side. I wore it for one of my book tours and it looked smashing. But it became such a bore to hand carry it onto every plane that I have since retired it. However, since my next book is set on the Riviera and does mention a jaunty nautical outfit, I may find a sexy little French sailor hat... who knows.


  1. I don't think I could pull off wearing those hats, lol

  2. Someone should show Beautrice how to dress. That dress she wore to the wedding was so unflattering. I am sure she could look much better.

    p.s. Your hat is great. What I don't understand is why the Brits, instead of wearing hats like that, wear, well, what they wear.

  3. I agree. Fergie's daughters need to be taken in hand by the gals on "What not to wear." poor dears.

    Your hat is stunning, Rhys. I, too, have a small head, and struggle with hats. But when I was in London last week, yes, I'm one of those Americans who us gaga over royalty--I found a saucer hat that actually complemented my pin head.

    Great post as always, Rhys

  4. I love that British tradition! I wish I could pull one of those fabulous hats off.

    By the way, Rhys, I seem to remember something about your Evans series becoming a TV series? Is that happening? I would absolutely love to see Evan Evans as a crime solving series! Could you give me the scoop (if there is one)?

  5. The Evans series seems to have stalled--the Welsh TV people and the American producer don't have the same vision of what they want. With Will and Kate living on Angelsey it may rekindle.

    on the other hand the movie of Her Royal Spyness is moving ahead nicely. As soon as I have any real news on casting I'll let you know.

  6. I was just recently told about the Evan Evans series since my American daughter is married to a Welshman and living in Wales. I finished the first book today and started the second. I am enjoying them very much except I am aghast at the number of 'typos' in the large print edition that I found at my library! At least one on every page!Is this typical and should I expect this through all the books?