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Princess Beatrice Royal Wedding Hat is a photoshop meme featuring a unique bow hat worn by Princess Beatrice during the British royal wedding in April of 2011. The meme bears many similarities to a series of photoshopped images based around the hat Aretha Franklin wore during Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration in January of 2009.
At the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29th, 2011, Princess Beatrice attended the event wearing a strange intricate bow-like chapeau. The hat was created by Irish designer Philip Treacy, who also made 35 other hats worn at the same event. Immediately after the wedding on April 29th, the viral content site BuzzFeed posted several pictures of Beatrice at the wedding.
Princess Beatrice of York is the daughter of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. In the line of succession to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms, she is the fifth member of the royal family.
In the BuzzFeed post, several users began posting photoshopped images featuring the hat in the comments section. The same day, the single topic blogs “Princess Beatrices Hat” and “Princess Beatrice and her Hat” were launched, featuring notable selections of photoshopped parodies based on the hat. Also on April 29th, The Huffington Postpublished an article titled “Princess Beatrice’s Hat: Worst Ever?” and the entertainment news blog Gawkerpublished a post titled “Princess Beatrice’s Royal Hat: Birth of a Meme”, which noted the prevalence of the photoshop meme online. On May 1st, the do-it-yourself fashion section on About.com featured a post titled “Make a Princess Beatrice Hat”, which included instructions on creating a hand made version of the chapeau. A Facebook page titled “Princess Beatrice’s Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat” has accumulated over 136,000 “likes” and 1,300 photos as of September 12th, 2012.
On May 23rd, 2011, Gawker reported that the famous hat had been sold on eBay for US $131,341.47, and the amount would be split between the charities UNICEF and Children in Crisis. Gawker went on to quote Princess Beatrice’s thoughts on the hat’s fame, and the decision to donate it to charity:
“I’ve been amazed by the amount of attention the hat has attracted. It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise as much money as possible for two fantastic charities. I hope whoever wins the auction has as much fun with the hat as I have.”
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