Princess Bea’s hat fetches £81,100 and one penny.

The famous hat at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Princess Beatrice’s hat has raised £81,100 and one penny for charities in a dramatic and much followed eBay Internet auction. The  bidding closed at 20.31.13 British Summer time on Sunday 22nd May. 

The eBay page listing the item ‘230620500557’ attracted 114 bids from 40 unique bidders. The as yet anonymous winning bidder will receive the hat within 11 to 12 days.

The auction has attracted global media coverage.  Bidding and viewing of the process was so intense there was a slight technical hitch yesterday (Saturday)  possibly caused by the huge number of ‘hits’ the site has been receiving because of the support for the fund-raising initiative. 

The condition of the hat is described as: “Used: An item that has been previously worn.” Even the colour, described as “Tea Rose” has been a matter of intense debate. Is it chocolate, or a light brown?

An eBay spokesperson said:

eBay UK’s buyers and sellers are a generous bunch, donating over £7m to good causes last year. We are delighted that this auction, supported by eBay for Charity, has raised so much for the charities involved.

Design angles of the famous hat. Photo:

For those who find it difficult to summon up words to describe or define the hat the eBay auction page has an answer: “unique scultpural celebratory headpiece…This is a gravity defying hat!” 

The Goldsmiths history student’s Royal Wedding hat story has become a global talking point and online sensation. 

Unicef UK has released a statement from the Princess which said:  

I am so grateful to all those who have taken the time to participate in the auction. I know that with all their support we are going to make a real difference in providing education, healthcare and support to children who are most in need. This has been such a wonderful project to be a part of, working with Children in Crisis and UNICEF has been a fantastic partnership. I look forward with excitement to playing a part in providing other chileren with the great education I have been so lucky to have had.  

Hat designer Philip Treacy said:  

I have been surprised by the overwhelming response ‘to the hat.’ Isabella Blow introduced me to the magic of ‘the hat’! I’m delighted, flattered and touched by HRH Princess Beatrice’s decision to donate the hat to charity.

Koy Thomson, chief executive of Children in Crisis said:  

We would like to thank the bidder for this extraordinarily generous bid, earning yourself a place in history, making lives better for terribly disadvantaged children, and getting a very striking hat.  

Students at Goldsmiths were divided on the hat’s aesthetic qualities though there was much support for Princess Bea’s fundraising initiative.  


eBay entered into the humour of the global frisson that Princess Beatrice’s fundraising hat initiative has created. 

Hat Phasers. Photo: eBay

On their auction page there are links to home-made digital graphics of the hat appearing with the Disney characters, the Aristocats, as Star Trek phasers and somebody has depicted their cat nestling in the hat’s large ring on top of the Princess’s head. 

Cat in the hat. Photo: eBay

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