Of all the unusual hats gracing the heads of notable women at Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding earlier this month, the one worn by Princess Beatrice was the most harshly received.
The 22-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, chose Philip Treacy to create the oval headpiece; but the designer says the creation was all his own. "They trusted me to make them," he told the UK Daily Mail. "Gorgeous and beautiful can be open to interpretation ... I thought they looked gorgeous and beautiful. But no one is crying if anyone didn't."
Needless to say, the hat became an instant hit on the Web — for all the wrong reasons. Parodies of the oval being replaced with the Eye of Sauron (from the "Lord of the Rings" films), a hiding cat, or a giant egg all made the rounds. One comment read: "In the words of my five year old son, 'It looks like a Mortal Kombat hat.' "
Princess Beatrice took all of the harsh criticism in stride, saying in a recent magazine interview that "it was wonderful that it's had such a reaction." She added: "It's an incredible response to a hat, really. I'm glad it provoked so much conversation."
Taking advantage of all that talk, Beatrice took to eBay last week to auction off the headgear for charity — with the proceeds benefiting Unicef and Children in Crisis. Incredibly, it sold for a whopping $130,000.
In a statement late Sunday, the princess expressed her delight over the auction. "It has its own personality, and I am so happy that we have raised the most incredible amount of money and can make an even bigger change for the lives of some of the most vulnerable children across the world."