Even though most people associate the Queen of England with crowns and elaborate jewels, Queen Elizabeth II is better known for wearing colorful hats, and admitted as much in numerous letters she penned in her life.
Queen Elizabeth has written the letters of thanks to her longtime hat-maker, Philip Somerville, who has been creating the unique headgear for the past 25 years.
As the Queen wrote in one such letter, ‘Thank you so much for the charming china Corgi you gave me for Christmas. I am so pleased to have it and it is a good portrayal of the breed. It will join my assorted collection of them! Can I once more express my great gratitude for all the help and the fine hats I have had over the years from you.”
In another revealing later, dated Feb 25, 2007, the Queen once again thanks Somerville, admitting that she has more of a need for hats than most people in the world,
‘Thank you for your letter telling me of the outcome of your business. I am very glad to hear that you will still be able to work for me… I know how difficult business can be nowadays – specially with matching fabrics for someone like me who must be almost the only person who wears hats constantly!”
Somerville’s bespoke hats were not limited to the Queen of England by any means, as he also made hats for Princess Diana, the Duchess of Kent, Queen Silvia of Sweden, and members of the Dutch and Greek royal families.
As well as the impressive hats, the Queen’s letters are interesting to many, as they show her personal side, showing her sense of humor and humility. As Lydia Wilkinson, who will be auctioning off the letters said, “The letters are fascinating because they give a very rare glimpse of the Queen’s personal side, revealing her to be very sweet, humble and funny.”
Wilkinson also added that, ‘The majority of people only ever see the Queen in her official role where she is required to be formal and quite serious, but these letters show a completely different side to her.”