Sunday, 25 November 2007

Splendour in Uganda

Thousands lined the road from Entebbe airport last Wednesday to welcome this hat to Kampala.

Opinion was divided as to whether it was more impressive than its sister, a lime-green job which made a big hit when it visited the Ugandan parliament later the same day.

However, according to the official parliament website, this was the one which had arrived outside the parliament building. If this was so, there must have been a lightning change in the lobby, but my guess is that this an attempt to cover up the fact that they couldn’t get a good close-up of the green one.

It has been said that the first two above were inspired, as were many of the Queen’s hats, by the pièces montées of the great chef pâtissier Antonin Carême (1783-1833). These were monumental confections, several feet high, made from sugar, nougat, marzipan and pastry for the crowned heads of Europe. They were rarely eaten and never worn; you can see why, if you believe Wikipedia's note on Carême: Utilizing his previous architectural knowledge coupled with culinary genius, some of his sugar works were so elaborate that court jesters would dance upon them while entertaining the king.


Anonymous said...

It would have been interesting to see if she actually wore that supposed original hat, looks like it was surrounded by tiny donuts or tiny flowers

Tony said...

I doubt if she did. By the time she was born it was more than a hundred years old so it would have not have been looking very regal, especially after George IV's courtiers had been dancing on it.