Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Get ahead - get a hat
This photo was taken from an 'information' board attached to the new pavement works being carried out in the area around the Guildhall, Bath (where the council meets) at a cost of £2.5 million, and not the £1 million that they told us it was costing - but that's another story.
The photo was taken in 1910, and shows crowds gathered to listen to a Royal Proclamation to do with Queen Mary, the monarch who used to turn up uninvited to various country houses with a retinue of about 30, and bankrupt her reluctant hosts by overstaying her welcome by about a month.
There are two things that strike me about this picture, and the first is that crowds of this magnitude have only been seen at an event that was associated with a member of the royal family once since, and that was for the funeral of Princess Diana. Prince Charles arrives at the Guildhall at least once a year to conduct the AGM of the Duchy of Cornwall, whose lands stretch from Bath right down to the Duchy itself, but the only notice that people take of him is as a result of a handful of bored motorcycle police, who while away the time during the meeting by playing with the sirens on their bikes - just because they can.
The other thing about this picture is that EVERYONE is wearing a hat. Up until the late 1940s, nobody left the house without a hat unless they belonged to the criminal underclass, and even they usually wore hats of varying quality, when their children would often go without shoes.