Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hats, Politicians and Princes


Last week I posted an old joke about Prince Charles and the fox hat.
It brought to mind that many years ago I came across the “Silly Hats Rule”, which holds that politicians should never be photographed wearing silly hats.  There is a related addendum which reads “or swimming costumes”.  That addendum has been consistently ignored by Oz’s Tony Abbott, leader of the Australian Liberal party, leader of the Opposition in Federal Parliament and likely Australia’s next Prime Minister.  Mr Abbott likes to compete in triathlons and swimming events and is regularly photographed in budgie smugglers.
President Kennedy may have had the Silly Hats Rule in mind when he was presented with a Texan ten gallon hat by the Forth Worth Chamber of Commerce prior to his next stop at Dallas.  Encouraged to put it on by the head of the Chamber of Commerce, he declined, saying that he would put it on in the White House on the following Monday and that they should come there to see it.  Tragically he was assassinated later that day.
There has been speculation that he declined as a rebuke to Vice President Johnson, with whom he was having difficulties, or that he didn’t wish to disturb his hair, about which he was apparently quite vain.  I believe that he was following the Silly Hats Rule.
See the presentation and Kennedy’s declining to put it on at:
Although the fox hat joke is an old one in relation to Prince Charles, he has never been one to shy away from wearing a variety of hats, silly and otherwise ...

However, the one hat that he would like to be wearing permanently has so far eluded him.  The closest he has come have been the following . . .

When Colonel South, the millionaire, gave his last garden party
I was amongst the guests who had a welcome true and hearty
The Prince of Wales was also there, and my heart jumped with glee
When I was told the Prince would like to have a word with me 

"Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
Isn't it a nobby one, and just the proper style?
I should like to have one Just the same as that!"
Where'er I go, they shout "Hello! Where did you get that hat?"

Where Did You Get That Hat, recorded by Stanley Holloway

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