Blame Dearest Duck for this subject.
“Deadline is approaching and I haven’t a thought in my head,” I said to her one morning while we shared herbal tea and toast.
Her eyebrow spocked as if to wonder how my empty-headedness was any different from usual but then she reached across the breakfast table, patted my paw and said, “Harry, my harebrained honey, I’ll give you a topic to scribble about.”
And she did.
Which caused me to think about the British monarchy—kinda.
More specifically, Dearest Duck’s suggestion caused me to think about the offspring of contemporary British royalty.
Even more specifically, it caused me to think about the offspring of the offspring of British royalty.
Most specifically, Dearest Duck caused me to think about…
…well, I’ll digress for a couple of lines—sorta.
Surely, every family in the British Commonwealth has a Cousin Billy, even the House of Windsor. You’ll recall that last year Cousin Billy Windsor married sweet Katie Middleton in a less than private ceremony across The Pond.
There never has been a wedding without someone being scratched from the invitations list who others felt might—might!—have been left on the sacred scroll.
In the case of Billy and Katie’s nuptials, Auntie—or, Awn-tie [?], as they say in Jolly Ol’—Sarah was struck from the guest list with a big black marker. Poor ol’ Auntie Sarah Ferguson, infamous Auntie Fergie, Uncle Andy’s honey.
But guess what?
Princess Beatty of York, Auntie Fergie’s offspring was invited to the bash.
Question to point me back to Dearest Duck’s idea: What do you remember most about Princess Beatty?
Correct! She sported the most bizarre bonnet ever seen within the boundaries of the erstwhile empire on which the sun never ceased to shine! When I witnessed the sight, I fancied Beatty’s noggin topper looked like the antlers of some unfortunate antelope after it had passed through a toxic fog.
Have you guess Dearest Duck’s proposal yet?
“Harry, you could scribble about fascinators.” That’s what she said.
Fascinators, those queer headpiece—dabs of felt and feathers pinned precariously to coiffured tresses—brought into brand-new vogue by Princess Beatty and her hot-from-the-alter cousin Katie of Cambridge.
Why, you must be asking, did Dearest Duck saddle me with such a fascinating [!] topic?
Well, because of the tea party.
Hey, it is summer, the solstice has happened.
What’s a summer without a tea party?
Early on, Placentia hosted a Queen’s Tea Party to commemorate—p’raps even celebrate!—the sixty years that Elizabeth Two has been enthroned.
Such an event is a fabulous occasion for fascinators, eh b’ys?
Dearest Duck is a member of a number of groups that frequently require her to attend meetings and various social events while I remain at home like Buddy in the movie—alone.
Days before the tea party Dearest Duck attended a workshop featuring fascinator design and construction. When she returned home she entered the house bearing her fascinator before her on open palms as if presenting an offering to some benevolent Being.
But I did manage to squeeze out oohs and aahs sufficient to make her happy. [I know who bakes my cookies!]
Dearest Duck’s self-made fascinator is a thing of beau…well, it is a thing of obligatory feathers and felt and…other stuff.
A fine, fancy flower with feathers tucked around its petals is embedded in a collar of ruched tulle—whatever that is. That, in turn, is glued fast to a felt pad.
Sure, it looks lovely.
“Try it on. Show me how it looks,” I said. [I know who bakes my cookies.]
Coy as a clam, Dearest Duck pinned her fascinator in place.
“What do you think?” asked Dearest Duck, preening.
“Lovely, my Duck,” said I, chocolate chip cookies in mind.
Cookies, and Claude Monet.
Are you familiar with the paintings of Claude Monet? He’s famous—I think—for his paintings of floating, aquatic vegetation.
Truly, as I moved to embrace Dearest Duck with my reassuring arms, I couldn’t help thinking of Monet’s paintings.
Her fascinator reminded me of—and I scribble this at risk of cookie sanctions—one of Monet’s big old water lilies stuck fast to the side of Dearest Duck’s head an inch or so north of her ear.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you my Duck for the topic.