Sure, there were some caustic reactions to the hat that Princess Beatrice wore to Britain’s royal wedding on April 29. Dubbed “the toilet seat hat” and “the fascinator” by many media outlets, and compared to Dr. Seuss’ creations by others, the Philip Treacy-designed hat even has its own Facebook page: Princess Beatrice’s Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat.
However, Princess Beatrice emerged in fine style from the controversy as her sartorial news magnet recently sold through an eBay auction for 81,100 British pounds, or more than $130,000. The auction was done in conjunction with eBay for Charity, and all proceeds go to UNICEF and Children in Crisis relief funds.
Philip Treacy, who is well-known in England for his unusual hats, supplied the following statement for the eBay auction of Beatrice’s hat:
“I’ve been surprised by the overwhelming response to ‘the hat!’ I’m delighted, flattered and touched by HRH Princess Beatrice’s decision to donate the hat to charity. I hope that people all over the world will be generous and that this hat will benefit many. A hat is a symbol of positivity.”
Princess Beatrice added the following:
“I’ve been amazed by the amount of attention the hat has attracted. It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise as much money as possible for two fantastic charities. I hope whoever wins the auction has as much fun with the hat as I have.”
Many major media outlets covered the auction and sale of the hat, including these:
- Princess Beatrice’s Hat: The Royal eBay Auction — Vanity Fair
- 'Ridiculous' Royal Wedding Hat Fetches $131K for Charity — CNN
- Princess Beatrice’s Hat Sells for Over $130,000 on eBay — Huffington Post
- Princess Beatrice's 'Toilet Seat' Hat Sells for Over $130,000 — TIME
Celebrity auctions that benefit charities are nothing new on eBay. In fact, they’re an important part of eBay’s and eBay Giving Works’ businesses. In addition to enabling direct donations and the selling and buying of thousands of items that benefit nonprofits, eBay hosts many high-profile, celebrity charity auctions.
Throughout the holiday fundraising campaign in 2010, celebrity auctions raised $194,633 for charity on eBay, 105 percent more than during the same season in 2009. A few auction items that raised the most funds for nonprofits in all of 2010 included:
- A lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett sold for $2.6 million, with 100 percent of the sale benefiting San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church.
- Celebrity Twitter mentions and followings, auctioned off by TwitChange.com — winner of Mashable’s most creative social good campaign in 2010 — with the help of celebrities like Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, raised $540,631 in less than one week for aHomeInHaiti.org.
- TV star Ellen DeGeneres also recently auctioned a lock of Justin Bieber’s hair on eBay for more than $40,000, with all proceeds going to The Gentle Barn Foundation.
- Memorabilia and props from the Nicaragua season of “Survivor” raised $250,000, benefitting The Serpentine Project and Operation Smile.
- Items from Oprah Winfrey’s wardrobe raised $150,000 for The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.
From June 5 to 10, eBay is auctioning another lunch with Warren Buffett, and 100 percent of the proceeds will again go to San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church. JetBlue is also conducting a charitable celebrity auction on eBay, where winning bids for celebrity baggage items benefit youth groups through DoSomething.org.