The biggest fashion show on earth, the royal wedding, got underway in a riot of bright colors, flamboyant fascinators and larger-than-life hats.

LONDON – It’s all about the dress — and the hats.

Kate Middleton left the Goring hotel in a full dress with lacy long sleeves decorated with flowers, a deep neckline and full veil.

Floppy, feathered, bold and expensive — hats were in full force Friday as guests streamed into Westminster Abbey for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.

Some looked like dinner plates. Others were so large they covered faces. One woman wore a bright red fascinator — a hairpiece attached to a clip or a comb — that resembled a flame licking her cheek.

Queen Elizabeth II arrived in a primrose Angela Kelly dress and matching hat. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie — daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson — arrived in vertical hats that looked liked sculptures perched on their heads.

Irish designer Philip Treacy made most of the hats for royals attending the wedding — 36 in all that included creations for Prince Charles’ wife, the duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Michael of Kent, Queen Anna-Marie of Greece and Princess Mathilde of Belgium.

He also designed a hat for Hollywood royalty: Victoria Beckham wore a midnight blue Treacy hat. And dozens of less famous guests wore his creations.

“These hats are the ultimate accessory,” Treacy told The Associated Press. “And there’s no more of an occasion than a royal wedding.”

Treacy has spent months making royal wedding creations that can cost more than 1,000 pounds ($1,600). He joked that he planned to take a short break now.

We think all hats are statements of some kind, but there is only one Mother of All Hats;


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