25th April 2013 – Red Hat Society Day

Celebration: Red Hat Society Day

Mission: Wear a red hat

Status: Completed

Notes: The Red Hat Society is a group whose core membership is made up of ladies over the age of 50 who meet up while wearing purple clothing and red hats. Younger ladies may join the society, but are requested to wear lavender clothing and wear a pink hat until their 50th birthday. Originating from California in 1997 when Sue Ellen Cooper gave her friend Linda Murphy a red bowler hat for 55th birthday, accompanied with a poem by Jenny Joseph entitled Warning, which begins with the lines:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple,
With a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.

She repeated this gift to some of her other friends, and this group got together to have a tea party while wearing their hats (and purple attire) on 25th April 1998, and so began the Red Hat Society. The RHS quickly grew and there are currently over 40,000 separate chapters worldwide. Each chapter’s leader is referred to as the Queen, with Sue Ellen Cooper being the Exalted Queen Mother based at the society’s Hatquarters.

I am not a lady, nor over 50 and I don’t own a red hat… however, I tried on Roo’s red cycle helmet:


…but that just didn’t seem right. Then I found an old sun hat of Roo’s that Eva’s been wearing occasionally:


I spotted them a while back in Parliament Square. That was on the first day of this Year of Celebration, and my wife & task-master mentioned that there was an RHS mission later in the year so I snapped a photo which I present to you now:




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