Haute Couture “Canadiana” Hats Designed for Kate Middleton on Visit to Canada

Hats designed to demonstrate to the Royal newlyweds how Canada has changed from polite diplomat to tar sands bully

London, UK and Ottawa, Canada – On the eve of the first official trip abroad for Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a series of haute couture hats have been commissioned by Canadian designers to provide a glimpse into what defines Canada today. The hats, unveiled online today at HatsforKate.ca, will be modeled for the media in Ottawa on Canada Day on July 1, when the royal couple is in town.

“These hats tell the story of Canada, a very different Canada to the one Prince William’s parents visited 20 years ago.  ” said Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence. “In a humourous way, we wanted to make the point that Canada is not the country the couple might be expecting, with the tar sands especially damaging our reputation around the world.”

The eight hats represent new and old Canadian themes and include:

  • Maple Beatrice – an adaptation of the hat that got us all talking hats.
  • Tar and Feathers – to mark the day Canada achieved infamy when a flock of ducks mistook a massive toxic lake in the tar sands for a good place to land. [1]
  • Kate’s Road to Avonlea – in honour of Anne of Green Gables.

The royal visit comes at a time when the EU is considering new measures to reduce the carbon content of fuels, which could hit the high carbon tar sands in Canada.[2] The Canadian government is lobbying fiercely against this, as it has done in other countries trying to act on climate change.[3]

“The U.K. faces a real choice regarding Canada: it can show leadership within the EU by supporting efforts to reduce fuels which are highly polluting like the tar sands, or it can allow itself to be bullied by Canada,” said Suzanne Dhaliwal of the U.K. Tar Sands Network.

The hats were commissioned by Environmental Defence Canada, a Canadian non-profit environmental organization, and jointly released with the U.K. Tar Sands Network. Banner ads will be running on Grazia, and a fashion show featuring the hats will take place in Ottawa on Canada Day just before the official ceremonies for the royal visit begin.

The hats can be viewed and high resolution images downloaded at www.HatsforKate.ca. For media traveling to Ottawa for the royal visit, a media breakfast will be hosted to show the hats in the St. Laurent Room, Lord Elgin Hotel, 100 Elgin Street from 9:00-10:00 a.m. July 1 (a ten minute walk from Parliament Hill).


For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

Canada –  Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence Canada – +1 416.280.9521 or

Gillian McEachern, Environmental Defence Canada – +1 613.292.4416

United Kingdom – Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network – + 44 7772694327

Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization.  We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all. www.environmentaldefence.ca

The UK Tar Sands Network campaigns in partnership with Indigenous communities affected by the Tar Sands oil developments in Canada. We target governments, UK companies, banks and investors operating in the Alberta Tar Sands. www.no-tar-sands.org)

Notes for Editors:

[1] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/syncrude-blames-freezing-rain-for-duck-deaths-at-tailings-pond/article1773540/

[2] See  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/may/30/uk-undermining-tar-sands-ban

[3] See full briefing the Fuel Quality Directive http://www.no-tar-sands.org/campaigns/ceta/