"In the future, we'll look back and think she looked wild," the designer says

By Tim Nudd
Updated July 13, 2011 09:00 AM
Credit: Mark Cuthbert/Abaca

It was the Royal Wedding hat ridiculed around the world. But now, the designer of Princess Beatrice’s fascinating fascinator is defending it, and its wearer, from the fashion bullies.

“She is only 22, and there was a little bit of bullying going on,” Philip Treacy tells Britain’s Observer. “In the future, we’ll look back and think she looked wild.”

The hat has been likened to everything from an octopus to a pretzel to a toilet seat. But Treacy, 43, has a simpler description. “I thought I was making a hat with a bow on it,” he says.

Treacy adds that he viewed Beatrice as a “beautiful, exotic, Victorian doll,” and that the hat suited her look. “Princess Beatrice is Queen Victoria’s great, great, great, great granddaughter and looks like Queen Victoria,” he says.

The saga did have a happy ending, however, as the hat was eventually sold on eBay to an anonymous bidder for $130,000 – with all that money going to charity.

For 14 pages of pictures and an inside look at Prince William and Kate’s triumphant tour of North America, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday