On the following Tuesday after the Lord Mayor’s Show, a smaller more intimate ceremony takes place at Mansion House. It is the presentation of the traditional feather trimmed tricorne hat to the new Lord Mayor of London by the Master of The Feltmakers Livery Company, which will be worn by the mayor at all formal occasions throughout the year.
It is a style that dates back to the 17th century, when it was designed and worn for protection. In fact the can be traced back to 1695, when the French Huguenot Corne family arrived in London bringing with them the skills of Parisian hat making, eventually putting their name to the ‘tricorne’ hat, which remains today.
The Master and Wardens of the Feltmakers assembled in an upper room to greet the Mayor and his wife. There is no fanfare or pageantry, just a simple handover of the hat to the Lord Mayor and presentation of a silver hat pin to the Lady Mayoress.
Using traditional hatting processes Patey of London have now made 30 Mayoral tricornes. The process begins with a foundation of four layers of stiffened calico. The crown is then covered with fur felt, whilst the brim has a wool felt inner and a velvet plush outer. When the shape is complete the hat is trimmed with black ostrich feathers and decorated with a wide gold chain.
Words and photos from Carole Denford