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"Any idea who the girl in the black hat is?," asks Hugh Grant's character in the British romantic comedy, Four Weddings and a Funeral, referring to a striking woman, played by Andie MacDowell, who's wearing an attention-grabbing headpiece.

Clearly, a great hat carries a lot of power. Just ask Philip Treacy, milliner extraordinaire for the royal wedding bridal party and some of the guests. "When people think of hats, they think of her majesty the queen," Treacy told The Associated Press on Monday. "They're exciting hats to make, because hats and royal weddings are both about magic, happiness and a sense of celebration." (Look for Queen Elizabeth II's hat to be yellow -- oddsmakers are betting.)

Besides Kate Middleton's honeymoon headpiece, the designer will also create pieces for Kate Middleton's sister Pippa and the other bridesmaids, Buckingham Palace confirmed. Apparently, the bride's future mother-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, suggested Treacy. Camilla wore two of his designs at her wedding ceremony and service to Prince Charles in 2005.

Although the dress code for Prince William and Kate's ceremony is not completely formal, expect the ladies in attendance at Westminster Abbey to don the finest millinery in honor of the occasion. "Hats have long denoted status," Oriole Cullen, curator of a Victoria & Albert Museum 2009 hat exhibit, told the AP. "Up until the 1950s, a woman wasn't even considered properly dressed unless she was wearing a hat and gloves."

Treacy, along with other hat designers in London, have been busy since the royal couple announced their engagement in November, with women requesting custom creations. Taking anywhere from hours to weeks to construct, his hats can cost more than $1,000 and have been worn by celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga.

They're "a cheaper form of cosmetic surgery," Treacy said about the transformative properties of his work. "When you meet someone, you meet their face. It's the most potent part of the body to embellish."

Shirley Hex, a milliner who taught Treacy and made hats for Princess Diana's wedding, agrees. "The right hat can make a career," Hex told the AP. "But it also makes an outfit. Cars will stop and people will give up their seats to you if you have on a hat."

View more Philip Treacy designs in the gallery below:,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=985638&pid=985637&uts=1298401044

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: June 16, 2008

Event: Knight of the Garter Service at St. George's Chapel

Hat: Black and white hat

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: May 12, 2008

Event: London premiere of Sex & the City

Hat: Green garden-themed hat

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: April 9, 2005

Event: Wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles

Hat: Wheat-inspired detail

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: January 31, 2010

Event: Grammy Awards

Hat: Silver three-dimensional hat

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: May 17, 2008

Event: Wedding of Peter Philips to Autumn Kelly

Hat: Monarch butterfly hat

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: April 12, 2009

Event: Easter Sunday Church Service at Windsor

Hat: Black hat with red flowers

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: June 17, 2008

Event: Royal Ascot

Hat: White hat with large flower

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: December 15, 2006

Event: The Sovereign's Parade at The Royal Military Academy

Hat: Black hat with ribbon-like detail

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: June 17, 2008

Event: Royal Ascot

Hat: Princess Eugenie (left) royal blue feathered hat; Princess Beatrice (right) white with black feathers

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

Date: May 27, 2010

Event: London Premiere of Sex & the City 2

Hat: High, sheer black headband

Hats Off to Philip Treacy

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Race to the Altar: Kate and Wills Join London Marathon (Sorta)

Must Watch: Royal Wedding Dance Video

Kate's Royal Wedding Hair Style: "Down and Flowy"

Kate Middleton's Face Spotted on Jelly Bean

Off-the-Wall Royal Wedding Souvenirs

A Slice of the Royal Wedding: Papa John's Pizza Portrait

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Who's the Fairest (and Ugliest) Royal of Them All?

Royal Wedding Videos

  • karen lyons kalmenson

    are they giving out designer barf bags at the door...

  • Lee

    Sorry you are so jealous!

  • 2 Comments / 1 Pages

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