The ears of TSR's editorial board members are still ringing from standing too close to the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park, when it released its 41 Gun Royal Salute honoring the 60th birthday of HRH Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Cornwall, and Prince Charles of Edinburgh. The board accompanied Mrs. James Peregrine Leger-Demain IV, TSR chief of protocol enforcement and defenestration, to the birthday party hosted by one of The Prince's initiatives, the Mutton Renaissance. Mrs. IV sits regally on its board. She presented The Prince with a mincemeat pie made with mutton from her ancestral Hamptons barony and prepared according to her family's traditional Tudor recipe:
Pyes of mutton or beif must be fyne mynced and ceasoned wyth pepper and salte, and a lyttle saffron to coloure it, suet or marrow a good quantite, a lyttle vyneger, prumes, greate raysins and dates, take thefattest of the broathe of powdred beyfe, and yf you wyll have paest royall, take butter and yolkes of egges and so tempre the flowre to make the paeste.—A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye (1545)
Controlled tangent. The Prince of Wales passes time in dog years. He's still queued up, albeit at the front, for the Orb and Scepter handoff, and he's waited 35 years to marry Mrs. Parker Bowles. Their wedding, which Mrs. IV attended on the arm of Hamish Bowles (no relation), created a lot of chirping in the fashion press about head gear. For the civil ceremony (pictured below), Londoner Philip Treacy, inimitable milliner to the royal and rich, topped off the bride with an "intensely feminine straw hat, overlaid with ivory French lace and trimmed with a fountain of feathers." For the more formal blessing ceremony in the Gothic St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the newly minted Duchess of Cornwall switched to a substantial fascinator of feathers (below, far right), tipped with crystals. Upon her return to the 13 Original Colonies, Mrs. IV adopted the Royal Ascot Dress Code and revised the Rules of Protocol to require board members to don substantial fascinators at all public functions, including defenestrations.
Jarring juxtaposition. Lid-artist Treacy inhabits parallel universes—one white (above), one black (below). He can sew an Ascot bonnet, preferred by the Queen, for the afternoon, and crown his well-heeled devotees with outlandish head art for night crawling. His beloved muse, the late Isabella Blow (below), discovered him, as she did Alexander McQueen.
"'If I feel really low, I go to see Philip, cover my face [with his hats] and feel fantastic... Wearing a hat is like cosmetic surgery.' Isabella habitually flaunted herself in Treacy's most improbable creations, giving the impression to the outside world that she was full of brazen confidence: hats fashioned like crocodiles' teeth, lobsters, flying saucers, a mourning hat with 100 veils designed to absorb the tears, and a hat like a pheasant, which she liked so much she always said she planned to be buried in it."—The Daily Mail.
She had Diana Vreeland's flamboyance and unusual looks and Dorothy Parker's penchant for attempting suicide. Izzy was 48 years old, when she apparently succeeded on May 7, 2007. She became TSR's official Muse Posthumous on that day, as the board prefers its muses to govern and inspire from the Other Side. There she Blows!