After a bidding frenzy, a hat finds a new home and UNICEF gains valuable funds

By United Nations

Thousands of anti-malaria mosquito nets, countless school supplies or hundreds of thousands of measles vaccinations can now be bought by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) after a notorious hat sold at auction yesterday.

The pale pink – and very high – hat worn by Princess Beatrice to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 29 April in London drew a frenzy of bids on the eBay website over the past 10 days, with the unknown winner paying £81,100.01 (about $130,000).

The sum will be divided equally between the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Children in Crisis, a United Kingdom-based charity.

A UNICEF spokesperson said that figure could buy more than 16,200 mosquito nets to protect children and their families from malaria, or at least 210,000 vaccines to protect children against measles or enough textbooks, stationery and school supplies for 8,110 children for a year.

“I am so happy that we have raised the most incredible amount of money and can make an even bigger change in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children across the world,” said Princess Beatrice after the end of the auction.

“Every single penny will make a difference to children's lives around the world,” said Julie Weston, fundraising director for UNICEF in the UK.

The hat, designed by the London-based milliner Philip Treacy, attracted bids from around the world – less than a month after many fashion observers mocked its debut.