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Princess Beatrice's royal wedding hat placed on eBay

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Media captionPrincess Beatrice chose a hat designed by Philip Treacy for the royal wedding

The elaborate hat worn by Princess Beatrice at Prince William's wedding has gone on sale on eBay to raise money for charity.

The Philip Treacy design is billed as a "unique sculptural celebratory headpiece".

The starting bid was £5,000 from entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne of Dragon's Den fame who said that, for once, he wouldn't mind losing.

Proceeds from the sale will be shared between Unicef and Children in Crisis.

After the wedding, the hat was compared to a pretzel and a lavatory seat.

A Facebook page set up in its honour attracted a following of more than 5,000 people.

Princess Beatrice defended her choice of hat in a recent magazine interview, saying it was "wonderful that it's had such a reaction".

'Delighted'

In a statement announcing the online auction she said: "I've been amazed by the amount of attention the hat has attracted. It's a wonderful opportunity to raise as much money as possible for two fantastic charities."

"I hope whoever wins the auction has as much fun with the hat as I have."

Philip Treacy, whose creations often sell for thousands of pounds, said he was flattered she had chosen his hat, and that she had decided to sell it for charity.

Unicef UK will get half of the proceeds. Its director of fundraising Julie Weston said she was delighted the princess was "putting all the publicity around her hat to the best possible use".

She added: "We take our hat off to her for helping to change children's lives."

Koy Thomson, chief executive of Children in Crisis, said: "Princess Beatrice is a tremendous ambassador for the charity and we are extremely grateful for her support with this great initiative."

The eBay auction will last for 10 days. The hat is listed under Women's Accessories, and is described as Used.

Duncan Bannatyne, who is a Unicef UK ambassador said: "Whatever anyone thinks of the hat it's fantastic that Princess Beatrice is doing this for Unicef and Children in Crisis. Good for her!"

"I'd encourage everyone to get bidding to raise as much money as possible. For once I don't mind if I don't walk away with the deal."

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