Nelson’s statue in Trafalgar Square has been given a 21st Century twist as part of publicity stunt to promote British hat designers.
His bicorn hat has been replaced with a Union Jack version complete with Olympic torch for the event, with 20 other famous statues across the capital featuring innovative new headgear as part of the Hatwalk initiative.
Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare are among the other famous figures sporting interesting hats from the likes of Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones.
The Hatwalk project, which is the result of a collaboration of 21 hat designers and the British Fashion Council, is designed to showcase part of Britain’s heritage during the Cultural Olympiad by putting the spotlight on the country’s millinery tradition.
BT and Grazia magazine are supporting the initiative, which is part of the Surprises programme of free cultural events taking place in the capital.
Munira Mirza, deputy mayor for culture and education, explained that the idea is to make people smile and think again about the people who inhabit British history.
Lord Nelson’s new hat was designed by Lock & Co, the oldest hatters in London and the same firm that made his original headwear.
Nigel Lock Macdonald, the company’s chairman, said: “Locks are very proud of their history and making another hat for Nelson over 200 years after we made the original has been an unexpected honour.”