Parasol Fit For A Queen

Queen Mary visiting The Empire Exhibition at Wembley 1924
Queen Mary visiting The Empire Exhibition at Wembley 1924

Before there was Her Majesty The Queen, there was Mary of Teck, strolling in the shade of the world’s largest tassled umbrella. Today’s umbrella-holders aren’t just reserved for royalty.

In this pre-“Happy” days pic from October 2013, Pharrell Williams  is flanked by what looks to be a character from the extinct TV show JAG, along with a tipsy poor man’s Cameron Diaz. It’s all too reminiscent of bare-chested Puffy/P.Diddy’s manservant back in the day.

Per, Fonzworth Bentley, former ‘gentleman’s gentleman’ (the Jeevesian term he favoured) to US rapper Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs, was obliged to follow his master with a parasol in hot weather. On one occasion, he had to jump straight back on a flight to the States from the Côte d’Azur after neglecting to bring the rapper’s chosen ties.

If you have the funds to send your butler on a flight to retrieve a specific set of ties, you might not have your priorities in order. Just think what good those funds could do elsewhere (homeless shelters, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, etc) if only Diddy could grip his own hook. It makes one wonder if Fonzworth buttoned that one button on Diddy’s shirt for him as well.

Moving on, we see POTUS has his own minion to shelter him from dastardly precip. Not exactly doing a spot-on job.

I don’t get it. Does it make you feel powerful to pay someone to perform menial tasks? Look at me; I came from nothing and now I have a butler. Or is it more like, Daddy didn’t pay attention to me, so by golly, I’ll show him? News flash: A lot of daddies don’t pay attention. Imperfect people make for a crumbling world. But your self-worth should not be tied to the extent of excess you’re willing to indulge.

And as Snoop Dogg shows us, flaunting one’s wealth is a key part of rap culture. It may be a shift from in-your-face gold chains and gold teeth, but it’s hardly discreet, an unfortunate show of extravagance. All I see is a little boy, trying to prove his value. But value will never equal money.


  1. Cool pics Kerbey. Umbrellas seem so minor in the big picture and yet they certainly play a part. I once worked for a man who was a self made billionaire. He earned his money with discount retail stores in Ontario and Quebec Canada. He was Scottish, one generation removed from the moors. Perhaps it was Scotland’s damp climate, but he always insisted that every store have a display of umbrellas where the customers entered and exited. To him there were basics in life that one needed to exist- like milk and bread, underwear, shoes, etc. Included in that list of basics was umbrellas. His theory was that if you gave the customers the basics at as good a price as possible, they would return again and again. He then stocked higher cost fashion and such that customers had to walk past to get to the basics. It was a winning formula that saw the chain grow organically from a start up to 100+ stores and a billion dollar operation in 40 years. And he always saw umbrellas as the key concept to his success – give people what they need when they need it and they will return.

    Cool post Kerbey – a person’s umbrella says a lot about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Once again, you always have an even cooler footnote to the post. Sounds like a smart businessman. Makes sense in a damp climate. We have two umbrellas in my car, and I think I’ve used them twice in a decade. We did get rain yesterday, but no need for an umbrella. And to think, I thought a millionaire would be a nice gig. But a billionaire!!


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