Behind the Private Gates, In the Garden

The Mystery of the Pink Hat

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Greetings from Newport, hope your summer is going along swimmingly.

If you are as fascinated as I am with mysteries, there’s one that has all of us in Newport stumped. It’s one of romance and beauty, and is centered upon the fetching hat draped on the arm of the statue that graces the cover of my book, Living Neweport: Houses, People, Style.

Living Newport: Houses, People, Style

An interesting tidbit, this photogenic hat was never intended to be on the cover of my book. However, amongst the hundreds of pictures taken for the pages of Living Newport there was not one that caught my attention as the ever-important cover shot. With time running out, I turned to my photographer, Kenneth Lindh’s archives for a further look. And there it was! A striking image of a beautiful white marble statue standing on the terrace of Marble House. It wasn’t just the statue that caught my attention but the beseechingly beautiful peach blossom-colored chapeau that had been ever so casually placed on her outstretched hand while its owner enjoyed lunch. Such a delectable image! As a friend opined, “…that lively chapeau on a relic of the past implies ‘The fun continues. Come visit, enjoy Newport!'”

Marble House – Newport 2009 ©Kenneth Lindh

And now, back to the mystery…

It turns out, this hat photo was a candid shot taken by Kenneth Lindh during the sumptuously elegant affair that was Newport’s Coaching Weekend in August 2009; its lovely wearer did not claim it until after the photographer had left the luncheon.

Looking at the photo, it seems that the statue is scratching its head and wondering the same thing… whose hat could this possibly be??

To sweeten the mystery, Coaching only comes to Newport every three years. And it’s back this August! I thought you’d enjoy a peek of one of the most stylish events of the summer….

Coaching Weekend
©Kenneth Lindh
Coaching Weekend
©Kenneth Lindh
©Kenneth Lindh

What fun it would be to identify the hat owner in advance of this year’s event, August 19th-21st, and invite her to join me at Coaching. I would very much like to extend my appreciation to her. Imagine her surprise when she learns that the simple gesture of taking off her hat and placing it in the statue’s hand became the cover of a book that is sold around the country!

I’m hoping that with your help we can find the rightful owner of this beautiful hat and share the satisfaction of taking part in solving this mystery.


Remember…summertime is meant for hats – whether you’re attending a polo or tennis match, a flower show or garden party, or simply wishing to keep the sun off your face. To celebrate this glorious season, I invite you all to join me – let’s put our heads together and solve the Mystery of the Pink Hat!

©Kenneth Lindh

Very simply, share this journal post through email with your family, friends and colleagues; perhaps they too can help. And if you do find this lovely lady who owns the famous pink hat, please email me immediately at or leave a reply at the bottom of this post.

©Kenneth Lindh

Waiting with bated breath!

We’ll keep you posted!

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

3 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Pink Hat

  1. I can’t wait to hear the “Matter of the Hat” revealed…..what fun this is and what a clever way to engage all of our sleuthing 🙂

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