Bidding currently stands at £20,200
      www.ebay.co.uk/royalhat

A bidding frenzy has broken out on eBay following the announcement last week that Princess Beatrice is auctioning her hat to raise valuable funds for UNICEF and Children in Crisis, two charities who both work with vulnerable children across the world.

To date the auction has been viewed by a whopping 523,375 individuals and 44,146 consumers are registered as watching the auction.

The auction which ends at 5pm on Sunday 22nd May has sparked conversation and debate across the globe resulting in a total of 60 bids from 31 bidders. Even the likes of superstars such as Victoria Beckham, Stephen Fry, Cat Deeley and Charley Boorman have been tweeting enthusiastically about the hat with Victoria encouraging hat fans to take a look at the auction; ‘Any hat lovers out there????? #UNICEF http://bitly.com/igXgFx x vb’

UNICEF UK Ambassador Duncan Bannatyne kick started proceedings with an opening bid of £5,000. Bidders from all over the world, including UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Bulgaria and Sweden quickly followed suit and bidding currently stands at a fantastic £20,200 (as of 10am Thursday 19th May). Even Australian children’s supergroup The Wiggles jumped in on the action placing a number of bids over a period of 24 hours in the hope of taking the hat back home with them ‘down under’, joking that it would be the perfect foil for the Aussie cricket team to distract the British bowlers. 

Julie Weston, Director of Fundraising UNICEF UK said; ‘These figures are absolutely incredible. It’s fantastic that so many people are interested in the hat and we've reached a bid of £20,200 to help children around the world. That’s already enough to buy over 4,000 family mosquito nets or vaccines to immunise nearly 50,000 children against measles. And we’ve still got four more days to go! We hope the excitement continues to encourage people to place a bid or make a donation before Sunday. After all it’s not only a chance to own a piece of history, but also to change children’s lives around the world.’

 Koy Thomson, Chief Executive of Children in Crisis sais: ‘In a brilliantly inspired move, Princess Beatrice, Children in Crisis’s Ambassador, has used the power of her world famous hat through online auction and social media to create the iconic charity event of the year. I have no doubt that her commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young girls in the world’s trouble spots will be matched by a hugely generous and news-making donor.’

 All the money raised by the Ebay auction will be split 50:50 between UNICEF and Children in Crisis to spend on their vital work with children.

To bid for the hat please go to www.ebay.co.uk/royalhat now. The auction is now live and runs until the 5pm on Sunday 22nd May (UK Time).

- Ends -

For more information about UNICEF contact Rowena Campbell rowenac@unicef.org.uk or call 020 7375 6030 or 07958 058106 / 07989258861.

For more information about Children in Crisis contact Lucy Porter on lucyp@childrenincrisis.org 0207 627 6743 / 07788 593974

Notes to Editor

 

Quotes from bidders:

 

UNICEF UK Ambassador Duncan Bannatyne:

‘Yup that’s right I’ve just bid £5,000 on Princess Beatrice’s hat. 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’ve seen the life saving work that UNICEF does for children in Bolivia and Haiti and every penny raised really will change children’s lives around the world. 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!’

UNICEF Australia Ambassadors The Wiggles

Blue Wiggle Anthony Field said:  "We wear some pretty crazy costumes on stage, but this hat beats them all - it could bring about an Australian republic all by itself!  When we heard about the auction we knew we had to bid - we're Ambassadors for UNICEF and we think it's great that Princess Beatrice has chosen to support children in great need.  If we win we might give it to Michael Clarke to wear when he bats against the Poms next time - it would certainly distract the bowler!”

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk.

About Children in Crisis

Children in Crisis provides education, protection, and better life opportunities for children who because of war, remoteness, and lack of government services, are missing out on quality schooling.  At the heart of our work is the belief that education improves health and livelihood, unites communities and builds peace. Education is the key to overcoming poverty and exclusion, so we pay particular attention to children and women who face discrimination or disadvantage, for reasons of ethnicity, gender, disability, income or other factors. We work in partnership with local organisations and communities to improve education, healthcare and child protection, and we build their capacity to mobilise local resources, plan, deliver change, and sustain that change. We choose to work where no one else does, in some of the most challenging places, and in areas affected by conflict or political instability such as in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For more information, please visit www.childrenincrisis.org