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What is a fascinator? Jill Biden receives backlash for fashion faux pas at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral 

Jill Biden wore a black fascinator to Queen Elizabeth
Jill Biden wore a black fascinator to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral (Image via WPA Pool/Getty Images)

American President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday to pay their respects to Britain's longest reigning monarch, late Queen Elizabeth II.

The couple sported standard black mourning outfits, with Joe wearing a black suit and Jill donning a black Schiaparelli bespoke suit with a fascinator.

Fascinators are a kind of head accessory, mostly worn at joyous events like weddings and other festivities.

Viewers around the world noticed the fashion slip-up and slammed Jill Biden for not wearing a hat, a more appropriate head accessory for the Queen's funeral.


Jill Biden chose to wear a fascinator instead of a hat at the Queen's funeral

Jill Biden wore a black bow hair band on her head during the royal funeral. The bow is categorized as a fascinator, a head accessory typically worn on joyous oocasions in Britain.

According to Fascinator Directs, the headpiece is often worn by women "attending formal occasions such as weddings, events and races. It is essentially a decorative headpiece that covers less area when compared to a hat. Meanwhile, hats are regarded as a more respectable head accessory worn at somber events, like funerals.

The 71-year-old decided to keep it light with her dainty headpiece.

On Sunday, the President of America and his spouse signed the Official Condolence Book for the late monarch. Joe shared a story from the time he first met the queen and wrote:

"Today Jill and I signed the Official Condolence Book for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We first met the Queen in 1982, and will always remember her kindness and hospitality. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world."

First Lady Jill Biden wrote:

"Queen Elizabeth II lived her life for the people she served with wisdom and grace. We will never forget her warmth, kindness, and the conversations we shared. May God grant her eternal rest."

Internet users criticize Jill Biden for her fashion choice

Many users felt that Jill Biden's headpiece was inappropriate for the occasion. They took to Twitter to voice their disagreement with American First Lady's choice.

Jill Biden turning up to the Queens funeral wearing a fascinator and not a hat 😂😂 classless joke.
First Lady Jill Biden is stoking ire from some social media users after wearing a fascinator instead of a hat to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.Tip for JillyFascinators are worn on festive occasions#JillBiden
Jill Biden made her usual "sloppy hair" appearance for the world to see!!! Etiquette is lost on her.....really, I can't believe she didn't know you wear a "hat" not a "fascinator" to a funeral!!
I don't at ALL like the fascinator Jill Biden is wearing. Too frivolous for the occasion.
#queensfuneral @FLOTUS wearing a fascinator to a state funeral? Sack your advisors. That’s so inappropriate 😟

However, not everyone thought the same. Columnist Doug Sanders supported the politician's wife and said that "black fascinators are perfectly appropriate funeral garb."

Estonian TV anchor wearing a fascinator. For those who’ve never seen that (Black fascinators are perfectly appropriate funeral garb, by the way — I see on the screen that Jill Biden has just entered wearing one) https://t.co/bLfH1FqXyp

Many others shared a similar sentiment, suggesting that it didn't have to be a major issue.

I think it's fine Jill Biden wore a fascinator to the queen's funeral rather than a hat. Apparently, her choice was a bit of a controversy. I think Dr. Biden looked very pretty.
Jill Biden criticized for wearing fascinator instead of hat to Queen Elizabeth's funeral.WHO TF CARES?! So tired of this pompous monarchy etiquette.
I see that some people are quite upset that First Lady Jill Biden wore a fascinator rather than a hat at the Queen's funeral. Really???? Others are worrying about floods, hunger, war, and other devastation. How about if we focus on important things?

Kate and other royal ladies wore formal black hats at the ceremony

The Queen’s children hold a Vigil beside Her Majesty’s coffin in Westminster Hall, London. https://t.co/Nch9a1LGUs

Members of the royal family wore black wide-brimmed hats at the funeral. Kate Middleton wore a black Alexander McQueen coat-dress with a pearl choker and earrings that belonged to the late Queen. Her hat was by Philip Treacy, with a netted mourning veil as a mark of respect.

Meanwhile, Meghan Markle wore a black Stella McCartney cape dress with a curved, wide-brim black hat.

Newly-made Queen Consort, Camilla wore an ankle-length black dress with the Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch. The heart-shaped brooch has "60" written on it to mark 60 years of the Queen's reign. She also wore a small black hat with a mourning veil and subtle decorations.

The King wore his Royal Navy uniform while his older son, Prince William, wore his military uniform. Prince Harry wore a tailcoat because he is no longer an official part of the Royal Armed Forces.


Queen Elizabeth was laid at her final resting place in a private family service beneath St. George's Chapel. She was placed next to her her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, her sister Margaret and her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury
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