"It is of import," said he, "for I love to keep my hair well ordered, seeing that the weight of my helmet for thirty years hath in some degree frayed it upon the top." He pulled off his velvet cap of maintenance
as he spoke, and displayed a pate which was as bald as an egg, and shone bravely in the firelight.
It's a hat, known as the Cap of Maintenance
. Dating back to 1536, and made of red velvet from Lucca in Italy, it was presented as a gift to Waterford's then Mayor, William Wyse, for his loyalty during a rebellion against the monarchy.
In the version for Henry VII, for example, there are references to Perkin Warbeck's rebellion and the gift of a sword and Cap of Maintenance
sent by Pope Alexander VI.
To her right stood Lord Strathclyde who for the proceedings took the title the Cap of Maintenance
. He looked like Leader of the Lords with his chest puffed out in his red robes and ermine collar.
She was seated on the golden throne with Prince Philip alongside and flanked by ladies in waiting, peers bearing the Cap of Maintenance
and the Sword of State, and a myriad of other dignitaries with bizarre titles such as Rouge Dragon Pursuivant and Maltravers Herald Extraordinary.