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Enlightenment gentlemen were on to wigs long before Cher

At the height of the battle of Culloden the Duke of Cumberland, who was commanding wearing full court dress, removed his wig to wipe the sweat from his forehead. He then shook out the bullets, replaced it, and carried on fighting. He was showing great bravery not only by risking his skin but also an item of clothing of huge value. He was wearing the top wig available at the time, the Roy Kerridge. Only three of these were ever made. The other two were owned by King George himself and the superstar composer George Frederick Handel. The size and quality of your wig was one of the key signs of status in the eighteenth century – and we still use the term ‘bigwig’ for an important person in the UK today. Continue reading