The King's Hats

The King's Hats

By Author / Illustrator

Sheila May Bird, illus Mark Beech


Friends and family

Age range(s)



Welbeck Publishing Group




Paperback / softback




King Charles the III is now King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, but he is finding his new crown just a little heavy to manage and he is worried that he might not be as beloved as his dear mama, Queen Elizabeth II. But his good friend Tom the gardener is on hand to show him that kings must wear all sorts of hats and that he must be brave and allow himself to be the king he was born to be.


Maria - Age 6

This delightful book, told in rhyme, tells the story of the dilemma of new King Charles III fulfilling all his new roles and the many hats he will need to wear as our new king.

At the beginning of The King's Hats we meet a worried King Charles who is finding his crown heavy, even though "his dear Mama had worn it well". King Charles is worried about how he can follow in her footsteps and seeks the advice of his faithful old friend, Tom the gardener, who talks him through all the roles, duties and hats he will wear to help others.

The beautiful illustrations by Mark Beech help tell the story and show the importance of having courage and being brave in new situations, just like King Charles will have to be following his mother's footsteps. What a lovely book to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and to use in History work about the monarchy.

Picture book / Reviewed by Maria, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


The King's Hats is a wonderful picture book about our new king, Charles III, and how he might struggle to fill all the roles previously filled by the late Queen. It is beautifully explained to the children by exploring what kinds of hats the king might need for each role.

The picture book starts with King Charles looking glum; his new crown feels very heavy and he's not sure how he'll manage his new role. His gardener kindly suggests that he finds out all the different 'hats' he'll need to do his job; he won't need to wear the crown all the time, he'll also need hardhats, feathered hats, sun hats and even paper crowns! When he does need to wear the crown, he can do so by being brave. The illustrations of our new king are recognisable and fun.

As well as helping inform young children about the upcoming coronation and creating empathy for the new king, The King's Hats is a reassuring story for any child facing a new situation or challenge, encouraging them to find the things that make them happy within this, and to find the courage to face new experiences. 

It's also a lovely story about hats! I can see children wanting to share the kinds of hats they enjoy wearing, or discussions about the hats that people might need to do their jobs. Great fun, with lots to follow through, it could also be used alongside books like The Queen's Hat and The Queen's Handbag.

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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