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Believe it or not, this question is not Purim Torah. I read the following, strange passage in Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris (Modern Library, 2011 page 147-8) where Teddy Roosevelt is quoted as saying:

I found I was expected to walk with the Queen on my arm and my hat in the other hand -- a piece of etiquette which reminded me of nothing with which I was previously acquainted except for a Jewish wedding on the east side of New York.

I cannot for the life of me figure out what practice he is talking about. Those of use who don't cover our heads all the time anyway put our hats on for things like weddings, not off. Any ideas?

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What does minhag-shtus have to do with the question? – Double AA Feb 19 '14 at 4:16
The minhag shtus of davka uncovering your head for a Jewish ritual – Yitzchak Feb 19 '14 at 4:19
How do you know it's a minhag shtus? If I ask about where I can find a certain gemara, and the answer ends up being masechet meilah, I'm not going to tag the question masechet-meilah. As of yet nothing in this question refers to the concept "minhag shtus". – Double AA Feb 19 '14 at 4:22
let us continue this discussion in chat – Yitzchak Feb 19 '14 at 4:35
As hats are more commonplace than the Queen, I'd sooner assume he meant holding them than her at weddings :) – Annelise Feb 19 '14 at 10:47

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

He didn't say anyone walked with the queen on one arm and a hat in the opposite hand at a wedding. He said doing so reminded him of a wedding. I suspect he was referring to walking with the bride on one arm and a candle in the opposite hand, to the chupa, a common custom.

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Was carrying a candle along a common custom back then? – Double AA Feb 19 '14 at 8:13
Although no source is given the reasons stated do not seem to imply that candles are a recent innovation. Interesting question for the MY crowd though.… – eramm Feb 19 '14 at 12:36
seems to be a old and well sourced custom with good reasons. Nitei Gavrial - – eramm Feb 19 '14 at 12:49
Title was tongue in cheek. I thought he was referring to carrying his hat in the other hand while walking the kalla and was understandably confused. Good call on the candle. – Yitzchak Feb 19 '14 at 16:45

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