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Tied up in knots over Windsors

Blog | By Harry Mount | May 15, 2017



The Oldie postbag is groaning with letters over the vexed question of the Windsor knot.

Our current issue includes an intriguing letter from John Blackburn of Wetherby, wondering why so many TV presenters wear a spread collar with a half-Windsor knot.

‘The spread collar was specifically designed to show off the full Windsor knot,’ Mr Wetherby writes, ‘and just looks ridiculous with the asymmetrical knot, especially if the part of the tie encircling the neck is also on show.’

These are deep waters. The world divides between those who are in favour of the big, fat Windsor knot and those who are against.

I have just received promotional material for The Enigma of Kidson, a new biography of Michael Kidson, an Eton history master who taught David Cameron.

Included with the promotional material was the offer of an ‘Old-Kidsonian Tie’, which shows Kidson with his dog. It’s being made by his old pupil, Johnnie Boden, of the Boden clothes company.

On the back of the tie, there is a message, saying, ‘Pure silk necktie. Never to be tied in a Windsor knot.’ Kidson had a thing about it.

I’m with him – I prefer a thin knot. What about you? Windsor knot or Windsor not?

HARRY MOUNT, @mounth.