HOUSTON -- Joan Gol has been to London and seen the queen.

She points to a series of photos in her living room.

This is walking up to the Queen and talking to her. This the Queen pinning me, she said.

Gol, who lives in Meyerland now, was pinned by her majesty in 1997. Some -not her- say the honor is almost like a woman being knighted.

It's a Member of the British Empire...I got mine for charity work, she said.

Gol has been national president of the Daughters of The Empire, or DBE , which runs assisted-living homes for the elderly.

Along with a silver medal, she has a framed proclamation signed by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

As with all regal occasions, proper dress is required.

Gol puts down a box full of hats and pulls out one.

Is this the one I wore for the queen? she asked.

It is indeed.

DBE Dorothy Norlund has just been shopping. She brings her purchases over to Gol s house for a second opinion.

Why are hats so important to the British? You may as well ask why does the sun shine?

It's just Brits wear hats, especially for weddings, Norlund said.

Gol agreed.

We've always worn hats, it's England, she said.

Every Houston DBE chapter will be holding a royal wedding event this week. Norlund is hosting a breakfast.

The Brits know how to put on an occasion, she said.

Gol added: We love our royal family. Let's put it that way. Whatever they do, whether they get into trouble or not.

Norlund has this advice for the newest royal couple: Keep your sense of humor on the day and for 40 odd years after.

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