Empress Michiko, Honorary President of Japan Red Cross Society, presented the Florence Nightingale Medal to several nurses at an award ceremony in Tokyo yesterday.
The Empress wore one of her customary small grey, this one with a rimmed edge and layered bow. While this does look like many of Michiko’s other hats, I can’t find another instance of her wearing this particular design and guess that this one might be new. I have come to accept these flat millinery designs for The Empress (it really is her signature style) but I dearly wish she would break away from her many, many grey hats and wear a little more colour.
Princess Kiko, Empress Michiko’s daughter-in-law, wore a large white silk pillbox decorated with a flat bow at the back. This is the same hat she wore in September 2006 to present her son, baby Prince Hisahito, to the Shinto Shrine on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
Princess Hanako, wife of Emperor Akihito’s younger brother Prince Hitachi, wore a pale blue silk bumper hat with a rolled brim. I think the bunch of blue and white cooked spaghetti trimming her hat was a little odd, although it did provide a hit of interest and colour in the otherwise monochrome and very plain hats of the Imperial ladies!
Princess Hisako, widow of Emperor Akihito’s first cousin Prince Takamado, wore an dove grey silk hat with a tightly upturned brim. I think it looked quite flattering on her although I prefer hats with brims that don’t look so sewn in place. This hat does look great with the high collar of her dress and that fabulous string of pearls.
We don’t often see the Japanese royal ladies at an engagement together so I can’t resist asking you, dear readers, which hat you liked best?
Photo from The Asahi Shimbun via Getty and The Tokito Blog
I vote for Kiko’s pillbox. The spaghetti hat looks to me as if it might have been borrowed from the 1984 section of Princess Anne’s closet.
Spaghetti hat!! Too funny.
It’s more like a large tassel. I find this blue hat the nicest one and I like it very much.
Thanks to Jelsta and also for the updated post. Your commentary made me notice that the Japanese princesses always wear dresses with very high necklines. This modesty continues in their small hats. Large hats would not fit with their clothing. I don’t like these small flat hats but now I understand them more. Very interesting.
Princess Akishino, Princess Hitachi and Princess Takamado (and their hats) were present as well.
Thanks so much for this great link! I have updated the post to include these other members of the Japanese Imperial Family. Thanks so much for your help with this!
Grey would be half-mourning in the West. I don’t know if the same applies in Japan, but if so, does she have someone she is choosing to mourn publicly for the rest of her life, as Queen Victoria did?
I also wish she would break from this style and color…enough – esp with her gray hair.