Dutch Monarchs Arrive in Japan

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands arrived in Tokyo today for the start of a four day tour of Japan. They were officially welcomed by the Japanese royal family in a formal ceremony at the Imperial Palace. Queen Máxima wore a new hat for this arrival in the same golden orange silk as her tea dress.

Dutch State Visit to Japan, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats

My initial impression of this piece was that it looked fine on Máxima (particularly combined with her  hairstyle) and that the pleating in the hat was a great match to the pleated bodice of the dress. My only qualm was that it was a little too much orange for a single ensemble…

Queen Máxima, October 29, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Máxima, October 29, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

… until I saw it from the back. Like Queen Mathilde’s ringed hat yesterday, I know this open crowned design is Fabienne Delvigne’s way of keeping this piece light and airy. Looking at this headpiece, however, the only words that come to mind are “pumpkin doughnut”.

Queen Máxima, October 29, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

Empress Michiko also debuted a new hat. In a large saucer shape, this white hat was trimmed in a bow which coordinated with her black and caramel jacket. I might have preferred this hat in a different colour (it would have been beautiful in the same caramel as her lapel) as the white makes a very stark contrast with the Empress’ black ensemble but this white-hat-with-coordinating-bow is one of her millinery go-to formulas.

Queen Máxima and Empress Michiko, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Máxima and Empress Michiko, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Máxima and Empress Michiko, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: My guess is Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

The big surprise of the day was the appearance of Crown Princess Masako, who has not attended a state welcome for visiting guests since 2009. Masako paid homage to the House of Orange-Nassau in a suit and hat of the same hue. Her hat, an unembellished bumper, is not a particularly memorable hat but it was so wonderful to see her (and the obvious affection she shares with Queen Máxima) that she could have had a paper bag on her head today and it would have been all right with me.

Dutch State Visit to Japan, October 29, 2014 | Royal HatsCrown Princess Masako, October 29, 2014 | Royal HatsCrown Princess Masako, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

The first day of the Dutch King and Queen’s tour of Japan did not hit many millinery high notes but I suppose that means things can only improve from here. What did you think of this trio of royal hats today in Japan?

Photos from Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Albert Nieboer, Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk, Albert Nieboer and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Asahi Shimbun via Getty: Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Asahi Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun via Getty

31 thoughts on “Dutch Monarchs Arrive in Japan

  1. For this welcome the Empress and the Crown Princess look appropriate in their elegant, beautifully tailored and restrained suits and hats. They are dressed according to the dress code for this type of event – day time outfit and hat. Queen Maxima on the other hand looks like she is off to a cocktail party perhaps to celebrate a win by the National team at football hence the orange overload. There are good bandage hats and bad bandage hats but to me they all look like bandages not hats. Still her natural beauty and vivacity saves her from looking as though she didn’t read the dress code on the invitation.

    • Kew Gardens hatter, you and I agree. Queen Maxima’s hat is too much like a bandage. It is good to see the Crown Princess out in public again, looking so well, and dressed in orange for a visit from the House of Orange. This color suits both her and the Dutch Queen well. The Empress looks elegant, but I agree with Hat Queen, her hat would have been beautiful in the same caramel as her lapel.

  2. I hate to say it but I love Queen Max’s hat! I love the wrap in the back that echoes her dress. I love her dress too ! The smiles and the affection between the couples is delightful !

  3. As much as I love Maxima’s outfit (and I do) I also agree with the comments that note the difference in the way the three women are dressed. Perhaps if she had had a little jacket (something light, but a cardigan might have been too informal) it would have been pretty near perfect (yes, doughnut ring and all). I wonder why the hat simply wasn’t filled in as a larger pillbox? Leaving the top empty is simply odd. But this dress ad this colour is gorgeous.

    The Japanese women are demure, as their culture requires, and both look smart.

  4. I don’t care whatever Queen Max wore this day -she managed to bring Princess Masako and those broad smiles out from behind the walls. Max gets a pass on anything she wore today and any time on this tour for all of her kindnesses to Princess Masako that has engendered such feelings and reciprocation.

  5. I think everyone today looks excellent. Queen Máxima’s is breathtaking in the first picture. (If you’re going to wear orange, I see nothing wrong with going all the way.) I don’t particularly like the orange donut from the back, but from the front it’s gorgeous. In the photo with Empress Michiko, Max’s hat does rather resemble an orange bandage, however.
    Empress Michiko has a more striking outfit than usual, although the hat and the jacket both are of her favorite styles. Although it’s a saucer, it’s the bigger saucer; and her color scheme, while tame by most standards, is more adventurous than usual for her.
    And yes, it’s certainly nice to see Crown Princess Masako out and about, dressed beautifully and smiling.

  6. Yes, as with Mathilde’s, among Maxima’s open-ring hats, this is definitely at the better end of the spectrum for me.

  7. Considering what Maxima has done for Masako, I wouldnt care what she wore, but, as it happens, I love her in orange and think everyone looks fabulous. What a tribute to her friend Masako made by wearing a complimentary colour! Well done ladies!

  8. I think a suit might have been a better choice for Queen Max on this occasion, but the color of the dress is wonderful on her. Not many people can wear orange, but it looks stunning on her. I don’t care for her hat design, which looks like a big headband that is slipping off. I like Princess Masako’s suit, especially with the seams in the front. Don’t care for the style of her hat, but who cares? It is so wonderful to see her at an official event, looking as though she is enjoying herself. I’m so glad she has found a royal friend in Maxima.

    • I love Queen Maximas dress but it doesn’t really fit in. She must have known that the Japanese royal women would wear suits and hats and it looks odd with her in a summery 1950s garden party dress beside them. I think her outfit is too informal for the way the Japanese royal women dress.

      I also like the ring style hat with this dress. It’s so light and pretty.

  9. I just love the Queens complete outfit! To me (I’m Dutch), this outfit is quite special, because Máxima doesn’t wear orange very often (it’s the national colour, the Royal Family is also called ‘The House of Orange’) AND it’s by a Dutch designer (the dress), namely Mattijs van Bergen. She only wears Dutch fashion rarely (like 10-20 times a year, the rest is NATAN or Valentino or Benito Fernandez or Dolce & Gabbana or Gucci or whatever). Besides that, I think the colour and the shape of both the hat and the dress are great on her, it’s typically Max and I think it’s chic, formal and appropriate for such a statevisit. Looking forward to tomorrow and the day after tomorrow!

    • Good points, Emma. It is great to see Queen Máxima in Dutch designs and the dress is really pretty. I’m just not a fan of the hat.

      Do you have any idea why Queen Máxima seldom wears hats by Dutch milliners? I do admire her collaboration with Fabienne Delvigne but I wonder if another collaboration with a Dutch milliner might bring some new and fresh ideas into her hat wardrobe.

      • Well, most of her millinery is Fabienne Delvigne, I guess at least 95% of her (according to http://www.modekoninginmaxima.nl (great website, you can find everything about Queen Máxima’s fashion)) 171 hats -yeah, she owns 171 hats- is Fabienne Delvigne.

        There are a few other possibilities:
        – We don’t know who is the designer, but it’s not Fabienne Delvigne (she always confirms to the woman from the website above if it is her hat or not)
        – Berry Rutjes (A dutch designer), she wore at two 3 hats by her, for example the purple one at Prinsjesdag 2008 and a yellowish straw hat during a statevisit to Belgium in 2006. I think there are more hats designed by Berry Rutjes, I just can’t remember or we don’t know.
        – Jan Taminiau (yes, the one that designed the blue inauguration gown) designed at least one hat with silver things on it which complemented a coat and a dress (Maxima wore it during the Provincial Tour in 2013).

        I think it is very easy for her to buy hats form Delvigne, because Delvigne works with NATAN (Máxima wears a lot of NATAN) so Máxima can just go to Brussels (to the NATAN store), and she can order a hat together with an outfit, which is a lot easier than searching for Dutch hats that are beautiful, royal AND fit with the outfit she wants to wear. Additionally, Máxima can trust Fabienne Delvigne. She knows that Delvigne is a Royal Hatdesigner, she won’t betray Máxima and in addition to that, she knows Delvignes designs and she knows that she always buys quality. To conclude, the main reason -in my opinion- is that it is just easier for her.
        (I’m sorry for the mistakes in my English)

          • Me too, she kind of always wears Fabienne Delvigne, Ms. Rutjes designs are Dutch and they are fabulous (most of the time), so I would really love to see more of that on Queen Máx.
            I also think that Jan Taminiau hats are quite nice, so I would love to see more of that too!

  10. Orange is not my favorite color. I do prefer a hat with a crown and not open. I am not fond of saucer hats in general (although the Empress doesn’t have much say so – her clothes are selected by the Imperial Household Agency). However, that being said, I think these ladies were all absolutely lovely and that some of the comments were not nice at all.

    • Freedom of speech means having the right to criticise as well as praise people Rodney. These people chose to be public figures, otherwise they can step aside. They are well aware that the life of extreme luxury they lead means that they must be subject to criticism at times. I am not going to lie and say that I love any of the hats here, because I do not. Any good amateur could make any of these hats. Queen Maxima’s is the worst, as it looks like she has a bandage on her head. Empress Michiko’s saucer shaped hats have been done to death, and the white color does not go with her outfit. Crown Princess Masako’s bumper hat was rather boring, but it was the best of a sorry bunch.

      • You are indeed free to criticize hats but comments still need to comply with this blog’s Commenting Policy.

        In recent weeks, criticisms here have veered over the line to include disrespectful comments about hat designers and the royals who wear them. That is NEVER going to be acceptable in this space and such comments will continue to be removed without notice.

  11. As I just commented on Mathilde’s hat, I will say that I LOVE this dress in particular and I think the headpiece (there, it’s more of a headpiece than a hat, really) looks great with it. I personally would like to wear something like this if I had a different lifestyle. It’s so pretty and is really of a piece with the dress.

    • They do go well together. I wonder if accessories (purse, shoes, jewellery) in another colour might break up the gold-orange? It’s feeling too one-note to me.

  12. I like Max’s dress but it needs to have tan or brown accessories and not the silly gold ones – they are far too dated looking. Max’s hat – ICK – Like we have talked about here before, many of us dislike these donut hats – Princess Masako looks fab!

      • I agree, gold is IT right now and I love that Max went for it! Her shoes are KILLER. Her stylist is worth whatever money she pays her.

        I can’t believe I’m saying this AGAIN but the pumpkin donut really works! It’s so pretty!

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