Imperial Royals Celebrate Emperor’s Birthday

Members of Imperial Family gathered at the Imperial Palace today to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday. For their annual appearance on the balcony, the princesses of the family all sported brimless hats.

Imperial Royal Family, December 23, 2015 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako wowed in a cranberry velvet beaded cocktail hat that she has not worn since 1999! After hoping she would bring it out again, I am thrilled to see the vibrant 1940s styled piece again. It’s a beautiful colour on her and it’s great fun to see an Imperial royal hat with a bit of sparkle.

Crown Princess Masako, December 23, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko wore a citrus green silk covered hat with bumper brim and rounded crown. Unlike the similarly hued hat she wore earlier this year this one is entirely covered in the same patterned silk jacquard as her gown.

Princess Masako, and others celebrating Emperor Akihitos 82nd birthday at the Imperial Palace

Princess Mako and Princess Kako followed their mother’s lead in a pair of pale gold and pink bumper hats. Both hats are covered in the same patterned silk as the princess’ gowns and decorated with demure bow and floral trims. While conservative in style, the colour makes for a lovely contrast with the young princess’ dark hair.

Princess Mako and Princess Kako, December 23, 2015 | Royal HatsPrincess Kako, December 23, 2015 | Royal Hats

It is always lovely to see the Imperial family together. I was thrilled to see Crown Princess Masako in a vibrant hat- which one stood out as your favourite?

Photos from Asahi and Aflo/Splash News via Corbis

9 thoughts on “Imperial Royals Celebrate Emperor’s Birthday

  1. I get the impression that the Princesses Mako and Kako are styled to match their mother and have very little choice in what they wear.

  2. I’m surprised with the spring-like color of the suits/dresses of the royal females, except for Crown Princess Masako who wore a burgundy dress and hat.

  3. I think it’s fabulous when long-ago-seen repeats show up Congrats to Crown Princess Masako. It’s a striking outfit.
    ‘The other princesses’ outfits are attractive.

  4. Thank you HatQueen for posting this photo of Princess Masako. She is beautiful, and the cranberry ensemble looks superb on her. Thanks again for all your hard wirk on this web site HatQueen.

  5. Crown Princess Masako definitely stole the show in that cranberry velvet beaded cocktail hat and matching dress, with some fantastic jewels too! I also liked the other hats, dresses and jewels. The Imperial family may not give us the most breathtaking hats, but they certainly can be relied upon to give us good ones!

  6. Princess Masako’s ensemble is much more seasonal (at least where I am from) for this time of year. The others look very springlike for the second day of winter. But they present a happy family portrait, nonetheless, and it is lovely to see them all together. It’s funny how the Empress always seems to go “down a step” by not wearing a hat or tiara when the other ladies do. I understand she has neck problems, as do I, but a small hat really completes the outfit many times. Another mystery I guess……but then this blog does appeal to hat lovers.

    • As this gathering was held at the Imperial Palace, which is the primary home of the Empress, she would not wear a hat in her own house as a host, but her guests would keep their hats on according to traditional hat protocol. At least that’s my educated guess as to why she never wears a hat at this event.

      So lovely to see the whole family looking great! Masako’s repeat is amazing considering we just talked about it, and I think it looks much better than it did in 1999. The other princesses looked wonderful as well. Happy birthday Emperor Akihito!

      And happy birthday to Queen Silvia and Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia as well! (because of all of these birthdays happening on my birthday, I joke that I’m also royalty haha)

      • I agree with your guess. The Empress is the hostess and at her own house so she doesn’t need to wear a hat. Since she regularly wears saucer hats for other events, wearing hats is not the problem.

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