Imperial New Year’s Lectures

Members of Imperial Family attended traditional annual Imperial New Year’s Lectures hosted by the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Palace yesterday. One of the few royal occasions that still requires court dress, this event provides us a wonderful opportunity for hat watching every year.

As the Empress hosts the event in her home (and thus, does not wear a hat) and Crown Princess Masako did not attend, we’ll start off a review of this ceremony with Princess Kiko of Akishino who wore a pale grey-blue calot hat. The hat appeared to feature some sort of trim or contrasting fabric on the crown and an unembellished cuff brim around the front. While a fairly typical hat for Kiko, I would have loved to see some of the incredible silver thread detail on the bodice of her gown incorporated into the hat. Her daughter, Princess Mako, wore a simple black pillbox that I believe is a new hat for her.

Princess Kiko and Princess Mako, January 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designers: unknown
Previous Wearings of Princess Kiko’s hat: January 15, 2014

Princess Hanako of Hitachi wore a new jade green brimless hat with pork pie crown and bow trim at the side. While the photo below suggests the hat was a slightly different shade than her lace gown, I suspect that in reality, the two were  a match. Princess Nobuko of Mikasa repeated a ruched toque hat with feather trim at the side made of the same grey silk as her structured gown. Her daughters both wore new hats with unexpected twists- Princess Akiko’s blue headpiece appeared to be made of blue and silver petals (or sequins) perched in a mass on the top of her head while Princess Yoko’s tall pink pillbox was trimmed in chevron stripes of matching faux fur.

Princess Hanako, Princess Nobuko, Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko, January 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designers: unknown
Previous Wearings of Princess Nobuko’s hat: January 16, 2015

The Takamado princesses were also in attendance. Princess Hisako topped her goldenrod yellow velvet gown in a brimless pork pie hat covered in the same fabric and trimmed in coordinating feathers. Princess Tsuguko highlighted the taupe sheen in her Victorian style suit with a taupe pillbox hat, also trimmed in feathers. Princess Ayako, who we do not often see as she has been studying in Canada for several years, wore a pale pink calot hat. The calot appeared to be trimmed in monochrome lace around the perimeter which I suspect may frame her face in a lovely way.

Princess Hisako, Princess Tsuguko and Princess Ayako, January 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

While this event often showcases the most daring of millinery worn by the Imperial Princesses, these hats fit with the more typically demure style we often see worn by the Japanese royals. Are there any pieces that stand out to you in particular?

Photos from Getty as indicated and ANN News

 

9 thoughts on “Imperial New Year’s Lectures

  1. I also would like to add that I think the Empress is always so regal, and such a beautiful woman! Her sense of style, her dignity and beauty, make her one of the world’s finest examples of true royalty.

  2. I miss seeing CP Masako…she has looked so beautiful and happy in past months; I hope she is well. I like P. Nobuko’s hat and dress… P. Hisako (her gown and necklace are beautiful!) and daughters always look so modern and beautiful, yet maintain their regality. My favorite outfit is worn by Princess Tsuguko…she is very beautiful. All of the women wear spectacular pearl jewelry; their pearls glow beautifully! Thank you, HatQueen, for keeping us informed of this beautiful family!

  3. Princess Tsuguko and Princess Hisako were my favorites! The designs of their outfits were a bit more retro, but ultimately more unique, and I’m glad they stayed away from the popular pastels favored by much of the family. And I do think Princess Hanako’s hat does go with her dress; it looks like it matches the jade green underneath, but there is a turquoise lace overlay, making for a great combo. I do wonder why Masako wasn’t in attendance, especially since Naruhito was.

  4. Princess Tsuguko ‘s whole outfit is my favourite. The finish on the fabric, the shape of the hat, all of it very individual

  5. I enjoyed seeing the Imperials in their court dress, but I would have liked them to be more adventurous in their hat choices. I vote for Princess Hisako for the win! I thought her goldenrod yellow velvet gown really stood out, and I liked the placement of her brimless pork pie hat covered in the same fabric as the dress, and trimmed in coordinating feathers. The next best is Princess Kiko of Akishino’s pale grey-blue calot hat. I agree with HatQueen that some of the silver featured on the dress would have added something extra to the hat. The next best is Princess Tsuguko, who made a good choice in highlighting the taupe sheen in her suit with a taupe pillbox hat, also trimmed in feathers. The next best is Princess Ayako, who wore a delightful shade of pink, with a matching calot hat, which was simple and suited her well, though not outstanding. The next best is Princess Nobuko of Mikasa’s ruched toque hat with feather trim, but I am disappointed that it is a repeat wearing of the hat, and the colour is rather drab, but I do like the shape and placement. The next best is Princess Hanako of Hitachi’s jade green brimless hat with pork pie crown and bow trim at the side, and I liked her lace dress. This style of hat is worn a lot by the Imperials, and this hat was a bit simple for the formality of the occasion. Perhaps if there was lace trim to match the gown on the hat it would have looked more formal. The next best is Princess Akiko’s blue headpiece, but it looks like a small party crown the way it’s perched on the top of her head, but I do like the shade of blue of her gown. The next best is Princess Yoko’s tall pink pillbox, which was an interesting shape, but I didn’t like the chevron stripes of matching faux fur. I don’t like fur on hats, and especially the placement of it here. The next best, which is the hat I liked least, was Princess Mako’s black pillbox which blended too much with her hair and was too simple for this formal event.

  6. Yes, I like Princess Hisako’s brimless pork pie, although the color appears on my computer as an antique gold rather than goldenrod. Princess Ayako’s pillbox and Victorian-style suit are unusual and rather appealing.
    Is there somewhere to find more information about the Imperial New Year’s Lectures?

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