Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Yamagata Prefecture over the weekend to take in the 36th National Meeting for the Healthy Ocean. For this event, Empress Michiko repeated her large white saucer hat with curling ribbon detail in the same blue silk as her suit. We don’t often see such a clear side view of Michiko’s hats and this one shows not only how the hat is secured to her head, but how flat (and light weight) the saucer shape is.

Empress Michiko, September 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, September 11, 2016 | Royal Hats   Empress Michiko, September 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: my guess is Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: August 7, 2015July 26, 2015

Last week, Princess Hanako of Hitachi also made her first appearance following a hip replacement earlier this summer. The Princess was in Hokkaido Prefecture to attend the opening of the sixth annual Ikebana Art Exhibition. For this occasion, she wore a new hat. With a squared crown in the same pale peachy-pink silk as her suit, this hat’s focal point is an unusual but beautiful brim made of transparent straw covered in lace.

 Princess Hanako, September 8, 2016 | Royal Hats  Princess Hanako, September 8, 2016 | Royal Hats

We don’t often see such use of lace on royal hats and the use of lace here creates such a lovely contrast of texture on this piece, significantly lightening its overall feel. I appreciate the gentle curve of the brim and while the repeated use of the lace as applique on Hanako’s suit might be a step too far into matchy-matchy territory, the ensemble is wonderful on her.

Princess Hanako, September 8, 2016 | Royal Hats  Princess Hanako, September 8, 2016 | Royal Hats

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

While Empress Michiko’s hat is unchanged from her usual style, I’m curious about your responses to Princess Hanko’s more unusual design. What do you think of this lace brimmed hat?

Photos from Mainichi; Asahi and FNN News

10 thoughts on “Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

  1. Princess Hanako’s hat shouldn’t work but it does! I really like it. The lightness of the brim is such a contrast to the solidity of the rest. It’s a winner!

  2. The lace hat is really good but I was it was more pink than this fleshy peachy pink.

    I don’t really like Michiko’s hats but she and the emperor are so cute!

  3. Does anyone know who makes the Empress’s clothes. Each outfit suits her perfectly. I love the white trim on this, harking back to the obi of traditional Japanese dress.

  4. The Empress ALWAYS looks perfect and beautiful. Princess Hanako’s outfit is wonderful; I love her hat. Both wear the always-perfect, exquisitely beautiful pearls..wish I could have just one piece of this jewelry!

  5. The lace brim doesn’t seem quite fir enough to hold its shape, but you know what, I can overlook that. She’s found a new way to add interest while staying within the very tight confines of Imperial dress code, and That’s worth applause.

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