Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1985 that saw Empress Michiko in a flower embellished tam ‘o shanter, worn during a visit to Ireland.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

10 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. The future Empress looks lovely in the tam, and it’s so interesting to see that her signature cape sleeves style goes back 30+ years. But even she was susceptible to those ’80s sleeves!

  2. Wonderful pictures. They seem to be feeling free of the hidebound rules of the Imperial Court. Current photos of the family seem to much less carefree and natural. Do you think the rules have been tightened up since then?

    • I think the appearance of rigidity and formality of the Imperial Court stems as much from the way the Japanese public is taught to behave in their presence as from their own behavior. In these photos, the Imperial couple seem to be responding to the open friendliness that is apparent in Western countries when any type of celebrity arrives. Also, many of the photos we see of Imperial royals are at (pardon me) really boring things like lectures and poetry readings and conferences on serious social issues. But remember the photos of one of the princesses at a sporting event? She looked like she was enjoying herself just this much.

  3. While I waited for pics to load, I read “flower- embellished tam o’shanter” and thought this might be a rare fail for the then Crown Princess. But, it’s lovely on her – somehow the flower just works with the hat and the rest of her outfit.

  4. Their Imperial Majesties have long been such a stylish couple, and this is no exception. Michiko’s hat strikes the right balance without being too cheesy, fantastically styled with her hair, and the flower is a nice addition. And Akihito looks great as always, and I like how he’s rocking a patterned pocket square.

    P.S. in 1985, they were still Crown Prince & Crown Princess. 🙂

  5. I’ve always particularly enjoyed it when royals give a tip of the hat, so to speak, to the clothing styles and traditions of a foreign country they are visiting. Michiko’s bat is delightful, and I agree with mcncln that this may be the same coat in the photos 31 years apart – nice to know that we ordinary folk are not the only ones who hang on to our good clothes for that long!

  6. Such a pair of snappy dressers!
    Michiko already shows her signature style — caped sleeves, and a hat showing elements we can recognise in her current millinery – a slanting dish shape adorned with a flower or sprig-shaped trim. The tam’o’shanter choice may also be a nod to the traditional Irish caubeen. (On a subsequent trip to Ireland, Michiko’s hat was trimmed with an Irish clover leaf.)
    And Akihito manages to make classic tailoring look modern in a way unmatched any other royal gentleman I can think of. Love that (possibly Irish) tweed greatcoat and sportscoat! The greatcoat is probably the same one we can see him wearing 31 years later:

    • I couldn’t agree more with your “snappy dressers” comment. These two always look elegant and regal, and, if a bit too stylish for true classic style, they seem to enjoy their clothes. It’s interesting in light of how regimented and uniform dress is for the Japanese royal household. We so often see hats made from exactly the same fabric as the dress or suit today.

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