Japanese and Bavarian Royal Weddings

Princess Ayako of Takamado and Kei Moriya were married today in a Shinto ceremony at the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo.



The princess wore traditional multi-layered uchiki kimono over raspberry hued hakama (wide silk pleated trousers) with her hair elaborately moulded into a style traditionally worn by Imperial aristocracy. Interestingly, Ayako’s older sister, Noriko Senge, wore a very similar ensemble and had her hair styled in the same traditional style for her wedding, four years ago. 


With such a busy past week of royal state visit, we have not had a chance to look at the wedding of Duchess Sophie von Württemberg (eldest daughter of Duke Philipp von Württemberg and Duchess Marie Caroline of Bavaria) and Count Maximilien d’Andigné, which took place at Schloss Tegernsee, one of the residences of the bride’s maternal grandparents, in Bavaria back on October 20th.
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The bride’s classic, streamlined gown was borrowed from her paternal grandmother, Diane, Duchess of Württemberg (née Orleans) and features a bateau neck, three quarter length sleeves, belted waist and slim fronted skirt that flows into a full train in the back.  A double veil- one full-length in silk organza and a shorter one in intricate lace (a family heirloom I presume) were anchored by the Württemberg ‘Small’ Diamond Tiara often worn by brides in this family. 
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The guest list included a number of German royals in some wonderful hats:
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Mother of the bride, Princess Marie-Caroline of Württemberg and mother of the groom, Countess Marie Adelaide d’Andigné
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The bride’s paternal grandparents, the Duke and Duchess of Württemberg and maternal grandparents, Prince Max, Duke of Bavaria and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Bavaria
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Maternal Aunt of the bride Duchess Helene of Bavaria
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Maternal aunts of the bride, Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria and Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria
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Princess Ursula (and Prince Leopold) of Bavaria; Princess Anna (and Prince Manuel ) of Bavaria
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Princess Sophie of Württemberg; Fürst and Fürstin von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny
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Duchess Fleur of Württemberg (and Count Moritz von Goess with family)
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Princess Clotilde of Orleans (and Edouard Crepy); Duchess Mathilde of Württemberg, Hereditary Countess von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

17 thoughts on “Japanese and Bavarian Royal Weddings

  1. Ayako’s Kimono is indeed the same one that her older sister Senge Noriko wore. This Kimono is inherited from their great-grand mother, Empress Teimei.

    • I Googled Empress Teimei and found a picture of her in the kimono at the Coronation in1912 – I wish I could post it as this sort of heirloom is interesting to me – anyways Jessica thank you for making me hunt !! Ayako certainly looked lovely and happy – may they be in love for ever !! 😊

  2. Ayako and Kei Moriya look like a truly happy couple in these photos; it’s wonderful to see so many of them smiling. I thought it was interesting Kei Moriya was carrying a top hat, but if it is Ayako’s father’s hat, then that makes more sense; it’s just unfortunate we never see these Japanese men wear their top hats.

    The European continental minor royalty and nobility always give us an interesting show when it comes to hats, especially at weddings. As they don’t seem to wear hats so often, it seems like we see more experimental designs, or sometimes just awkward placements and/or choices. While a few of the choices for this German wedding had some quirkiness to them, overall I thought this was a good show by all!

  3. Princess Ayako is very beautiful in that deep red kimono.
    And the lace veil of Duchess Sophie is magnificent. I may be misstaken (it is difficult to see) but It seems to me it is in fact not a double veil but just one, worn double: a very large circle, bordered with lace all around. Part of it is folded back to fall over the shoulders. Traditionally this part of the veil would be worn by the bride to cover her face on entering the church. Once the vows were exchanged the veil would be pushed back, by the groom I think, and the bride would leave the church with her face uncovered. Nowadays not many brides are completely veiled, but the veil is fixed in the same way onto the tiara, guarantee for a very romantic look.

  4. What chic guests at that Bavarian Wedding! If I could only look like this when MY granddaughter gets married, I would be thrilled. (She is in elementary school, so I have some time to prepare…..) Meanwhile the Japanese wedding is equally beautiful, and yet poignant on so many levels, with the bride’s beloved father deceased, and the Princess relinquishing her title to marry for love. The symbolism of everything worn is fascinating.

  5. Long time lurker. I’m on holiday in Japan and saw the end of the ceremony from outside the kaguraden. I can report someone wore a light blue percher to the wedding, but I’m afraid I don’t know who (too far away).

      • I really couldn’t see very much – and we didn’t realise it was a wedding till afterwards! I did recognise the princess’s name thanks to this blog though. What I found interesting was that was one of four weddings that day. About 10-15 minutes after the guests had left the royal wedding, the next one was announced and its congregation lined up.

        Outside the kaguraden, the crowd was about four deep. Some of the friends and family were simply let out through the crowd, which I don’t think would happen at a British royal wedding.

  6. I think those are pomegranates on the wedding kimono. They undoubtedly have symbolic significance.

  7. Congratulations to the happy couples! English Mainichi reported Kei Moriya carried Prince Takamado’s top hat. Lovely gesture.

    Love Countess Marie Adelaide d’Andigné’s picture hat.

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