Princess Hisako has been in Canada this week on an informal tour to celebrate 90 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada. The visit kicked off last Saturday in Mississauga with a summery hat in finely woven straw with a moderate brim, trimmed with orange and peach feathers and net veil circling the base of the crown.
On Sunday in Toronto, she princess met Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell in a sunny yellow straw hat with upturned brim bound in a wide white stripe, trimmed with a yellow silk bow.
On Monday, she continued on to Ottawa where she visited the Supreme Court of Canada in a white hat with wide kettle brim, trimmed with a lime silk hatband and floral spray.
Tuesday’s programme included a meeting with Governor General Julie Payette and a return to the Canadian Museum of History, where in 1985, she and the late Prince openned a Japanese Zen Garden. For these engagements, Princess Hisako wore an elegant cream lace suit with matching short-brimmed hat. The hat’s crown and front bow are covered in the same lace which lends some textural dimension to the design.
On Wednesday, Princess Hisako traveled to Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, on the Atlantic east coast. There, in the town of Cavendish, she opened Montgomery Park, a commemorative park to Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote well known book, Anne of Green Gables. For this opening, the princess donned a boater hat covered in cream silk with a swirling pleated brim, trimmed with white maple leaves, cornflower blue organza tufts and net veil. The hat has a decidedly Edwardian feel which gives a lovely nod to this famous book (published in 1908 and set around the same time) and makes it one of the most romantic Imperial royal hats in recent memory! Listen to a snipet of Princess Hisako’s dedication speech below- it’s charming and she has a lovely voice!
On Thursday, she visited Green Gables and in a touching gesture, she topped her black floral suit in a vibrant green hat in nearly the same shade as the famous location. The design features a wide rolled brim and black hatband, piped in the same floral pattern as her suit- a new addition since we last saw it
After a stop in Alberta, she landed in Vancouver where yesterday, she attended Nikkei Matsuri, a large Japanese cultural festival. In another thoughtful diplomatic touch, she wore a white straw saucer hat with folded crin brim trimmed with sprays of red and white silk maple leaves on both sides (above the brim on the left, below the brim on the right). I know some consider such statements cheesy but my Canadian heart is warmed by the gesture.
And finally, today in Victoria, Princess Hisako visited government house in what believe is the same white kettle brimmed hat she wore on Monday, swapping out the lime hatband and flowers for a leaf green bow on the side. I suspect this isn’t the first quick change of trim this hat has experienced to make it coordinate with other ensembles- it looks awfully close to this hat she wore last July
Princess Hisako routinely wears some of my favourite pieces of Imperial royal millinery and this tour has had some wonderful hats. What do you think about the hats she has worn in Canada this week?
Photos from social media as indicated. Special thanks to @ImperialJPNfan on Twitter for curating and sharing all of this information on the tour.