Catching Up Imperial Family Milestones

In last weekend’s “Extra’s” post, we celebrated the December 5 official presentation of Princess Aiko following her 20th birthday, dazzling in a diamond tiara and necklace borrowed from her aunt, Sayako Kuroda.
Embed from Getty Images
It turns out that members of the Imperial royal family also gathered for this celebration, the ladies in hats as well! Princess Kako was seen arriving at the Imperial Palace in her pale sage green silk jacquard covered calot hat with cuffed bumper brim, trimmed with a spray of silk flowers on the side.

Previously Worn: Dec 23, 2019; Apr 10, 2019; 
Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet hat with clamshell-shaped bumper brim trimed with an ostrich plume and bow at the back.  Princess Yuriko wore a turquoise printed silk draped pillbox (or maybe a toque shape?) with rolled rose and leaves made of the same fabric, placed on the side of the design. 

 Princess Hanako’s hat Previously Worn: Feb 24, 2019; Jan 14, 2015;  Jan 10, 2014; Jan 4, 2011
Princess Nobuko looked to be wearing a new dusty pink silk covered pillbox high on the back of her head. Princess Yoko repeated her tall salmon pink silk covered pillbox wrapped in a double fringe of feathers in the same hue. Princess Akiko looked to be wearing a new cream hat with shallow crown and brim covered in a beautifully draped hatband that tied in a side bow.

Princess Yoko’s hat Previously Worn: Mar 23, 2021;  Nov 8, 2020; Oct 25, 2019; Apr 10, 2019
Princess Hisako repeated a salmon pink velvet pillbox with indented pork pie crown, trimmed in pink, peach and burgundy velvet applique flowers that also embellish the neck and shoulder lines of her matching gown. An interesting note from Imperial family expert Prisma- while this ensemble dates back until at least 1992, it was worn, most recently, in January 2014 by Princess Noriko! Princess Tsuguko looked to be wearing a silvery blue silk covered pillbox that I believe is new.

Previously Worn: Jan 15, 2014 (by Princess Noriko); Jan 14, 1992
Sayako Kuroda was also in attendance in a pale green silk calot covered in a ruched dotted white veil.

On December 9th, Empress Masako celebrated her 58th birthday. She arrived at the home of her parents-in-law in a pale blue silk covered bumper hat.

Sayako Kuroda was also seen arriving at the Imperial Palace to greet the Empress on her birthday in a pleated ecru calot hat.

Which ones of these eleven hats stand out most to you?

Images from social media as indicated 

8 thoughts on “Catching Up Imperial Family Milestones

  1. Just when I’ve gotten to the point of despair, it’s nice to see these two young women adding some colour and style. Most of the time it seems that the women of the Japanese royal house all dress like Jackie Kennedy, all at the same time. It has become very boring.

  2. Everyone knows (or should know at this point haha) I love color, but Akiko’s new hat is my favorite among this group! The platter style suits her so well and the details are fantastic, even in cream. Hisako and Yuriko round out my top 3: Hisako rolling up in a hat nearly as old as I am is pretty great since it still looks amazing, and luckily the sleeves and shoulders of her gown look to have been reduced over the decades (this likely also means some of her other hats and gowns are of similar age); grateful to see Yuriko out at age 98 and looking fabulous in her turquoise pillbox with the lovely rose trim and fur wrap (presumably vintage/antique).

    Empress Masako’s hat is not the most exciting design, but that pearl blue fabric shines so well and is so smooth I just want to weirdly reach out and touch this hat! Also, the link in that tweet has a lot of photos of Masako from over the years, including many hats I have not seen previously, especially this gem that I would love to see make a comeback ASAP: https://www.asahi.com/articles/photo/AS20211205001250.html

    Finally, it was great to see Sayako make some appearances again, which especially makes sense as Aiko’s first tiara appearance was thanks to Sayako!

  3. Yay photos! I wish the IHA would release video of the family greetings. Good to see Princesses Hanako and Yuriko. I love Princess Akiko’s new cream hat.
    Noriko wore her mother’s hat in 2014, not Tsuguko.
    I wonder if Aiko will wear some of Masako’s old court outfits…

  4. It is nice to see the Imperial ladies in their range of hats again. It also interesting to see Sayako Kuroda arriving for both events. Perhaps these former princesses and other family member’s have been at these events all along but we never got the pictures.

    • We saw Sayako, Aiko (former Princess of Takamado) and several of Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s sisters at enthronement events last year. I think it’s always been understood that while princesses give up their public roles when they marry, they continue to participate in private family events behind the scenes. Marrying doesn’t remove them from the family!

  5. Nobuko’s high-perched pillbox is unusual, isn’t it? Akiko’s hat looks rather pretty with the draped hatband. While I appreciate that Hisako gets some mileage out of her ensembles, I’m afraid that dress is overdue to be retired. These car shots are frustrating, but we’ll no doubt see these hats again.

    The Empress is flawless as usual. These bumpers are getting to be as much of a signature look for her as the little perchers were for the Empress Emerita. I miss those variations in pattern and texture.

  6. The hats are all as beautifully constructed as ever.
    I love that Hisako still wears her 30 year old ensemble and shares it with her daughter! I have to say the sleeves are rather dated, but it really doesn’t matter.

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