Imperial Visit to Ise Shrine

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko journeyed to Ise this week to take part in rituals at Ise Jingu Shrine related to the emperor’s upcoming abdication. One of the most sacred Shinto shrines in the country that can only be overseen by a chief priest or priestess from the Imperial family, it is currently under the charge of Sayako Kuroda, the couple’s daughter, who celebrated her 50th birthday on Thursday.

Embed from Getty Images

The Emperor and Empress’ arrival at Ujiyamada Station on Wednesday gave us a great view of the oyster hat Empress Michiko recently brought into rotation.  The lattice crin underbrim and darker grey piping on the bow are delicate touches to be appreciated and ones easily missed from the further views we usually get. These subtle contrasts give layers of texture and interest to the hat, making it a much more complex and nuanced design than it appears at first glance.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Mar 26, 2019
For the visit to the shrine Thursday, the Emperor wore traditional morning suit and carried a black silk top hat.
Empress wore a pearly white rimmed saucer with pinwheel silk bow and delicate lattice crin underbrim
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: March 25 2014;
Following the shine visit, Empress Michiko repeated her pale pink disc with crin underbrim, trimmed with double silk bows and silk flowers. It’s another delicate design (and not grey!) that she wears really well.
Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Feb 24, 2019; Nov 14, 2018
For the couple’s return train journey to Tokyo yesterday, the Empress repeated her slate bluey-grey rimmed saucer with looped silk bow trim. We’ve seen this hat a few times on Michiko but it remains a great one on her- at closer view, the silk bows have the most beautiful sheen that just makes the hat.
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Mar 28, 2019; June 10, 2018; Mar 29, 2018; Mar 7, 2018; Oct 29, 2017

It’s amazing to think that there will be a new emperor and empress in Japan in 10 days… and while it’s unclear what role this couple will have, I hope we’ll see them from time to time. I’ve come to appreciate many of Empress Michiko’s signature saucers – especially some of the ones here – and I would hate to see both the hats and their very dignified and elegant wearer disappear altogether from public view.

Photos from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

More casual hats on Princess Anne and Zara Tindall last weekend at the Gatcombe Horse Trials
Embed from Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth repeated her textured cream and gold split crown hat with black and gold feather trim last Sunday to attend church at The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park. Interesting to note that this hat, made under the Angela Kelly Couture label by Stella McLaren, is still in rotation despite a four year gap since we saw it worn last. 
On Monday, the Japanese Emperor and Empress traveled to Kyoto. Empress Michicko wore a new oyster grey saucer with ivory windowpane lattice crin underbrim and a looped double bow (see the hat in better detail here)
On Tuesday, Princess Kako visited the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji, Tokyo, in a black silk covered bowler hat.
View this post on Instagram

🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 เจ้าหญิงคาโกะแห่งอากิชิโนะ เสด็จไปทรงถวายความเคารพ สุสานหลวงของสมเด็จพระจักรพรรดิโชวะ และสมเด็จพระจักรพรรดินีโคจุน ในโอกาสทรงสำเร็จการศึกษาจากมหาวิทยาลัยนานาชาติคริสเตียน ณ สุสานหลวงมุซาชิ เขตฮาชิโอจิ กรุงโตเกียว ประเทศญี่ปุ่น ---- Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako of Akishino paid respect to the tombs of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun, after her graduation from the International Christian University at the Musashi Imperial Mausoleum in Tokyo, Japan. ---- 秋篠宮家の次女佳子さまは、国際基督教大学の卒業を報告するため、東京都八王子市の武蔵陵墓地で、昭和天皇の武蔵野陵と香淳皇后の武蔵野東陵を参拝した。 ---- Photos: Asahi #princesskako #princesskakoofakishino #japaneseimperialfamily #japan #佳子内親王 #佳子さま #日本 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵

A post shared by Royal World Thailand 🇹🇭 (@royalworldthailand) on

Also on Tuesday, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the mausoleum of Emperor Jimmu in Kashihara as part of the rites in preparation for the emperor’s upcoming abdication. Empress Michiko wore a new lilac undertoned grey hat that seems standard but on closer look, shows exquisite details of a beautifully molded raised edge saucer shape, crin underbrim and silk bow. 
On Thursday, the Imperial couple returned to Tokyo, the Empress in a repeated blue-grey saucer with elegantly streamlined silk bow trim. You’ll notice it’s a lighter hued twin of the hat she wore on Tuesday.
Princess Hisako was in Yokohama yesterday to open the 83rd annual meeting of the Japanese Circulation (cardiovascular) Society. To deliver her opening address on the importance of heart disease prevention, she wore a white shallow crowned hat with saddle brim brimmed with a wide ruched green hatband.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Stunning navy velvet felt trilby with twist and feather by British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan
Black and purple iridescent large disc hat with silk & straw twists from UK brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Bold and jade straw percher with fun silk abaca lilies by Aussie brand Melissa Gaye Millinery
Swirling blue and black quill headpiece with black stars from British milliner Sarah Cant
Lovely pleats around the back brim of this ivory straw design from UK milliner Rae Oakley
Fantastic metallic sheen on this black & gold looped silk bandeau by Australian brand Polly and Peaches
Adore the silk orchid trim on this monochrome blue straw saucer by UK brand Hostie Hats
For our dear gents, this very dapper beaver felt fedora in a delicious colour (the milliner calls is black
cherry)
with black silk paisley hatband and brim binding from Danish brand Hornskov København
Wonderful use of abaca silk on this vibrant turquoise & green button percher by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Dramatic red feather and floral headpiece from British milliner Edwina Ibbotson we’ll surely see at Ascot

And from London-based Turkish milliner Merve Bayindir, this whimsical and very fun black straw disc with multi-coloured tiles, flowers and curling black quills.

The Prince of Wales and Peter the blue iguana seemed delighted to make mutual acquaintance on Thursday in the Cayman Islands
Embed from Getty Images
Some diplomatic dressing by young Princess Gabriella this week during the Chinese state visit to Monaco.
The Duke of Sussex has developed a special relationship over several encounters with an Australian fan and brightened her 99th birthday yesterday with a lovely greeting
We end this week with some great (and perplexing) formal looks at the annual Rose Ball in Monaco tonight- my favourite is Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi’s Dior gown. Breathtaking.
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Rex/Shutterstock; social media and Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

On Sunday and Monday, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko attended a memorials for the 1945 Great Tokyo Air Raid and the 8th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Princess Kiko wore two black silk hats for these events- one of her go-to bowlers and a brimmed design with domed crown.
Sweet photos of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar in cozy hats on Tuesday for Crown Princess Victoria’s name day celebration
Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Queen Margrethe trotted out her royal blue beanie hat on Wednesday to present a military award.
Interesting update on the purple hat Queen Elizabeth wore to the Commonwealth Day service– confirmation that the crown has not been altered as we thought. Jump back to the post for more details.
Lovely new salmon pink saucer for Empress Michiko yesterday at a martial arts tournament hosted by the Imperial Household Police. The silk bow is really lovely.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Turquoise felt teardrop beret with wonderful feather trim from British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan
Wonderful shape on Irish milliner Aiofe Harrison’s black straw and crin diamond hat  
Exquisite straw tulip bandeau headpiece by British milliner Bridget Bailey
Architectural cream straw percher with multi-hued organza ruffle by York milliner Marissa Groom
Black felt formed hat with striking peacock applique trim from Moscow-based  milliner Denis Gulyaev
Ivory felt beret percher with interesting green stitching and bow by British milliner Sarah Cant
Beautifully proportioned dark blue straw boater hat from British brand Love Lupin Millinery
Show stopping pyramid hat covered in coral feathers by New York brand Suzanne Couture MillineryAnd for our dear Gents, what do you think of this navy linen cuffed cap from Lock & Co.?

Princess Charlene shared these sweet snaps taken during Prince Albert’s birthday celebrations this week. Those of you in North America might be interested in an interview with Prince Albert that will be broadcast tomorrow evening.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Birthday 🎂 ❤️🎈

A post shared by HSH Princess Charlene (@hshprincesscharlene) on


I’m giving the last word this week to the Countess of Wessex, who shared these words at the United Nations during The President of the General Assembly’s ‘Women in Power’ event.
View this post on Instagram

The Countess of Wessex gives a speech at the @unitednations, during The President of the General Assembly’s ‘Women in Power’ event earlier this week. The Countess spoke about the challenges facing women’s participation and leadership in peace processes, the role and responsibility of the UN, and initiatives such as the UK's Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The Countess of Wessex was attending the 'Commission on the Status of Women' at the @unitednations in New York. The Commission promotes women’s rights and gender equality - an area The Countess has long supported. Last week, on #IWD2019, The Countess formally pledged her support to further the UK efforts on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS) and the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). See more by following our link in bio.

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Back on February 22,  Princess Hisako wore a smart camel hat with kettle brim (love that sharp white stripe around the outside of the upturned brim) Takamadonomiya Hockey Japan award ceremony
The Swedish and Norwegian monarchs together this week in Seefeld, Austria, for the World Skiing Championships. It’s so nice to see kings in hats- even such casual ones!
Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Princess Kiko attended national meetings on Tuberculosis Prevention in Tokyo on Thursday. Empress Michiko repeated one of her grey discs and Princess Kiko wore a beige bumper hat.
The stunning oyster silk Bruce Oldfield suit and Jane Taylor straw percher hat with roses and feathers the Countess of Wessex wore to the Cambridge’s wedding in April 2011 has gone on display at the Fashion Museum in Bath (a truly fantastic place to visit!). If you have a chance to see it in person, please share your thoughts!
The exhibition with outfits from Princess Eugenie’s wedding opened yesterday at Windsor Castle. It includes the Greville emerald tiara (which has not been on public display before) and the Sarah Cant headpiece Princess Beatrice wore. There’s a great article about the exhibition here on the British monarchy’s website; if you visit Windsor Castle in the next weeks, keep your eyes open!


Embed from Getty Images

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Whimsical garden headpiece by British milliner Bundle MacLaren (surely to be worn to Ascot!)
Red bandeau with overlapping felt leaves by British milliner Laura Cathcart
Cream straw hat with butterfly folded brim by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Beige teardrop percher beret with felt & leather appliqué and pearls by Scottish brand Angels & Insects Millinery
Purple straw disc with silk hydrangeas and curling quills from British milliner Jane Taylor
Chic two-toned red and burgundy felt fedoras from Dutch milliner Marianne Jongkind
Pale blue felt pillbox wrapped in a monichrome olive branch wreath from British milliner Stephen Jones
Exquisite detail on this dusky pink calot with tiny stand-up blossoms & lilac veil by Spanish milliner Eugenia Jiménez
HATalk Magazine released the winners from their annual competition- first place is a stunning mondrian design by Italian label Stybel Modista. Scroll through to see all the winners- two we have already admired here!

And from British milliner Julian Garner, this white straw boater with a garland of handmade floral trim that spans the seasons. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Wonderful shots of the Dutch royals (minus Princess Mabel and her daughters) taken during their annual ski holiday in Lech, Austria this week, complete with with a very amusing royal male photobomb
Embed from Getty Images
The loveliest casual portrait of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, taken and released for the 10th anniversary of their engagement and a sweet shot of Prince Oscar, shared for his third birthday

And two close, two lovely new family shots- first from the Bhutan royal family featuring the King and Queen, the King’s mother and young Prince Jigme (who is looking rather grown up!) and finally, the Monaco royal family, taken during their recent trip to Africa

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Celebrate Emperor’s 30th Anniversary

January 7, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum throne. This anniversary was officially marked yesterday with a series of celebrations, beginning with the Emperor and Empress receiving family members, all in formal daytime court dress, at the Imperial Royal Palace. Crown Princess Masako repeated a blue silk bumper hat- a short video clip shows this piece has an interesting twisted brim around the back, something I don’t think we’ve been able to see until now.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2018; Dec 9, 2017; Dec 9, 2015
Princess Kiko wore a cuffed calot hat covered in peach silk that I think is a new design for her. Princess Mako repeated the bandeau calot she wore on the day of her engagement announcement back in September 2017. Not visible here, the piece is trimmed with silk roses and leaves on the right side. It’s an interesting choice, particularly as her dotted silk gown has previously been worn with a matching bespoke calot covered in the same fabric. Princess Kako repeated her soft yellow spadded bandeau trimmed with a trio of silk blossoms on the bottom of each side, tucked behind her ears. Check out this bandeau’s previous outings on October 20, 2018 or January 14, 2015 for a better view. 


I believe Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet bowler hat with raised brim around the back, trimmed with ostric feathers (and is that a bow I see?). Princess Yuriko of Mikasa (grandmother to Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko) wore a brimless hat in deep eggplant purple. 

Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore a n open ring-shaped headpiece wrapped in green velvet. Princess Akiko topped her blue silk suit (with beautiful cutwork collar and yoke) with a matching silk rolled brim hat trimmed with ostrich feathers and blue veil. Princess Yoko’s tall, pale gray-green silk hat with high cuffed bumper brim had a retro 1960s feel, amplified by its placement on the back of her head. 

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her textured pale lilac suit with a matching flat crowned hat with double brim, the outer one wrapped in the same fabric as her suit. Princess Tsuguko was also in a flat-crowned design, her repeated peach silk hat trimmed in looped peach fabric around the bumper brim.

The Emperor and Empress then attended an event hosted by the Japanese government at National Theatre in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her slightly domed saucer hat covered in pale pink silk with white lattice crin underbrim, beautifully trimmed with silk cherry blossoms and a luminous silk bow

Embed from Getty Images

While the hat is not unlike Michiko’s other hats in terms of shape and scale, the colour is a slight departure (so good, right?!) and the trim is simply lovely. It’s a good hat for her as saucer hats go and I’m glad she chose something outside her usual grey palate for this celebration.
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Nov 14, 2018

The evening saw a dinner at the Imperial Palace (Crown Princess Masako arrived in plum and Princess Kiko in vibrant blue) while today, most of the extended Imperial royal family was seen at a formal tea party. These photos certainly don’t show great view of these hats- despite these shortcomings, do any hats stand out to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Sankei News

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats 51 years to January 1968 and the loveliest peachy-yellow silk ruched turban with rose trim worn by Empress Michiko (she was crown princess at the time) to the Ueno Cultural Center in Tokyo.

Photo from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

I need to step away from Royal Hats from Monday until the end of the month for some ‘real’ work focus and travel. I’ve planned a series on past Ascot hats and ask again that in my absence, you all share whatever new hats are worn each day in the comments of these flashback posts. I promise to be back soon!  

On Monday, the Imperial family marked the 30th anniversary of Emperor Showa’s death at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachiōji, Tokyo. Empress Michiko, Princess Kiko, Princess Akiko, Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko all wore black hats. The Imperial Crown prince and princess marked this anniversary at the Imperial Palace, Princess Masako in an ecru silk covered hat with high, upturned Breton brim.

Embed from Getty Images

Zara Tindall posed with her husband, Mike on Monday, holding a pink straw sun hat.

On Wednesday, Crown Princess Victoria visited Livgardet (The Life Guards) in Kungsängen in a military green beret.

View this post on Instagram

I dag besökte Kronprinsessan Livgardet i Kungsängen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ På plats gavs information om Livgardet – som är ett av Försvarsmaktens största militära förband – och dess många olika ansvarsområden. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kronprinsessan fick bland annat en presentation av 13:e säkerhetsbataljonen, vars arbete är att upptäcka, motverka och bekämpa säkerhetshotande verksamhet, både nationellt och internationellt. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Dagen på Livgardet avslutades med att Kronprinsessan fick testa Robot 57 på simulatoravdelningen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Besöket är ett av Kronprinsessans återkommande besök inom Försvarsmakten. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ @livgardet ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Astrid Emilia Amtén/Försvarsmakten

A post shared by Kungahuset (@kungahuset) on

Also on Wednesday, Princess Sofia was photographed in a pink sun hat at a polo match in Florida where she, Prince Carl Gustaf, and the King and Queen are on holiday, visiting Princess Madeleine and her family.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Winter white beautifully embellished bandeau by Ukrainian milliner Elena Martynenko
Adore this pink straw percher with exuberant ostrich pompom by Australian milliner Meg Rafter
Forrest green velvet felt trilby with slim pale blue hatband by British milliner Bundle MacLaren
Honey orange straw percher with silk roses, veil & burnt feathers by London-based Turkish milliner Merve Bayindir
Blush straw dramatic sidesweep with pale grey looped rings from Irish milliner Aiofe Harrison
Prim Mary Poppins inspired embellished straw boater by British brand Frase Annand Millinery
I’m not usually partial to a bowler hat but adore this vibrant and fresh take on the bowler  by Italian brand Borsalino
Lovely blue straw kokoshnik bandeau with veil and white leather flowers by British milliner Justine Bradley-Hill
Amazing citrus branch headpiece by Australian milliner Rebecca Share that won top prize at Magic Millions Raceday

And from Australian milliner Danica Erard, this vibrant pink straw saucer with flying red bow around the front brim.

The Danish Royal Court shared this charming portraits of Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent to celebrate their eighth birthday.
How sweet is this snap, shared by their mum, of Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco returning to school after Christmas break?
View this post on Instagram

Back to School 2019

A post shared by HSH Princess Charlene (@hshprincesscharlene) on

Great view of London from the cockpit of a helicopter, flown from Kensington Palace to The Royal London Hospital by the Duke of Cambridge to celebrate the London Air Ambulance’s 30th anniversary.

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated