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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 March 25th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko travelled to Kyoto. The main purpose of the 3/25-3/28 visit is reporting the abdication at Emperor Jimmu's mausoleum in Kashihara, Nara. 📸 Sankei, Mainichi pic.twitter.com/QyNIZyAztu
On March 26th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko travelled to Kashihara, Nara Prefecture to report his abdication at the mausoleum of Emperor Jimmu (first Emperor of Japan according to legend) 📸 Jiji, Sankei, Mainichi, Mainichi pic.twitter.com/KM7daylIdm
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 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
War widow Daphne Dunne has made headlines across the world for being Prince Harry's favourite Aussie! Today, she's turning 99, and you'll never guess who sent her a birthday card... 😍 #9Todaypic.twitter.com/JZNkOhRoyv
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.
On March 15th, Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, and Princess Yoko of Mikasa attended a martial arts tournament hosted by the Imperial Household Police to mark the emperor's 30-year reign. Princess Yoko holds a fifth-dan rank in kendo. 📸 Sankei, NHK pic.twitter.com/bYYnqbPTre
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.
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
On February 22nd, Princess Hisako attended the Takamadonomiya 2018 Hockey Japan League award ceremony at the Tokyo Dome Hotel in Bunkyo, Tokyo. Princess Hisako is Honorary President of the Japan Hockey Association.
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.
Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Princess Kiko participated in a joint event of the 70th National Meeting on Tuberculosis Prevention and the 80th anniversary of the Japanese Association to Combat Tuberculosis at the Chinzanso Tokyo Hotel in Bunkyo, Tokyo. pic.twitter.com/sb2mrP2hnh
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!
It was a great honour to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to the Fashion Museum yesterday. Her Royal Highness toured the museum galleries and viewed one of her own outfits on display - the ensemble she wore to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011 pic.twitter.com/ByPMFyaWkE
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!
Princess Eugenie's bridal gown, complete with a low back at her request to keep a long scar on her back visible, has gone on display in Windsor Castle pic.twitter.com/IPRMK4MIIj
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
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.
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
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.
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.