This Week’s Extras

Queen Silvia celebrated Swedish National Day, along with the king, in Ludvika last Thursday in a repeated ivory felt calot hat with silk flower and brown feather trim. Festivities later in the day saw the Queen and adult princesses in folk costume with traditional white cotton folded hats.

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Also on Thursday, Prince Harry was in uniform to preside over the annual Founder’s Day Parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea (a retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army). Royal Hospital residents, known as Chelsea Pensioners, wore their distinctive tri-corn hats.
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On Thursday, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko conducted rites related to the abdication at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Tokyo. The empress emerita repeated a slate grey veiled saucer with knotted bow.
On Saturday, members of the Imperial royal family attended the 5th anniversary memorial ceremony for Prince Katsura. The Imperial royal women, who included the Empress, the late Prince’s mother, Princess Yoriko and sister,  Yasuko Konoe (formerly Princess Yasuko of Mikasa) all wore black hats.


Infanta Elena and her father, King Juan Carlos, attended the men’s singles final match yesterday at the French Open Tennis tournament in Paris in summery straw fedora hats
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Wonderful dusky pink embellished bandeau (see the detail!) by Scottish label Angels and Insects Edinburgh
Exquisite veil on this black button percher with white silk flowers from British brand Lock & Co.
Elegant coral sinamay teardrop with crin layered bow by Irish milliner Edel Black
Fantastic pink straw boater with animated bow & hand-dyed pheasant feathers from British milliner Ian Bennett
Adore the shape and movement on this royal blue straw veiled headpiece by Irish brand Marc Millinery
Wonderful black percher with white oversize pinwheel flower by London-based Spanish milliner Rafa Peinador
Prettiest textured straw button percher with ombre straw ruffle by British milliner Ellie Vallerini
Trios of lovely lilac and pale grey designs by Italian milliner Guiliana Mio
Love the unique swirling curves this denim blue straw design from British label John Boyd
Cream straw button percher with amazing ombre fuchsia & aubergine crin trim by British milliner Tracy Miller
White and yellow marabou feather fluff hat by London-based milliner Awon Golding

Great family photo released by the Danish court on the occasion of Prince Joachim’s 50th birthday

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates an incredible 98th birthday today and I’m sure you join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays.
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And finally, Royal Ascot is only a week away…

 

Photos from social media as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hatsto this day in 1973, 46 years ago, and an Imperial visit to Australia that saw the then Crown Princess Michiko in a halo hat with graphic pattern on the brim.

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Embed from Getty Images

Photo from Getty as indicated

Emperor and Empress Close Reign With Events in Tokyo

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have been busy this week, the final week before the emperor’s abdication next Tuesday, with a series of events in Tokyo. On Tuesday, two days ago, the couple visited the Mausoleum of Emperor Showa (Emperor Akihito’s late father) to report the upcoming abdication. For this rite, Empress Michiko repeated a charcoal grey disc hat with knotted bow and black dotted veil.

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I think this is new.Interestingly, she has a similar one in black that we’ve seen a few times (here and here and here) over the past two decades.
Later that same day, the emperor and empress visited Takao Mikoromo Seido, a temple for victims of work accidents. For this visit, Empress Michiko repeated her silver shantung silk rimmed saucer hat with flecked charcoal grey double bow in the same fabric as her jacket. The sheen on the base of the hat, thanks to that shantung silk, is so pretty.
Yesterday, the couple visited the Luxembourg Embassy to offer condolences on the death of Grand Duke Jean. Empress Michiko repeated a mini pillbox variation with raised height around the front, trimmed with a simple, fanning black silk and dotted net veil.

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Jan 7, 2019; June 25, 2014; and likely others

Today, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the Midori Academic awards ceremony. For this final official engagement of the Heisei period (the emperor’s reign), the empress repeated a hat we have much admired in recent weeks. Covered in oyster silk, this saucer features an ivory crin lattice underbrim and layered bow two-toned bow, trimmed in darker grey silk piping. The detailed view of the hat, below, shows the silk covering it (and on the empress’ suit) is woven with a metallic thread woven, giving it the most beautifully gentle sparkle.

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Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: April 17, 2019March 26, 2019

Like many of you, my awareness of the Imperial royal family has grown during the later years of the emperor’s reign and my knowledge of the Chrysanthemum throne is limited at best. I have come to know Empress Michiko through her hats and have come to appreciate them and their wearer for their quiet elegance. I’m sure you join me in wishing this couple a smooth transition into their new role and the ability to truly enjoy a restful retirement which they have earned.

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

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.

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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.

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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 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 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵

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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
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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.
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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
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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.

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Happy Birthday 🎂 ❤️🎈

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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.
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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.

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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!


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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
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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