Imperial New Years Poetry Reading 2020

Members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the annual New Years poetry reading yesterday at the Royal Palace in some colourful and interesting hats.


Crown Princess Kiko repeated a mint green silk covered bumper hat, trimmed with a diamond of the same woven lattice silk as the bodice of her gown.  Princess Mako repeated a pale, ice blue silk floral jacquard covered calot hat with narrow, upturned, cuffed brim. Princess Kako repeated a royal blue silk bumper hat with beaded edge on the top of the upturned brim.

Princess Nobuko wore a new apricot silk covered bumper hat studded with tiny sparkle beads. The silk on the bumper brim is covered in bias stripes, giving a subtle diagonal movement to the design. Princess Akiko topped her cornflower blue gown with a matching hat. The hat’s button crown is covered in what looks like appliqued silk in the same hue, and a slim bumper brim circles the design.

Princess Hisako repeated hat with saddle shaped brim covered in cream silk and an avocado green narrow crown embellished with the same applique cutouts as on her coordinating gown. Green silk flowers and leaves cascade from below the brim’s raised back – a design feature I don’t recall seeing before on a royal hat. Princess Tsuguko also had a new headpiece in teal, gold and taupe with peach silk roses.

This event usually shows us some of the most colourful and memorable Imperial royal hats of the year and yesterday did not disappoint! Which ensembles stand out to you most here?

Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial New Years Lectures 2020

Members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the annual New Years lectures on Tuesday at the Royal Palace.

The Akishino princesses all repeated silk covered hats, Princess Kiko in an ivory bumper hat with gold threaded brocade fabric covering the crown; Princess Mako in her peacock blue wide bandeau with large diamond pattern and multi side bow; and Princess Kaiko in a buttercup yellow bandeau with silk blossoms on the side.

Princess Nobuko repeated an aubergine silk bumper hat with beaded split brim. The colour is divine and I adore the subtle bit of sparkle dressing up the split brim. Princess Akiko repeated a pale blue Breton wrapped in an ostrich feather hatband and frothy veil. Princess Yoko wore an ice blue silk covered bumper hat studded with pears that I don’t think we’ve seen before.

Princess Hisako repeated the peach hat that wowed us at the Imperial inauguration. This improved view of the piece shows it to be a boater base covered in apricot silk. The beaded applique around the neckline of Hisako’s gown is repeated on the top of the crown and the brim is overlaid in ombre dyed layers of silk (maybe layered with crin?). Silk calla lilies in the same ombre shades adorn the side of the hat, studded with pearls. Princess Tsuguko repeated a headpiece of overlapping silk leaves in various shades of purple, trimmed in gold, anchored around the back of her head.

We see few royal events attended in traditional court dress which is a shame, because the combination of gown and hat can be spectacular. Which ensembles stand out to you most here?

Photos from The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; and social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Last Sunday, Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi wore a burgundy velvet bandeau to Giorgio Armani’s Pre-Fall 2020-2021 Collection show.
The same day, Princess Tsuguko wore a hat in pleated pink printed silk with a mini rolled brim to take in the final match of the Japanese Squash Championship in Yokohama.
Also last Sunday, Queen Elizabeth repeated a turquoise straw Rachel Trevor Morgan designed hat to attend church.
On Monday, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako hosted the second Daikyo-no-Gi grand banquet. The Imperial Princesses were in attendance in a colourful array of hats.
On Wednesday, Princess Akiko attended the Japanese Chrysanthemum Flower Festival in Niigata in what looked like a burgundy fedora.
Lady Amelia Windsor shared photos of herself this week sporting casual winter hats- see here and here.
On Thursday, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako arrived in Mie Prefecture for a 3-day visit. For their arrival, Empress Masako wore a white hat with wide, beaded headband and kicky trilby-style brim. Yesterday, the couple visited Ise Grand Shrine to report recent enthronement and Daijosai ceremonies and worship. Arriving there, the empress repeated a cream jacquard silk bumper hat shown below. She and the emperor wore traditional dress for the ceremony (see photos here and here)


The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Spectacular navy & silver pearl covered button percher with sleek feather trim by Irish milliner Teresa Nugent
Scarlet felt hat with pork pie crown, trilby brim and silk hatband
from British milliner Rose Collins
Pale lilac straw saucer with deep purple silk bias binding and bow explosion by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
Interesting cutwork (with peek-a-boo sequins) on this grey felt cloche by German milliner Stefani Garbrecht
Great colour and shape on this deep raspberry felt fedora by British milliner Tracey Miller
Stunning “Climbing Rose” headpiece in pale, tawny pink from Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Russian milliner Denis Gulyaev’s chic take on a trilby in mustard yellow with twisting charcoal floral & net trim
Grey felt unstructured beret with wonderful cut scroll trim by British milliner William Chambers
The most wonderful textured fuchsia and purple buclé fabric covered pillbox by Australian milliner Chris Mullane
Lovely tones in this rust felt fedora with copper hatband & golden feathers by Dutch milliner Amélie D’Hooghvorst
Fantastic denim blue straw bandeau with swirling feather trim by British milliner Isabella Josie
Pair of elegantly trimmed red felt beret perchers from Zambian-Dutch milliner Alice Ng’andwe Vermeulen
Such a darling tan and black houndstooth check cloche by Scottish milliner Maggie Mowbray

And from Surrey-based Karen Geraghty who works under the ‘Mind Your Bonce’ label, this midnight blue beauty with Dior brim and angular crown trimmed with sparkling winter night sky and shooting star.

Lovely group photo captured of the Grimaldi royal family members present at Monaco’s Fête Nationale celebration on Tuesday.
Royal photographer Chris Jackson took the most beautiful portrait of the Duchess of Cornwall this week during her and the Prince of Wales’ visit to New Zealand
We end this week with this gem from Queen Elizabeth.

Photos from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Last Friday, November 8, Princess Beatrix attended a Science Symposium in Leiden in a layered straw hat in shades of blue. On Friday, she commemorated 30 years of children’s rights at the Peace Palace in The Hague in a vibrant green hat. 
Last Saturday, Princess Yoko and Princess Akiko donned eerily similar hats. For the kendo competition at the 68th National Youth Convention, Princess Yoko wore a short-brimmed ivory hat with tall crown and wide melon-hued silk hatband . To opene a national health festival in Princess Akiko  an ivory hat with wider kettle brim and soft peach silk hatband.


The Duchess of Cambridge in a black headband studded with sparkling beads from Zara last Saturday evening at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall
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Another outing for Queen Margrethe’s royal blue beanie hat with black patent leather cuff brim on Wednesday to present “The Queen’s Clock” military award. This hat’s staying power amazes me.
Princess Beatrice supported her cousin, the Duke of Cambridge at a gala for the charity Centre Point in London Wednesday night in an embellished bandeau.
Princess Hisako in a tweed suit and hat with lace trim Wednesday to open an interior design show in Tokyo.
Queen Silvia met with Pope Benedict at the Vatican on Friday in an exquisite black lace edged veil.
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Drottningen besöker i dagarna Vatikanen för att närvara vid en konferens om hur man kan skydda barn från sexuella övergrepp på nätet. På plats finns representanter från cirka 80 internationella organisationer, digitala företag, politiker, jurister och religiösa ledare. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Inför konferensen togs Drottningen emot av Påven i en audiens. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Drottningen genomför besöket inom ramen för sitt engagemang i @worldchildhoodfoundation, som Drottningen grundade 1999. Organisationen arbetar för att förebygga våld och sexuella övergrepp mot barn och utgår från FN:s konvention om barnets rättigheter. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Francesco Sforza/Vatican Media

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Brace yourselves- there’s a lot of new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Black felt hat with wide brim, silk hatband and beautiful red silk poppies by British milliner Tracey Hillel
Love how this neutral taupe felt hat is elevated by lovely pleated silk trim. By Spanish milliner Eugenia Jiménez
Wonderful orange and fuchsia sinamay percher backed with flowers by UK milliner Inna Walker
Winter white felt beret with fantastic jewel tone, swirling pheasant feathers by British brand Layla Leigh Millinery
Striped felt bandeau headpiece with scarlet ombre velvet chrysanthemum by Italian milliner Giulia Mio
Fantastically unexpected lines on this royal blue felt hat with folded ribbon hatband by Czech milliner Jolanta Kotabova
Magnificent interwoven pinwheel headpiece by Australian milliner Angie Jackman
Periwinkle blue felt stylised trilby with modern felt flower by Czech milliner Jolanta Kotabova
Perfectly proportioned ivory felt beret with a little sparkle from Scottish milliner Maggie Mowbray
Australian milliner Jill Humphries takes bandeau headpieces to a whole other level with this pink straw & crin design 
For our dear gents, two perfect fedoras in darker and lighter blue by Danish brand Hornskov København
Winter white felt folded cloche from New Zealand milliner Anel Heyman
Adore this take on a bucket hat- perfect shade of red with a woven crown. From US milliner Genevieve Rose
Aqua crystal encrusted percher with curling dyed feathers by British milliner Victoria Grant
Fantasy halo headpiece of flying jeweled butterflies and lace& leather covered saucer by Irish milliner Deb Fanning
Fabulous Dior brimmed hat in stripes of sequins by Australian milliner
And two show stoppers from from Australian milliners- from Amanda Smith, an amazing hand embroidered pentaptych (5 panel) headpiece and from Erin Bridget, a fabulous Dior brimmed design with stripes of sequins and


Empress Masako sparkled regally last Sunday in a parade through Tokyo from the Imperial Palace to their residence in the Akasaka Estate to mark the recent enthronement.
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Congratulations to Flora Ogilvy, who announced her engagement Wednesday to Swedish-born Timothy Vesterberg.
Sweet snap of Prince Carl Philip with Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel, shared on Swedish Father’s Day
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💜 💜 #farsdag

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Congratulations to Ayako and Kei Moriya, who welcomed a baby boy this morning. He is a first grandchild for Princess Hisako.
I’m curious- how many of you have carved out time today to dig into the third season of The Crown?!

Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Celebrate Daijosai

On Thursday and Friday, enthronement rituals concluded with The Daijosai (Great Thanksgiving Ceremony), a festival that dates back to at least the 7th century and is performed by a new emperor the autumn following his enthronement. This festival was held in temporary Shinto shrine compound called the Daijokyu, composed of nearly 30 buildings (about 6,500 square meters) specially built in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace grounds for the Daijosai. For those of you in Tokyo, this will be opened to the public free between November 21 and December 8 before being dismantled, the wooden building materials being recycled for parks and disaster-prevention facilities.

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The Imperial Household Agency purchased specialty vegetables, fruit and seafood from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures for this festival. Rice was cultivated in two rice paddies in the country’s east and west with the locations determined by divination using turtle shells; special fabrics- hemp from Tokushima and silk from Aichi were also provided.

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The day began with Empress Masako arriving at the royal palace (earlier than the emperor, to prepare her elaborate costume) in a cream silk jacquard printed bumper hat.


For the ritual, the emperor wore white sokutai robes with the distinctive black kanmuri hat.

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The empress wore a traditional “junihitoe” multi-layered kimono, this one in white and peach, along with this Heian Era costume’s triple pronged silver headpiece.

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The Imperial Princess (I’ve spotted Kiko, Mako, Kako and Nobuko and suspect the other Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended) wore a similar metal headpieces but with more delicate, beaded triple prongs (following a tree shape, I think?) and silk cord that loops around the top of the head and hangs down in a multi-bowed tassel on either sides of the face.


The event concluded with a banquet, hosted by the emperor and empress. The Imperial Princesses were in attendance, the Akishinos in cuffed calot hats, Princess Nobuko in a teal button percher, Princess Akiko in a brimmed cream hat, Princess Yoko in a pale blue percher, Princess Hisako in a green saucer with cream brim and flowers around the raised back, and Princes Tsuguko in a petal trimmed peach bumper.

Photos from Getty as indicated