This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko in a charcoal cloche with wide burgundy hatband on Monday for the National University Rugby final

Nicholas and Alina Medforth-Mills and Princess Tatiana of Greece shared snaps enjoying time outdoors in warm knit winter hats
Buckle up- there’s a long parade of new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Adore the graphic and colourful hatband on this lemon-lime felt split-crown fedora by US milliner Kristin Silverman
Wonderful hand painted flowers on this pink leather bandeau by Australian milliner Milano Imai
Ivory straw hugger wit black dotted veil studded with feathers by Irish milliner Marie Galvin
Lovely shapes on this blue cloche with leather bands and this felt floral-trimmed bandeau by Italian brand Nadine Millinery
Statement leopard print fedora with asymmetrical brim by British milliner Carrie Jenkinson
Channeling spring with this floral embroidered bandeau from UK brand Emily London
Fantastic texture on this handwoven (not knitted!) wool beret by American milliner Jennifer Hoertz

The prettiest picture hat in layered grey and aqua straw with stacked hatband and lilies by British milliner Kerry Kernan
For our dear gents, a handsome olive Pork Pie hat with lighter green hatband & wind cord by Hornskov København
Dimensional laser printed flowers on the brim of this electric blue Garbo hat by Italian brand Borsalino
Black bound ivory felt cloche with flyaway cutout brim and back twist by Romanian brand Decorina
Deep red velvet bandeau with statement side silk flower and veil by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Ivory felt embroidered fedora with yellow and peacock blue layered hatbands by American milliner Cassie MacGregor
Absolutely wonderful ribbon pleating on these colourful berets by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit

Palest slate blue wool beret with lace applique, embroidery and dimensional silk flowers by French brand Katoushti
Black and tan woven boater with pearl brooch studded hatband and statement bow by British milliner Felicity Gee
Firey tropical floral trim on this ivory straw saucer hat by French milliner Céline Tastevin
Gold lattice embroidered halo bandeau headpiece trimmed in pearls by British brand Stephanie Elizabeth Millinery
Adore the curving seams on this red wool cloche with leather panels by British milliner Karen Henriksen
Sleek petrol blue felt fedora with side knot and saucy angled brim by American milliner Laura Del Villaggio
From British milliner Yuan Li, an uplifting message in ombre-dyed rainbow straw

Charming photos of King Harald and Queen Sonja (at home like all the rest of us!) released to mark the 30th anniversary of the King’s accession today.

Have you seen Carolina Piteira’s recently completed portrait of Queen Elizabeth? It’s so lovely.

Images from social media as indicated

Imperial Crown Prince Proclaimed

Last Sunday, the Imperial royal family celebrated Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi, the final ceremony in the Emperor’s enthronement that officially proclaims the new crown prince which had been postponed seven months due to the global pandemic.

Empress Masako arrived early in the morning to prepare for the day of ceremonies in her oyster silk covered bumper hat.

Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Kiko followed an hour later, Kiko in a pale lime silk jacquard floral gown with matching calot hat. The cuffed brim on this hat is covered in wide bias stripes of smooth silk and silk smocked in the same fine pattern as the waist on Kiko’s dress. This smocking gives some textural dimension to the hat, especially when punctuated with the small shiny silk stripe between each section. While a subtle detail, it is impeccably executed and once again, shows incredible quality and millinery skill.

At eleven o’clock that morning, the Imperial royal family gathered for the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony where the new Crown Prince was officially proclaimed. Emperor Naruhito and Crown Prince Akishino wore traditional sokutai robesand the distinctive black kanmuri hat. Empress Masako and Crown Princess Kiko wore junihitoe multi-layered kimonos with the triple pronged golden headpiece and elaborate sculpted sweeping ponytail that is worn with this costume.


Members of the extended Imperial Royal family were in attendance, the ladies in court dress (gowns and hats).

Princess Mako repeated a blush dotted silk jacquard gown and matching bumper brimmed calot hat. Princess Kako repeated a scarlet bandeau headpiece trimmed with silk flowers.
Princess Mako’s hat previously worn: Nov 16, 2019; Jan 13, 2017; December 23, 2015;
Princess Kako’s hat previously worn: Feb 23, 2020; Oct 25, 2019
Princess Hanako topped her apple silk gown with a matching saucer percher hat with pleated rim, embellished with ivory feathers and silk leaves. Princess Nobuko wore a bandeau headpiece covered in periwinkle blue silk, trimmed with feather flowers on the side.
Princess Nobuko’s hat previously worn: Feb 23, 2020
Princess Akiko of Mikasa wore a lemon yellow bumper hat wrapped in a swath of pleated crin and trimmed with a spray of silk flowers across the back. Princess Yoko repeated a pale coral textured pillbox.
Princess Akiko’s hat previously worn: Oct 25, 2019; Apr 10, 2019
Princess Yoko’s hat previously worn: Oct 25, 2019Apr 10, 2019
Princess Hisako wore a standout hat with crown in the same vibrant green silk as the cuffs on her gown. The hat’s cartwheel brim appears to be  covered in overlapping ombre leaves and an overlay of veil. Princess Tsuguko repeated her burgundy bumper hat with veil and side silk floral trim.
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Princess Hisako’s hat: I believe this hat is new
Princess Tsuguko’s hat previously worn: Apr 30, 2019; Feb 26, 2019; Jan 10, 2018 
Following the ceremony, the Crown Prince and Princess worshipped at Kashiko-dokoro shrine which is located on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. They were joined by several of the Imperial princesses who wore pale gowns and repeated ivory hats.

That evening, the emperor, empress, crown prince and princess took part in the Choken-no-Gi (First Audience ceremony), the women in glittering diamond parures complete with impressive tiaras.

The vibrant hats worn by the Imperial princesses at the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi stood out to me- weren’t they wonderful?!
Photos from social media as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; 

This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko participated in a bell-ringing ceremony at Zojoji Temple on September 21 in a white cotton cloche hat.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Grey straw picture hat with wired feather boa brim by US brand Suzanne Couture Millinery
Jewel toned velvet bandeau headpieces with beautiful embroidery by British milliner Lucy Bowler
Navy fedora with large felt twists and inky feathers by German brand Hartung Anneliese
Red straw hat with crin brim extension that rolls into a rosette by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
Blue feather embroidered teardrop nestled within a floral laser cut saucer by Irish milliner Susan Magee
Glamorous autumn hat in leopard printed felt with graphic layered hatbands by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Striking cereulean blue felt button percher with silver stripe and bow by British brand NDLQ Millinery
Red leather teardrop percher with ruffle trim by Australian milliner Rachel Henry
Notable blue and green painted felt hat with green wool pompoms by Israeli milliner Maor Zabar
Bandeau headpieces of overlapping bows by British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan
Large navy straw saucer with luminescent lime bow by US brand Art Of Hats Studio
Grey felt modified cloche trimmed with stamps by German milliner Antje Lücke (see the inspiration & front view here)

Statement black feather and flower headpiece by Australian milliner Cynthia Jones-Bryson
Original floral printed straw (hand doodled!) fedora by British milliner Ian Bennett
Midnight blue velvet halo bandeau with silk flower spray and veil by British milliner Justine Bradley-Hill
Red leather teardrop percher with ruffle trim by Australian milliner Rachel Henry
Pale grey spotted straw freeform floral headpiece with lovely lightness by British milliner Marie-Anne Talbott
Beautiful floral headpiece made from used coffee pods! By Singapore brand Heads of State Millinery.

Congratulations to Flora Ogilvy and Timothy Vesterberg who were  privately married at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace last Saturday. Her beautifully streamlined dress was by Emilia Wickstead.
We end this week with the most charming interview with questions posed by the three little Cambridge nuggets to Sir David Attenborough

Photos from social media as indicated

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