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 previously worn: 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

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