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; 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats thirty-nine years ago to September 19, 1981 when Prince Hitachi and Princess Hanako visited the United States. For a stop in Denver, Princess Hanko wore a very jaunty Breton hat with two-toned brim.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

Hats From the Past

Royal Hats this photo was shared last week and immediately caught my eye. On February 8, 1992, a quartet of Imperial princesses attended the Kanto Tokai Flower Exhibition.

From left to right we see: Princess Kiko in a black boater with floppy brim; Princess Hisako in a black velvet bumper with pheasant feather trim; Princess Nobuko in a white hat with rolled fur brim; and perhaps most notably, Princess Hanako in a design with black button crown and cream cartwheel brim, trimmed with white pompoms. Your eyes are not deceiving you- those are indeed pompoms!

Click on the photo below to jump to its source on Twitter, and click on it again there to see an enlarged version. There are some great details to check out.

 

Photo from social media as indicated

Imperial Enthronement: Ceremony

The main element in Tuesday’s Imperial Enthronement was the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi, an official proclamation ceremony where the new emperor announces to domestic and foreign audiences that he has ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne.

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This ceremony took place inside the Imperial Palace before a large audience. Emperor Naruhito again appeared in sokutai robes, this time in the dark rust-brown colour reserved for his role, and the distinctive black kanmuri hat.

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Empress Masako wore a traditional “junihitoe” multi-layered kimono which dates back to the Heian Era (794 to 1185). In white, silver, red, coral,  purple, pale peach and green, the kimono is regal and dramatic, especially paired with the the elaborate sculpted sweeping ponytail that is worn with this costume along with a triple pronged golden headpiece.

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Crown Prince Fumihito wore saffron orange sokutai robes and a black kanmuri hat.

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The Imperial princesses also wore the traditional junihitoe with Crown Princess Kiko in shades of red, pink, orange, gold, white and purple, with a top robe in slate navy and the others in layers of green, navy, red, burgundy, yellow and white with a top robe in royal purple. Each wore the traditional spiky gold headpieces atop the costume’s dramatic hairstyle.

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Crown Princess Kiko

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Princess Kako and Princess Mako

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Princess Hanako

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Princess Hanako and Princess Nobuko in front; Princesses Akiko, Yoko, Hisako and Tsuguko in back

On their own, these spiky headpieces and tall hats seem so unusual but somehow, they add to the grandeur and strong sense of history at these events.

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Next up, we’ll look at the hats worn by royal guests.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko in a pale grey repeated bucket hat with kettle brim at the National Junior High School Selection Shogi Championship in Yamagata August 3
On Saturday, August 3, Princess Hisako was in Teshikaga for the “Starry Sky Town, Blue Sky Town” National Convention. She wore a very interesting ivory hat with short brim, coral hatband and tall ivory wrap around the crown that fluted into the shape of a flower.
On Sunday, August 4, she attended the closing ceremony of a national Sea Cadet convention in Tokyo. The blue hat she wore is trimmed with a twist in the same printed fabric as her suit, a slim navy twisted hatband and layered, textured leaves in jade, magenta, chocolate, blue and cream. The scale and shape are so great on her and I adore the pop of colour!


On Tuesday, August 6, Queen Elizabeth officially took up summer residence at Balmoral Castle, inspecting the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the castle gates. She repeated a Rachel Trevor Morgan designed hat first worn last summer– this outing gives a much better view of the silk crepe covered cloche with double hatband (love the punchy contrast of the black hatband) and handmade flowers.
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On Wednesday, August 7, Empress Masako, Crown Princess Kiko, Princess Hanako and Princess Nobuko attended the Florence Nightingale Medal Ceremony, which honors nurses. Empress Masako’s white silk covered bowler features a wide hatband of appliqued lace, Crown Princess Kiko’s ecru hat with mushroom brim is covered in the same jacquard floral print as her suit, Princess Hanako’s repeated white straw hat has a cuffed brim in silk crepe that is slightly elevated on one side and Princess Nobuko’s white hat has a crisply contrasting wide navy silk hatband. You can see these hats in motion at this video clip.


On Thursday, August 8, Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended the King’s Cup Regatta in Cowes to watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in the race. While his parents donned informal baseball hats, Prince George was slightly more commanding in his naval cap.
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On Saturday, August 10th, Princess Tsuguko of Takamado attended the archery finals of the Inter-High School General Sports Championships in Yatsushiro in a striking black and white straw hat.


On Sunday, August 11, members of Queen Elizabeth’s family joined her for Sunday morning service at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in Scotland. The Queen repeated an Angela Kelly designed cream square-crowned cloche with thick hatband in the same pink striped bouclé as her matching suit, trimmed with a pink silk rose. The Duchess of Cornwall repeated a dark mushroom grey formed felt beret trimmed with pheasant feathers. Princess Beatrice of York repeated a cream Gina Foster beret percher trimmed with navy silk flowers and veil.
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Empress Masako in an angular grey silk hat with bumper brim and small bow at the back on Thursday at a WWII commemoration ceremony
Princess Hisako in a pale celery green hat with appliqued lace covered crown and rolled crin brim today to open a new field hockey stadium for next year’s Olympic summer games (notice her field hockey stick necklace!)
Queen Elizabeth attended a craft fair at Crathie Kirk in Scotland today, finally giving us a great view of the turquoise straw hat with double hatband and bows she wore, also in Scotland, back in 2017. Clearly a Rachel Trevor Morgan design, I really like the contrasting stripes on the bow ribbon tails which tie in with Her Majesty’s skirt
1940s inspired hat with deeply pinched black crown and ivory mushroom brim by Australian milliner Carole Maher
Lime sinamay abstract leaf headpiece with ivory bow by Spanish-based British milliner Donna Hartley
Teal button percher with veil, curled quills and multicoloured silk flowers by British milliner Bee Smith
Amazing texture and volume on this ecru silk abaca ruffled bandeau by Australian milliner Rachel Henry
Blush sinamay sidesweep with rose and black feathers and black butterflies by British milliner Bundle MacLaren
Fantastic open-crowned hat covered in red flowers by Irish brand Suzanne Ryan Millinery
Creative take on a classic black and white boater (love the textured brim!) by Australian Brand Monroe Millinery
Tangerine sinamay hat with button base edged in a wide, sleek ruffle by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Raspberry pink straw teardrop beret percher with plume and multicoloured flower by UK brand Miss Ginny Millinery
Teal felt Garbo hat with amazing black embroidered brim by American milliner Behida Dolić
Ivory braided straw vintage Dior-inspired hat with black veil and ribbon by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Oversize ice blue saucer with irredescent blue and silver floral trim by UK brand Guibert Millinery
Pink pyramid of ombre dyed silk round petals trimmed with an ostrich plume by London milliner Awon Golding
Pale apricot sinamay hat with flying bow and quill by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
For our dear gents, a patterned Panama from Christys Hats and deep blue felt fedora from Hornskov København
Wonderful rosette bandeau of sage silk taffeta and blush silk organza by Prudence for Lock & Co. Hatters
And from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, this fabulous grape sinamay percher with pink and scarlet twist. Colourful hats can be difficult to balance but this one is perfect, remaining firmly stylish and modern (no cartoonishness here!). It’s also impeccably finished- note the complete absence of visible seams and crisp edges on the two-toned twist.  So fun!

Condolences to the Dutch royal family as they grieve the loss of Princess Christina (Princess Beatrix’s youngest sister) who died yesterday after a battle with bone cancer. Plans are for a private memorial with her cremated remains going to Fagel’s Garden Pavilion on the grounds of Noordeinde Palace. Read a statement and obituary from the Dutch monarchy here. 
Lovely informal shots of the Spanish Royal Family taken while on their annual vacation in Palma de Mallorca.
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Adorable picture of Lady Sarah McCorquodale and her daughter Celia taken during preparations for Celia’s wedding last summer, for which she wore the Spencer family tiara.
Countess Josephine of Rosenborg (daughter of the late Count Christian of Rosenborg) and Kenneth Schmidt were married on August 8
In an interesting move, the Imperial Household Agency released footage of former Princess Noriko’s music and dance performances (she is an accomplished ballerina), taken before she married. They also announced that her younger sister, the former Princess Ayako, and her husband Kei Moriya are expecting their first child.
We end this week with adorable photos of Princess Anne’s four granddaughters Savannah, Isla, Mia and Lena, enjoying the Festival of British Eventing the first weekend of August at their grandmum’s estate, Gatcombe Park
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Photos from social media as indicated