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

Masako Supports Red Cross For First Solo Engagement As Empress

Empress Masako, Crown Princess Kiko, Princess Hanako, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako enjoyed a joint engagement today at the Japanese Red Cross Society’s annual meeting in Tokyo. For Masako’s first solo official duty as empress, she repeated a cream bowler variation hat with domed, straight-sided crown and upturned kettle brim, trimmed with a wide navy hatband folded into a flat bow at the back. It’s a prim hat that pairs well with her navy and cream suit.



Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This is tricky by my guess is it’s the same as the one worn May 26, 2018

Crown Princess Kiko repeated a bumper hat covered in the same finely striped ice blue silk as a matching suit. Bias placement on the brim give a diagonal contrast to the stripes, breaking up the one-note ensemble. Views from this hat’s last outing show it also has a small posy of silk flowers tucked behind the brim on one side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 26, 2016

Princess Hanako repeated her ecru square crowned hat with double sidesweeping brim, simply trimmed with a wide silk hatband in the same colour. The brim shape and tall, angular crown are elements we don’t often see on Imperial royal hats and Hanako caries it very well.

Designer: 
Previously Worn: May 13, 2015; July 10, 2014 

Princess Nobuko paired a white hat with flat crown and rolled brim with her blue silk, the two pieces drawn together with a blue silk hatband and side bow.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Princess Hisako repeated a pale grey hat with flat crown and gently curved saddle brim. The hat appears to have undergone tweaking since its first appearance last fall- gone is the flat hatband in the same fabric as the matching jacquard suit and in its place are stacked applique cutouts from the floral fabric (maybe with some lace as well?). The resulting 3D hatband gives fantastic interest and dimension to the small scaled hat and leaves me wondering why such embellishment isn’t seen on hats, more.

Designer: 
Previously Worn: October 1, 2018

I can’t imagine that the all cream and blue/grey palate worn by the Empress and Imperial princesses is a coincidence and one wonders the behind-the-scenes logistics that accompanies such planning (I suppose the Empress can’t wake up and say, “No, I think I’ll wear the pink instead….”!). Thoughts about this quintet of Imperial royal hats?

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

Imperial Enthronement

On the day following Emperor Akihito’s abdication, Emperor Naruhito was enthroned yesterday in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo attended by the royal family. The Imperial princesses all wore sparkling tiaras (jump over to this post at The Court Jeweller for an excellent review of the tiaras). Crown Princess Kiko appeared, for the first time, in the Crown Princess Parure with scrolled tiara while Empress Masako looked wonderfully regally (and beamingly happy) in the the Meiji Tiara, a tiara reserved for the empress.

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Following the enthronement ceremony, Imperial family members greeted the new Imperial couple (see this in full in the first embedded video at the bottom). Crown Princess Kiko paired her cream jacquard silk gown with a matching bumper hat, covered in the same fabric and simply trimmed with an embroidered cuff at the back. Princess Mako repeated her seafoam cream bandeau-calot, covered in the same dotted silk as her gown. The hat is beautifully finished with a bias silk binding and spray of silk flowers on the right side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe Crown Princess Kiko’s hat is new. Princess Mako’s hat was worn February 24, 2019; September 4, 2017

Princess Kako repeated her buttercup yellow padded bandeau headpiece. The design is covered in the same floral jacquard silk as her gown and trimmed with silk blooms behind her ears. Princess Hanako of Hitachi was also in yellow silk with a statement hat. The straw base of this design has a rolled brim that looks to be covered, on both sides, with tiny, individual silk blossoms and is finished with a feather pouf at the back.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Princess Mako’s hat was worn February 26, 2019; February 24, 2019;October 20, 2018; January 14, 2015 I believe Princess Hanako’s hat is new.

Princess Yuriko of Mikasa wore a slate blue silk covered pillbox embellished twisted silk roses and leaves. Princess Nobuko of Mikasa topped her oxblood lace gown with a lace and silk organza striped turban trimmed with a large flower with wired starburst organza petals on the side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I don’t believe we’ve seen either hat before

Princess Akiko repeated her pink silk gown and crescent bandeau headpiece. Yesterday’s video finally gives us a view at the bandeau’s detail, showing a wonderful lattice pattern woven in silk ribbon anchored with pearls. Princess Yoko continued with more millinery surprises, topping her flowing gown with a percher hat in pink silk, worn on the right side of her yead. The design looks to be trimmed with cream beads- a detail we’ll have to wait for a better angled look to see for certain.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Princess Akiko’s headpiece was worn January 11, 2018; I believe Princess Yoko’s hat is new

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her vibrant cereulean blue silk gown with a matching domed bumper hat. The upturned edge of the brim is covered in matching blue feathers and there looks to be a spray of silk flowers on the right side of the design. Princess Tsuguko repeated a purple floral headpiece that wraps around the right side of her head- a headpiece I can’t wait to see in greater detail!

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe Princess Hisako’s hat is new. Princess Tsuguko wore this headpiece January 16, 2019 (I still think it’s a reworked version of the headpiece she wore January 14, 2015)

Finally, the new emperor and empress ended the day with a return to the Imperial Palace to greet Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko. For this visit, Empress Masako donned a bumper hat covered in the same dotted jaquard silk print as her warm ivory hued gown. The left side of the brim is beautifully draped in four pleats that echo a simlar detail on the gown’s waist- subtle touches, indeed, but ones that are impeccably executed.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

There seems to be an overall feeling of goodwill toward the emperor and empress- I’m sure you join me in wishing them the very best as they transition into their new roles.

Photos from Getty as indicated; Newsletter Communication Center

Abdication Marks Start of Reiwa Era

The 30-year Heisei reign officially ended today with the abdication of Emperor Akihito. The abdication ceremony was held in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.


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Crown Princess Masako looked radiant in an exquisite new hat. The design features a domed crown covered in pearlescent silk and a lace covered bumper brim- the same scroll patterned lace as was on her gown. The hat shape works well with the high collared gown and the pieces combine to make an elegant and very regal look.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat news

Princess Kiko repeated a bumper hat in palest celery green silk. The raised brim is overlaid in the same lace as on Kiko’s gown. I prefer Kiko in more saturated colours but it’s not surprising to see her in a pale hue for such high profile events. The lace overlay on the hat’s brim provides a lovely, textural frame around Kiko’s face.


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: December 23, 2014

Princess Mako repeated a cuffed calot hat covered in the same ice blue floral printed jacquard silk as her gown. The blue silk flowers that adorned this hat at its first outing are visible in the photo below.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 15, 2016

Princess Kako repeated a royal blue bumper hat with brim edge embroidered with the same royal blue bugle beads that trim the basque waist of her gown.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 10, 2015

Princess Hanako wore a pillbox hat with domed crown, wrapped in a pleated silk wrap (or bumper brim?) and trimmed with a multi-looped bow. I believe this hat is new (the gown was paired, at its last outing, with a different hat). Princess Hisako repeated the deep purple bumper hat with ostrich feather pouf at the back we last saw her wear at the 2015 New Year’s Poetry Readings. Princess Tsuguko repeated the burgundy silk covered beret she wore for the 30th anniversary celebration of the emperor’s reign back in February. This view shows lavish floral and feather trim on the side of the design and a burgundy net veil that, I suspect, swaths the entire hat.

Princess Yoko topped her mint green silk gown with a matching veiled percher hat worn at a wonderfully rakish angle on the side of her head. The ensemble has a vintage, 1940s vibe to it that she wears very well. Princess Akiko repeated her lime-yellow silk gown with matching bumper hat with what looks like inlaid silk stripes on the side of the raised brim. Princess Nobuko paired her pale sage green silk gown with a matching brimless hat trimmed with a large ecru silk flower and veil. Princess Yuriko (Yoko and Akiko’s grandmother) repeated her deep eggplant purple, low profile bumper hat with bow at the back.

The Imperial royals know how to do retrained, elegant looks better than any other royal house and today was no exception. You can watch highlights of today’s abdication ceremony here along with commentary and an interesting overview of the Emperor’s life (start at 12:00). In recent days, NHK World also broadcast a 3-part documentary on Emperor Emeritus Akihito that I found informative, enjoyable and highly recommend:

Part I: Emperor of A Defeated Nation
Part 2: The Two Of Us
Part 3: The Symbol Of A Nation

The Reiwa reign of Emperor Naruhito began at the stroke of midnight (Japanese time) on May 1. His enthronement ceremony will follow tomorrow.

Photos from Getty as indicated; Kyodo News, Kyodo News and Kyodo News via Getty; NHK World

This Week’s Extras

Last Friday, April 5, Princess Beatrice visited the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre in a black leather bandeau headpiece. While it looks eerily similar to one recently worn by her sister, the two pieces are different (the central knot on this bandeau is visibly bigger).

On Wednesday, members of the Imperial Royal Family visited the Emperor and Empress to offer congratulations on their 60th wedding anniversary. All the princesses were in hats- Crown Princess Masako in a repeated cream pleated bumper; Princesses Kiko, Mako and Kako in cuffed calot hats; Princess Hanako in a pink brimmed hat with ruffled feather trim; and Princess Yuriko in a green silk covered bumper hat with side flower.
 
Princess Nobuko repeated a green silk bumper hat with lace covered crown and Princess Akiko wore a yellow silk bumper hat previously worn by Princess Hanako. Princess Yoko repeated her peach textured pillbox, Princess Tsuguko repeated her peach silk bumper with pleated leaf motif around the outside brim and Princess Hisako repeated a royal blue silk ensemble with bumper hat.
King Carl Gustaf in his trusty fedora on Thursday for a visit to a solar farm
Crown Princess Mette-Marit shared these snaps of her family enjoying a day out skiing
The Cambridges were spotted at Burnham Market international horse trials in Norfolk where they joined Mike and Mia Tindall to watch Zara compete. Prince William sported a natty flat cap.
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Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!! Oh my goodness!!! . On Friday, the two families joined up to watch Zara compete in the Burnham Market International Horse Trials in Norfolk. Look at Mia holding her godfather’s ears! An onlooker said: “They were just like any other family, enjoying a day out and having a lovely time. There were no tantrums thrown by the kids and they all seemed very down to earth. A few people noticed them, but generally everyone just carried on as normal” #littlecambridges #babycambridges #littlewindsors #zaraandmike #zaratindall #zaraphillips #miketindall #miatindall #dukeofcambridge #princewilliam #duchessofcambridge #katemiddleton #catherineduchessofcambridge #dukeandduchessofcambridge #williamandkate #princegeorge #princesscharlotte #princelouis #princeharry #duchessofsussex #meghanduchessofsussex #meghanmarkle #royalfamily #theroyalfamily #britishroyalfamily #britishmonarchy #britishroyals #britishroyalty #houseofwindsor

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Princess Charlene was at the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday to attend her namesake race day annual event. She topped her royal blue dress and bolero jacket by Terrence Bray with a black floral and crin fascinator
Rachel Trevor Morgan, Noel Stewart and Edwina Ibbotson have curated a hat exhibition ‘Unveiled- The Craft of Millinery’ that will be open May 8-12 in London (May 8-10 at the Artworkers Guild and May 11-12 at Fenwick of Bond Street). Featuring the work of 14 milliners, the exhibition will also include workshops and a curators talk you can register to attend here. Also launched this week was this year’s Royal Ascot Millinery Collective. So lovely to see an Australian milliner (Jill Humphries of Jill and Jack Millinery in Melbourne) included in this year’s lineup!
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Autumnal orange felt sidesweep with fantastic feathers by Australian milliner Neil Grigg
Luxuriously smooth lines on this pale pink leather percher with bow by British milliner Fi Graham
Whimsical wired floral black headpiece of dotted net by Australian milliner Lisa Hughes
Eye catching oversize purple straw saucer with orange straw twists by UK brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Love the classic 50s vibe on Jane Taylor’s white straw and black patent braided pyramid hat
Adore the movement on this royal blue feather headpiece from Melbourne-based Jill and Jack Millinery
Punchy black and citrus yellow scheme on this floral trimmed black straw percher by British milliner Jess Collett
Beautiful cream straw sidesweep with golden peach flying bow by British milliner Vivien Sheriff
Orange straw fez with orange & fuchsia sleek square flowers by Irish brand Martha Lynn Millinery
Bold navy felt halo headband with pinwheel bloom and curling quills by UK brand Hatonista Millinery

And from British milliner Natasha Mobey, this wonderfully creative handwoven basket of straw folded cranes, created for London Hat Week.

This summer’s special exhibit at Buckingham Palace focuses on Queen Victoria’s reign with a wonderful look at pieces from the 1851 Stuart Ball.
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Lovely portrait of Princess Ariane released Wednesday for her 12th birthday
Sweet snap of three generations of Swedish royals enjoying their visit to the Schönbruun Zoo in Vienna, Austria

Photos from FNN; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun

Imperial Royals Celebrate Emperor’s 30th Anniversary

January 7, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum throne. This anniversary was officially marked yesterday with a series of celebrations, beginning with the Emperor and Empress receiving family members, all in formal daytime court dress, at the Imperial Royal Palace. Crown Princess Masako repeated a blue silk bumper hat- a short video clip shows this piece has an interesting twisted brim around the back, something I don’t think we’ve been able to see until now.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2018; Dec 9, 2017; Dec 9, 2015
Princess Kiko wore a cuffed calot hat covered in peach silk that I think is a new design for her. Princess Mako repeated the bandeau calot she wore on the day of her engagement announcement back in September 2017. Not visible here, the piece is trimmed with silk roses and leaves on the right side. It’s an interesting choice, particularly as her dotted silk gown has previously been worn with a matching bespoke calot covered in the same fabric. Princess Kako repeated her soft yellow spadded bandeau trimmed with a trio of silk blossoms on the bottom of each side, tucked behind her ears. Check out this bandeau’s previous outings on October 20, 2018 or January 14, 2015 for a better view. 


I believe Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet bowler hat with raised brim around the back, trimmed with ostrich feathers (and is that a bow I see?). Princess Yuriko of Mikasa (grandmother to Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko) wore a low-profile bumper hat in deep eggplant purple with ribbon detail on the back. 

Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore a n open ring-shaped headpiece wrapped in green velvet. Princess Akiko topped her blue silk suit (with beautiful cutwork collar and yoke) with a matching silk rolled brim hat trimmed with ostrich feathers and blue veil. Princess Yoko’s tall, pale gray-green silk hat with high cuffed bumper brim had a retro 1960s feel, amplified by its placement on the back of her head. 

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her textured pale lilac suit with a matching flat crowned hat with double brim, the outer one wrapped in the same fabric as her suit. Princess Tsuguko was also in a flat-crowned design, her repeated peach silk hat trimmed in looped peach fabric around the bumper brim.

The Emperor and Empress then attended an event hosted by the Japanese government at National Theatre in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her slightly domed saucer hat covered in pale pink silk with white lattice crin underbrim, beautifully trimmed with silk cherry blossoms and a luminous silk bow

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While the hat is not unlike Michiko’s other hats in terms of shape and scale, the colour is a slight departure (so good, right?!) and the trim is simply lovely. It’s a good hat for her as saucer hats go and I’m glad she chose something outside her usual grey palate for this celebration.
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Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Nov 14, 2018

The evening saw a dinner at the Imperial Palace (Crown Princess Masako arrived in plum and Princess Kiko in vibrant blue) while today, most of the extended Imperial royal family was seen at a formal tea party. These photos certainly don’t show great view of these hats- despite these shortcomings, do any hats stand out to you?

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

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1965 when Princess Hanako, who was on a ten day official visit to London with Prince Hitachi, donned a fur hat for a visit to Buckingham Palace.

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Photo from Getty as indicated