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.
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

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 hat with clamshell-shaped bumper brim with ostrich feather trim. This view shows the design is completed with a bow at the back. 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 an 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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Embed from Getty Images
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

Princess Hanako Returns To Public Life

After several months out of the public eye to treat  lumbar spondylosis, it was wonderful to see Princess Hanako out and about today at the 42nd Asia-Pacific Festival and Charity Bazaar in Tokyo. For this visit, she wore a spring green suit with matching hat, covered in the same fabric. A modified bowler, the hat features a rounded crown and flat brim, whimsically trimmed with a wide swath of dotted white veil. The veil trim does wonders to lift the hat, which is a rather staid shape on its own, as does the colour.

Apr 18, 2018 | Royal Hats   Apr 18, 2018 | Royal Hats

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

It’s so lovely to see Princess Hanako again- I’m sure you join me in wishing her the very best in her continued recovery. What do you think of her fresh green hat today?

Photos fromAsahi and Mainichi  

Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

The Imperial royal ladies have been on a vibrant and creative streak with their millinery the past week and a half, something I thought we needed to admire in a dedicated post. Brace yourselves, dearest readers, for some saturated colour!

On  December 1st, the Imperial House Council met to set the date of Emperor Akihito’s abdication for April 30, 2019. Princess Hanako attended the meeting in the most unusual and unique of hats. The design builds on a silk covered helmet shaped base with a very short, flat brim over which lies a voluminous wrap of loosely pleated dark green organza. The design is further trimmed with a vine of green silk leaves wrapped over the crown. It’s a little out there in terms of royal hat designs we’ve seen this year and that it appeared on an Imperial royal head makes me happier than I can express. We’ve called for Imperial royal millinery experimentation and dearest readers- THIS IS IT! Yes, the shape is odd and not terribly flattering but it’s not a standard bowler hat in a pale pastel. The colour is lovely on Hanako and while don’t particularly like the avant garde design, I absolutely adore that Hanako wore it. Happy claps.

Dec 1, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 7, 2017 | Royal Hats

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

Last Tuesday, December 5, another jewel toned hat appeared at an Imperial royal function. For a Tokyo ceremony honouring individuals making significant contributions in support for persons with disabilities, Crown Princess Masako donned an deep purply-burgundy felt hat with oxblood pleated hatband in the same fabric as her suit. The brim on this design is a little larger than Masako usually wears and the larger scale is a great change on her. It’s a simple hat but the classically elegant shape is one that works really well for Masako. More happy claps!

Dec 5, 2017 | Royal Hats  Dec 5, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Nov 10, 2014; Nov 18, 1996

Last Thursday, December 7, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a ceremony marking completion of Tokyo’s new public square New Square in front of Tokyo Station. For this event, the Empress repeated an apricot hued flat saucer hat with hound’s tooth bow and silk flower. It’s not my favourite colour on her but it’s also not grey, something I’m always happy to see! The link between the hat base, the lapels and sleeve panel on the jacket and the skirt does make for a characteristically unified ensemble and the high contrast pattern adds a bit of punch. Happy claps again.

Dec 7, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 7, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: March 28, 2014
Last Saturday, on the occasion of her 54th birthday, Princess Masako paid a customary visit to the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Royal Palace. For this visit, she repeated a simple bumper hat covered in blue silk. This style and colour is a more traditional choice but there’s something so calmly beautiful about the subtle sheen on the smooth edges of this hat that makes me really like it on Masako. 
Dec 9, 2017 | Royal Hats 
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2015
And finally, yesterday Princess Hisako attended the 130th anniversary of the Japan Red Cross Society Aichi Prefecture Branch. For her visit to a blood collection center and keynote address at the celebration ceremony, HIsako topped her ice blue jaquard patterned suit with a matching bowler hat variation covering in the same fabric. The hat is trimmed with a slim blue silk hatband that links to the collar on her suit, and a blue net veil wrap studded in blue silk leaves. The leaves on the veil is make an interesting textural addition that I’ve not seen closeup before and their effect keep me going in for a closer look- not something that Imperial royal hats often inspire me to do. I’m not such a fan of the repeated pattern on both the suit and hat but the leaf studded net wrap somehow makes it work.
Dec 12, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 12, 2017 | Royal Hats
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: September 8, 2015May 13, 2015
Dearest readers, there is much here to discuss. We’ve got interesting shape, different proportions and unexpected colour. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these hats!