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 wore a new 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, Princess Kako was spotted arriving at the Imperial Royal Palace to greet her grandparents on the occasion of her 25th birthday.
Also last Sunday, Princess Hisako attended the national Women’s Football Championship final in a chocolate bowler variation with interesting black knotted felt hatband. On January 1st, she attended the Emperor’s Cup football match in an ecru bumper hat with fur brim and side bow.


Members of the Norwegian royal family wore simple bandeau headpieces (some in pink, presumably a statement of hope) for yesterday’s funeral of Ari Behn. Princess Laurentien wore a sleek black turban-style hat. You can also read Princess Märtha Louise’s touching statement, released last night, here.


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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Statement folded star headpiece by British milliner Bee Smith
Elegant brimless blocked hat in oxblood felt by Russian milliner Lia Gureeva
Dark green ruffled velvet bandeau by UK brand Camilla Rose Millinery
White button percher with wonderful printed twists by Hong Kong-based Irish milliner Noeleen

Lovely picture of the Emperor and Empress Emeritus and their family, taken in mid-December
Amazing new photo of Queen Elizabeth and the UK’s future 3 kings released to celebrate this new decade
New Year portrait greeting from the Luxembourg royal family

Photos from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Great grey veiled hat on Princess Hisako last Sunday for a visit to Omiwa Shrine
The Japanese emperor and empress visited Nara and Kyoto this week. For their arrival on Tuesday, Empress Masko repeated a white silk bowler hat with  beaded hatband. For mausoleum visits on Wednesday, she wore a smart (new, I think) pale grey hat with short, upturned brim and horizontally pleated crown.


On Thursday, Princess Nobuko wore a fun dark blue crowned hat with black fur (maybe faux fur?) brim studded with tiny grey cut feathers to attend the 130th anniversary ceremony of the Japanese Red Cross Society in Yamanashi.
Also on Thursday, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako hosted a tea party for 600 people at Kyoto Imperial Palace. Empress Masako’s pale blue hat has a lovely wave sculpted into the upturned brim. Later that day, she wore a cream hat with short, kettle brim with wide, double layered peach silk hatband for her and the emperor’s return to Tokyo.


The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Gently waved shape on this burgundy felt formed cap by Italian brand Galia et Peter
Wonderful white saucer of free-hand wired roses by Australian milliner Lisa Hughes
Absolutely exquisite feather work on this deep inky blue percher by UK-based milliner Guilia Mio
Such a lovely shape on this camel felt upturned brim design by British milliner Jane Taylor
Love the sparkling beaded veil on this black felt boater by Irish milliner Aiofe Harrison
Sunrise on a hat! Orange and red straw, crin and floral percher by Australian brand Locopa Designs
Fantastic movement on this charcoal felt percher with flying tails by British milliner Dillon Wallwork

And from Australian milliner Georgia Skelton, this lilac straw pyramid shaped hat with jaw-droppinghandmade open lattice brim.



Princess Aiko turns 18 tomorrow and to celebrate, the Imperial court released this video.
And because a giggle is always welcome, we end this week with a delightful anecdote told by Lady Pamela Hicks about her aging former Nanny and the Queen.
View this post on Instagram

A rather good Nanny story-

A post shared by India Hicks (@indiahicksstyle) on

Photos from 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

Imperial Royals Celebrate Daijosai

On Thursday and Friday, enthronement rituals concluded with The Daijosai (Great Thanksgiving Ceremony), a festival that dates back to at least the 7th century and is performed by a new emperor the autumn following his enthronement. This festival was held in temporary Shinto shrine compound called the Daijokyu, composed of nearly 30 buildings (about 6,500 square meters) specially built in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace grounds for the Daijosai. For those of you in Tokyo, this will be opened to the public free between November 21 and December 8 before being dismantled, the wooden building materials being recycled for parks and disaster-prevention facilities.

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The Imperial Household Agency purchased specialty vegetables, fruit and seafood from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures for this festival. Rice was cultivated in two rice paddies in the country’s east and west with the locations determined by divination using turtle shells; special fabrics- hemp from Tokushima and silk from Aichi were also provided.

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The day began with Empress Masako arriving at the royal palace (earlier than the emperor, to prepare her elaborate costume) in a cream silk jacquard printed bumper hat.


For the ritual, the emperor wore white sokutai robes with the distinctive black kanmuri hat.

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The empress wore a traditional “junihitoe” multi-layered kimono, this one in white and peach, along with this Heian Era costume’s triple pronged silver headpiece.

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The Imperial Princess (I’ve spotted Kiko, Mako, Kako and Nobuko and suspect the other Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended) wore a similar metal headpieces but with more delicate, beaded triple prongs (following a tree shape, I think?) and silk cord that loops around the top of the head and hangs down in a multi-bowed tassel on either sides of the face.


The event concluded with a banquet, hosted by the emperor and empress. The Imperial Princesses were in attendance, the Akishinos in cuffed calot hats, Princess Nobuko in a teal button percher, Princess Akiko in a brimmed cream hat, Princess Yoko in a pale blue percher, Princess Hisako in a green saucer with cream brim and flowers around the raised back, and Princes Tsuguko in a petal trimmed peach bumper.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Early last month, Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko took in events for the 74th National Sports Festival in a pair of pale hats. Princess Hisako also kicked this week off at the National Dietary Improvement Conference in Miyazaki in a very interesting hat with black brim and patterned burgundy silk crown and leaves at the side


Lady Kitty Spencer attended the Melbourne Cup Monday in a dark blue stemmed beret percher with leaf studded veil by Awon Golding and on Tuesday in a soaring brimmed black Stephen Jones creation.
Queen Sonja welcomed Slovenian president on a state visit on Wednesday in a powder blue and grey felt hat with cutouts across the front. At first glance, I thought it was a repeat but it’s new- and surprisingly close in appearance to its predecessor. 

 


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Also on Wednesday, Empress Masako arrived at the Imperial Royal Palace (to rehearse the upcoming Daijosai ceremony) on Wednesday in her almond silk covered bumper hat. On Thursday, Princess Akiko wore a grey hat with interesting upfolded brim on a visit to Fujinomiya to open the 7th World Tea Festival. 


Queen Margrethe opened an exhibition on Germany yesterday at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen. She repeated her deep purple felt hat with sidesweeping brim and side bow.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Fantastic fuchsia textured straw pillbox with oversize, flying pink bow by Australian milliner Irene Moore
London-based Irish milliner Philip Treacy’s lavender velvet felt trilby with silk hatband and fringed bow
Black straw hat with beautiful bias folded brim and feather trim by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Graphic royal blue cutout origami halo bandeau by Australian milliner Lauren Ritchie
Black felt percher with crin ruffle and black and white feathers by British brand Hostie Hats
Whimsical lilac straw pillbox with statement silk allium flower trim by Australian milliner Victoria Henderson
Angular purple felt hat with the most fantastic folded ribbon hatband by Spanish milliner Eugenia Jimenez
From Australian brand Jack and Jill Millinery, a cheeky yellow straw brimmed cap with horse bit trim
Simple black felt cloche made special with added applique floral vines. Made by US milliner Jennifer Hoertz
Red felt button percher with impressively sculpted trim by British brand Gillys Millinery
Shell-shaped percher hat in striped tan and pink silk abaca with feather by Spain-based milliner Donna Hartley
Incredible gold bandeau headpiece with ombre stacked feather plume by Australian milliner Wendy Scully

And from Australian milliner Jo Peterson, this black disc edged in pink crin with amazing string art trim.