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 bumper hat. The cuffed bumper brim on this design 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 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 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 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.
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?!
Princess Hisako has a lovely black floral suit that she has paired with numerous hats:
Look #1: With an ecru domed crown hat with short kettle brim with black hatband worn for a September 9, 2015 visit to a Red Cross sponsored nursery in Obihiro
Look #2: With a textured straw black saucer hat with raised pyramid center worn July 27,2017 for an international calligraphy exhibition in Tokyo
Look #3: Black hat with pork pie crown and white crin brim overlay trimmed with white hatband tied in a back bow with black posy worn May 25, 2019 to an African Festival in Yokohama
Look #4: In a green hat with green crin brim overlay and black hatband for an August 28, 2019 visit to “Green Gables” on Prince Edward Island in Canada
Look #5: With a black straw hat with wide striped hatband, back bow, and ecru pinstripe around the brim edge worn September 24, 2019 for the 2019 Japan Sports Masters Tournament
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
In 2019, many lovely hats stepped out on royal heads for the second, third, (or ninth!) times. Throughout the year, you picked favouritea from these repeatedly worn designs and assembled a list of nine stunning semi-finalists for the year. It is now finally time to share your top four choices for Favourite Repeated Royal Hat of 2019:
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Queen Elizabeth’s orange hat with magnolia blooms and brown straw leaves by Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren) worn March 7 to the Science Museum in London
Princess Hisako’s cream straw hat with black brim stripe and monochrome flowers worn September 24 for the Japan Sports Masters Tournament in Gifu Prefecture
Princess Alexandra’s pink straw picture hat with bow & feathers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn to Ascot on June 18
Countess of Wessex’s natural straw cutout saucer with tan organdie twists and coral feathers by Jane Taylor worn for the Order of the Garter on June 17
This hat was also your pick for top repeated royal hat in 2018 (and made the top three in 2017!), making it the first design ever on Royal Hats to win two years running! Congratulations to British milliner Jane Taylor and the Countess of Wessex, whose millinery partnership is clearly a winning one, and to the other three milliners who designed these beautiful runners up. It’s a wonderful (and well deserved) surprise to see an Imperial royal hat in this year’s winner’s circle.