This Week’s Extras

Queen Silvia celebrated Swedish National Day, along with the king, in Ludvika last Thursday in a repeated ivory felt calot hat with silk flower and brown feather trim. Festivities later in the day saw the Queen and adult princesses in folk costume with traditional white cotton folded hats.

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Also on Thursday, Prince Harry was in uniform to preside over the annual Founder’s Day Parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea (a retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army). Royal Hospital residents, known as Chelsea Pensioners, wore their distinctive tri-corn hats.
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On Thursday, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko conducted rites related to the abdication at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Tokyo. The empress emerita repeated a slate grey veiled saucer with knotted bow.
On Saturday, members of the Imperial royal family attended the 5th anniversary memorial ceremony for Prince Katsura. The Imperial royal women, who included the Empress, the late Prince’s mother, Princess Yoriko and sister,  Yasuko Konoe (formerly Princess Yasuko of Mikasa) all wore black hats.


Infanta Elena and her father, King Juan Carlos, attended the men’s singles final match yesterday at the French Open Tennis tournament in Paris in summery straw fedora hats
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Wonderful dusky pink embellished bandeau (see the detail!) by Scottish label Angels and Insects Edinburgh
Exquisite veil on this black button percher with white silk flowers from British brand Lock & Co.
Elegant coral sinamay teardrop with crin layered bow by Irish milliner Edel Black
Fantastic pink straw boater with animated bow & hand-dyed pheasant feathers from British milliner Ian Bennett
Adore the shape and movement on this royal blue straw veiled headpiece by Irish brand Marc Millinery
Wonderful black percher with white oversize pinwheel flower by London-based Spanish milliner Rafa Peinador
Prettiest textured straw button percher with ombre straw ruffle by British milliner Ellie Vallerini
Trios of lovely lilac and pale grey designs by Italian milliner Guiliana Mio
Love the unique swirling curves this denim blue straw design from British label John Boyd
Cream straw button percher with amazing ombre fuchsia & aubergine crin trim by British milliner Tracy Miller
White and yellow marabou feather fluff hat by London-based milliner Awon Golding

Great family photo released by the Danish court on the occasion of Prince Joachim’s 50th birthday

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates an incredible 98th birthday today and I’m sure you join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays.
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And finally, Royal Ascot is only a week away…

 

Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Appear On Palace Balcony

On Friday, the Japanese royal family appeared balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for the emperor and empress’ first official public appearance.

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Empress Masako chose vibrant yellow for this debut, a colour we’ve not seen on her in recent memory. Her silk covered hat features a domed crown and tightly upturned kettle brim, trimmed with a hatband embroidered with diagonal stripes of gold and saffron bugle beads.

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The beaded hatband links with the exquisite starburst (or rising sun?!) motif around the collar and cuffs of her gown with a slight but very welcome contrast provided by the diagonal direction. It’s a matched ensemble, for certain, but such is the Imperial way at events as high profile as this and it’s wonderful to see something on the empress as sunny as her smile has been this week. Dare we hope it’s a foretaste of more vibrant hats to come?!

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Crown Princess Kiko repeated a bumper hat covered in cream silk printed with a small floral jacquard pattern. The hat is simply trimmed with the same finely braided trim as on the bodice seams and cuffs of her gown. Kiko’s ensembles are always impeccably finished and I suspect the subtle detail in this hat is best viewed at closer range.


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 15, 2016; December 23, 2011

Princess Mako repeated her cuffed calot hat and gown in printed pale gold silk. The hat is simply trimmed with a bow at the back.


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 16, 2017; December 23, 2015

Princess Kako followed her sister’s lead, repeating a cuffed calot hat and gown in pink silk printed with a small floral motif. As far as calots go, this has a lovely shape emphasized by the cuff. The right side of the hat is trimmed with pink silk flowers.


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: December 23, 2015

Princess Hanako brought some of her characteristic millinery pizzazz with a heart shaped hat in the same periwinkle blue silk as her gown. The hat’s crown features an inlay of pleats- a unique detail I can’t remember seeing on another royal hat. The pleats emphasize the unusual heart shape; the hat is finished with a small, rolled brim and spray of silk lilies of the valley at the back. The design feels rather creative for an Imperial hat, something I’ll always applaud!


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

Princess Yuriko, who will celebrate her 96th birthday next month, looked regally elegant in her deep green pillbox hat trimmed with a silk rose at the side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 10, 2019

Princess Nobuko topped her melon hued gown with a pleated bandeau-calot in a slightly lighter shade, trimmed with orange silk rolled rosettes and bow loops on the side. The different shades of peach, melon and orange work so well to create a look that is interestingly nuanced but still, very coordinated


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is nes

Princess Akiko repeated her pale blues silk covered Breton hat trimed with ostrich feather wrap that fills the surface of the brim, and a dotted net veil.  The hat’s narrow brim suits petite Akiko very well and, as I’ve mentioned before, does not overwhelm the amazing cutwork on the collar of her gown.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: February 24, 2019; January 16, 2019

Princess Hisako paired her salmon pink paisley floral high necked gown with a beautiful brimmed hat. The design, which features a shallow crown, is trimmed with a lace hatband and delicately patterned veil that overlays the brim. The plain salmon silk covered hat is further trimmed with a spray of silk blooms and leaves on the side. We consistently see the Imperial royals in hats and gowns of the same hue but the different materials used on the two pieces here give such lovely contrast and interest to the ensemble. It’s just exquisite.

Designer:
Previously Worn:

Princess Tsuguko wore a percher hat in a beautifully patterned green silk. The teardrop shaped base is trimmed with a layered sash across the top of the hat embroidered with the same vine pattern as on the collar of her gown, and is finished with a trailing spray of blossoms on the side. The embroidered detail gives lovely dimension to the pieces and the balance of high collar, hairstyle and angle of hat placement (set off by that stunning aquamarine brooch) is just superb.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

This event leaves me hope-filled for an increase of more colourful and creative millinery on the Imperial royal ladies during this Reiwa era. There are some wonderful hats here- which ones stand out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Newsletter Communication Center; Jiji; Mainich

Imperial Enthronement

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

Emperor’s Final Ceremony At Three Palace Sanctuaries

After thirty years on the Chrysanthem Throne, Emperor Akihito’s reign came to a peaceful close today with a series of ceremonies. The day began with the Emperor paying respects at the Three Palace Sanctuaries at the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo. The shrine is the sanctuary of Amaterasu-omikami, the legendary sun goddess from whom the imperial line is said to have descended.

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For this “Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi” ceremony, Emperor Akihito was dressed in the traditional “sokutai” outfit that only Imperial royals may wear. The sokutai centers around a voluminous draped outer robe with long, wide sleeves and a cinched waist; only the emperor may wear brown while other royals wear other colours, depending on their title. The robe often includes bird motifs (birds were considered divine envoys in ancient times) and the silk of the emperor’s robe is woven with a mythological Chinese phoenix to symbolize the arrival of peace.

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Topping the sokutai is the black “kanmuri” hat which consists of a flat, pillbox-like base and a towering, monochrome patterned tail at the back. For the ceremony, the emperor and other male royals carry a “shaku”- narrow, embellished wooden plate-like scepter.

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In this ceremony, Emperor Akihito read the “otsugebumi,” an explanation, that he would be taking part in a an abdication ceremony to pass the Chrysanthemum Throne to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito. Akihito also read out the document at two other sanctuaries on the Imperial Palace grounds that honor past emperors and other Shinto gods.

Japanese media reported that that ten other imperial family members also donned traditional dress for this ceremony at the three sanctuaries. Photographs of this are not publicly available, although there are shots of the Akishino family arriving at the Imperial Palace. Princess Kiko, Princess Mako and Princess Kako all wore ivory silk covered bumper hats.

Special thanks to Prisma for sharing resources (including this article) explaining today’s traditional clothing.

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

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

This Week’s Extras

More casual hats on Princess Anne and Zara Tindall last weekend at the Gatcombe Horse Trials
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Queen Elizabeth repeated her textured cream and gold split crown hat with black and gold feather trim last Sunday to attend church at The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park. Interesting to note that this hat, made under the Angela Kelly Couture label by Stella McLaren, is still in rotation despite a four year gap since we saw it worn last. 
On Monday, the Japanese Emperor and Empress traveled to Kyoto. Empress Michicko wore a new oyster grey saucer with ivory windowpane lattice crin underbrim and a looped double bow (see the hat in better detail here)
On Tuesday, Princess Kako visited the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji, Tokyo, in a black silk covered bowler hat.
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🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 เจ้าหญิงคาโกะแห่งอากิชิโนะ เสด็จไปทรงถวายความเคารพ สุสานหลวงของสมเด็จพระจักรพรรดิโชวะ และสมเด็จพระจักรพรรดินีโคจุน ในโอกาสทรงสำเร็จการศึกษาจากมหาวิทยาลัยนานาชาติคริสเตียน ณ สุสานหลวงมุซาชิ เขตฮาชิโอจิ กรุงโตเกียว ประเทศญี่ปุ่น ---- Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako of Akishino paid respect to the tombs of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun, after her graduation from the International Christian University at the Musashi Imperial Mausoleum in Tokyo, Japan. ---- 秋篠宮家の次女佳子さまは、国際基督教大学の卒業を報告するため、東京都八王子市の武蔵陵墓地で、昭和天皇の武蔵野陵と香淳皇后の武蔵野東陵を参拝した。 ---- Photos: Asahi #princesskako #princesskakoofakishino #japaneseimperialfamily #japan #佳子内親王 #佳子さま #日本 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵

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Also on Tuesday, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the mausoleum of Emperor Jimmu in Kashihara as part of the rites in preparation for the emperor’s upcoming abdication. Empress Michiko wore a new lilac undertoned grey hat that seems standard but on closer look, shows exquisite details of a beautifully molded raised edge saucer shape, crin underbrim and silk bow. 
On Thursday, the Imperial couple returned to Tokyo, the Empress in a repeated blue-grey saucer with elegantly streamlined silk bow trim. You’ll notice it’s a lighter hued twin of the hat she wore on Tuesday.
Princess Hisako was in Yokohama yesterday to open the 83rd annual meeting of the Japanese Circulation (cardiovascular) Society. To deliver her opening address on the importance of heart disease prevention, she wore a white shallow crowned hat with saddle brim brimmed with a wide ruched green hatband.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Stunning navy velvet felt trilby with twist and feather by British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan
Black and purple iridescent large disc hat with silk & straw twists from UK brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Bold and jade straw percher with fun silk abaca lilies by Aussie brand Melissa Gaye Millinery
Swirling blue and black quill headpiece with black stars from British milliner Sarah Cant
Lovely pleats around the back brim of this ivory straw design from UK milliner Rae Oakley
Fantastic metallic sheen on this black & gold looped silk bandeau by Australian brand Polly and Peaches
Adore the silk orchid trim on this monochrome blue straw saucer by UK brand Hostie Hats
For our dear gents, this very dapper beaver felt fedora in a delicious colour (the milliner calls is black
cherry)
with black silk paisley hatband and brim binding from Danish brand Hornskov København
Wonderful use of abaca silk on this vibrant turquoise & green button percher by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Dramatic red feather and floral headpiece from British milliner Edwina Ibbotson we’ll surely see at Ascot

And from London-based Turkish milliner Merve Bayindir, this whimsical and very fun black straw disc with multi-coloured tiles, flowers and curling black quills.

The Prince of Wales and Peter the blue iguana seemed delighted to make mutual acquaintance on Thursday in the Cayman Islands
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Some diplomatic dressing by young Princess Gabriella this week during the Chinese state visit to Monaco.
The Duke of Sussex has developed a special relationship over several encounters with an Australian fan and brightened her 99th birthday yesterday with a lovely greeting
We end this week with some great (and perplexing) formal looks at the annual Rose Ball in Monaco tonight- my favourite is Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi’s Dior gown. Breathtaking.
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Photos from Rex/Shutterstock; social media and Getty as indicated