Princess Nobuko Attends International Botanical Show

We get back to ‘normal’ royal hat coverage with a wonderfully whimsical hat worn by Princess Nobuko to the 20th International Roses and Gardening Show last Thursday. For this event, she wore a wide brimmed white crin picture hat wrapped in a wide swath of white net tulle trimmed with the same embroidered multicoloured dots as embellished her suit.

May 17, 2018 | Royal Hats   May 17, 2018 | Royal Hats
While I’d prefer the hat in more structured straw, it’s a light and lighthearted piece. Yes, it’s a bit twee but and Nobuko still wears it charmingly well.

May 17, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
What do you think of this dotted hat?
Photos from Mainichi and Sponichi

Imperial Royals Attend Red Cross Meeting

The Japanese Red Cross Society’s annual convention took place yesterday in Tokyo, attended by Honorary President Empress Michiko who has been active in the society’s work for more than sixty years. For this event, she repeated a cream silk covered saucer hat with transparent lattice printed underbrim, trimmed with a flat grey and cream bow. She also tucked some greenery into the hat, a touch I’ve not seen her do before.

May 16, 2018 | Royal Hats

For this, Empress Michiko’s last year as Honorary President, she was accompanied by Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako. Crown Princess Masako wore a navy silk covered square crowned hat with upturned bumper brim. Princess Kiko topped her grey suit with a matching square crowned bowler with upturned kettle brim and wide silk monochrome hatband. Princess Nobuko paired her black and navy silk jacquard print dress with a repeated cream hat with short, upswept brim and navy silk hatband and side bow. Princess Hisako topped her grey silk jacquard suit in a grey cloche/bucket hat wrapped in a wide wrap of dotted grey tulle. The resulting effect of the tulle wrap is unexpected and rather lovely!

May 16, 2018 | Royal Hats

I wonder what inspired the Empress to add that sprig of greenery to her hat?
Photos from The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty 

Imperial Royals Attend Spring Garden Party

On Wednesday, members of the Imperial royal family joined the emperor and empress at the the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo for the spring garden party, an annual event that brings us a parade of Imperial royal hats.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Empress Michiko topped her ice blue silk suit with a small saucer hat in the same hue, trimmed with blue camellia flowers and a flat bow around the front.

Embed from Getty Images

Crown Princess Masako wore a pale pink straw hat with domed crown and short kettle brim, trimmed with a wide ruched straw hatband that finished in a large bow at the side. The bow makes the hat, I think, softening the angular lines of the crown and giving the piece some much needed energy.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko and Princess Mako wore hats in the same domed crown and kettle upturned brim shape. Princess Kiko’s hat, in pale blue, is delicately trimmed with a wide silk ruched hatband and silk blossoms on the side. Princess Mako’s white design, which has a wider brim than her mother’s design, is trimmed with a wide turquoise hatband and origami flowers that circle the hat. The combination of wider brim and higher contrast trim (with interesting origami) makes this a winner for me.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Nobuko stood out in a light purpley-grey hat with gentle side upsweep on the brim. The hat is exuberantly trimmed in a side spray of feathers and a wide swath of lavender and dark purple net tulle wrapped around the base of the crown that gives great movement to the design and links so well with the sheen of purple shades visible across the weave of her silk suit. Prinkess Akiko topped her pink suit with a matching hat with button crown, short cartwheel brim and bow on the side. Princess Yoko matched her pale yellow suit in a coordinating silk wrapped pillbox hat.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako wore a peach hat with square crown and widely rolled brim (the brim looks to be in the same silk jacquard print as her jacket while the crown looks to be a solid colour). Princess Tsuguko paired her burgundy silk dress in a matching bumper hat wonderfully trimmed with a wide silk bow and flowers on the side. Princess Ayako topped her yellow dress with a white button percher hat embellished with yellow and white flowers around the top half of the hat’s circumference. The floral trim on the hat references the ruffle on the hem of her dress, making a wonderfully coordinated and balanced head-to-hem look.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

How great it is to see a variety of colour, trimmings and shapes on the Imperial Royals?! These nine hats, each of which I believe is a new piece, certainly made for a colourful millinery parade. Which designs stand out most to you?

Closer Look at Three New Designs

Three hats came up in discussion in Saturday’s ‘extras’ post that I think warrant greater coverage and discussion here on Royal Hats. So here we go!

Last Thursday, February 1, Princess Margriet attended a ceremony at the Flood Museum in Ouwerkerk to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the 1953 flood caused by a storm tide across the northwest European shelf that caused massive flooding in the Netherlands and claimed 1836 Dutch lives. For this national commemoration, Margriet wore a navy blue felt trilby style hat with extended brim. Lengthening a trilby brim doesn’t always work but this one hits the mark and looks wonderfully stylish on Princess Margriet.

Embed from Getty Images

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

Last Friday, February 2, Princess Ayako of Takamado and Princess Nobuko of Mikasa attended the 67th Kanto Tokai Flower Exhibition in Tokyo, both in black hats. Princess Ayako’s rounded crown design features a mushroom brim and unique flat fan bow bow on the side of the crown. Princess Nobuko’s brimess hat follows an asymetrical shape emphasized by wide velvet binding on the top and bottom, and is simply trimmed with a bow at the back. It’s a much bolder shape than we’re used to seeing on Imperial royal hats but one that Nobuko carries so well.

Feb 2, 2018 | Royal Hats

Feb 2, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: both are
Previously Worn: I believe both hats are new

I think all three hats are a great example of style by shape- no exuberant trims are needed to make them stand out (perhaps, except Princess Ayako’s hat, which would look amazing with a large Lady Amherst feather wrapped around the brim!). I’m curious to hear what you think. 
Photos from Getty as indicated; Sankei

Imperial New Years Poetry Reading

Last Friday, the Emperor and Empress hosted Utakai Hajime, which translates as ‘First Poetry Reading’, a gathering at the Imperial Royal Palace at the beginning of each new year where participants read traditional Japanese poetry on a common theme before a wider audience. Like the New Years Lectures, the dress code for this event is Court Dress, giving us another opportunity to see the Imperial royal ladies (except the hostess, Empress Michiko) in gowns with hats.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko repeated a pale yellow hat with double bumper brim in the same pale yellow silk as her gown. Princess Mako topped her turquoise gown with a matching bumper hat trimmed with a bow at the back.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designers: unknown
Princess Kiko’s hat was previously worn:Dec 23, 2012
Princess Mako’s hat was previously worn: Jan 11, 2017 and Dec 23, 2013

Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore the most interesting design of the event, a open crowned headpiece of dusty pink tulle wrapped around a wide rim. Her daughter, Princess Akiko, wore a cream hat with pleated crown and short brim covered in the same silk jacquard as her gown. I believe both of these hats are new additions.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her high necked bright blue skirt and jacket with a matching hat with white brim, trimmed with a spray of blue and white flowers on the side. Princess Tsuguko wore a peach bumper hat trimmed with large abstract leaves in the same hue while Princess Ayako wore a brimless design in pale seafoam green silk to match her  gown. I believe these three hats are new as well.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Photos of this event are scarce which is such a pity as there are numerous hats that would greatly benefit with closer views. Princess Hanako, who usually brings the most daring millinery designs to these New Years events, did not attend and was certainly missed. From what we can see here, what hats stand out to you most?
Photos from ntv.co.jp; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty as indicated

Imperial New Years Lectures 2018

Yesterday, members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the Ceremony of Kosho Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Lectures)  at Imperial Palace in Tokyo. A tradition of royal enlightenment since 1869, these Imperial New Year’s Lectures saw experts in the field of human, social and natural sciences address the royal delegation in their respective fields. When the lectures began 149 years ago, the daytime dress code across royal courts for ladies reflected the prevailing Victorian fashions of the time- long gowns with hats. This event is one of a handful each year that maintains this dress code, giving us the rare opportunity to see hats with full length gowns.

Imperial Royal Family, Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako made her first appearance at this event in 15 years in a repeated Breton hat. Made of the same hint-of-blue silk jacquard as her gown, the hat features a pork pie style crown and characteristic rolled Breton brim.

Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats  Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2014Dec 23, 2013; Dec 9 2010; Dec 23, 2009; Dec 9, 2006Dec 23, 2005

Princess Kiko topped her celery green gown with a matching capulet style hat that I believe is a new addition to her wardrobe. Following a classic capulet shape (a calot with extended front combined with a bumper brim around the front and sides of the piece), the hat is trimmed with a small back bow and covered in the same lace that adorns the top of Kiko’s gown. Princess Mako made her last appearance at this event in a repeated navy velvet, rounded edge pillbox hat trimmed with a bow on the side in the same blue silk as her gown.

Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

Previously Worn: I believe Princess Kiko’s hat is new. Princess Mako wore this to this same event in 2016  

The Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended this event. Princess Nobuko wore a wonderful pale green pillbox trimmed with a giant ivory silk flower that I believe is new. Princess Akiko repeated a pale pink silk calot trimmed with silk rosettes. Princess Yoko wore a majenta textured pillbox. Princess Hisako topped her elegant dove grey gown with a matching bumper hat with side feather trim that I believe is new. Pricess Tsuguko also went with a new design that looks to be a burgundy silk tam variation trimmed with flowers on the side. Princess Ayoko repeated her pale yellow silk jacquard gown and matching calot bandeau trimmed with silk flowers and leaves on each side.

Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

These lectures always brings some millinery surprises and such is the case this year, even with a few repeated pieces. I missed seeing Princess Hanako, who always stands out at this event. What hats stand out to you here this year?

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Princess Hisako in a chic fedora on December 24 at the 39th Empress Cup All Japan Women’s Football Championship Final in Osaka (Sponichi)

Dec 24, 2017 | Royal Hats

Four of the Romanian princess attended a Christmas Day service at Savarsin church. Princess Margareta wore a  textured fur pillbox while Princess Elena wore a black fabric hat with cuffed fur brim.

Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

On December 25,  members of the Imperial royal attended a memorial ceremony at the Imperial Palace on the anniversary of Emperor Taisho’s death. Princess Kiko and Princess Mako are pictured below- Princess Nobuko and Princess Yoko were also present.


On Dec 27, the Imperial Royal family attended an annual end of year family luncheon at the Imperial Palace. You can see Prince and Princess Akishino, Princess Mako, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako arriving here.

Several new millinery designs jumped out at me this week:

 Astoundingly glamorous jewel toned turban from Philip Treacy
Red felt percher pork pie with black feathers from Irish milliner Aoife Harris Design
Two stunning hats with hand beaded trim here and here from German milliner Nicki Marquardt
Royal blue silk covered pillbox percher with irises and lace from London milliner Cara Meehan
Felt trilby with intricately beaded hatband from London based millinery Bundle MacLaren

And a hat perfect for New Year’s Eve, this grey silk shantung beret percher with insert panel of sparkling paillettes from UK milliner Dillon Wallwork

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 Royal Hats

Excellent translation of Princess Stephanie’s recent interview by our friends over at Luxarazzi

More Christmas photo greetings:






We end the week with a wonderful video clip, taken during King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 80th birthday gala dinner back in May when their grandchildren interviewed some of their guests. It’s utterly charming.

Photos from Sponichi, Royal Family of Romania