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 

Imperial Enthronement: Imperial Family Members

We finally wrap up our look at last week’s Imperial Enthronement  with attention to the hats worn by members (and former members) of the Imperial royal family. Two familiar faces at Tuesday’s enthronement ceremony included Noriko Senge (former Princess Noriko of Takamado) and Sayako Kuroda (Emperor Naruhito’s younger sister, the former Princess Nori). While Noriko paired her gown with a delicate tiara borrowed from her mother (Princess Hisako usually wears it as a necklace), Sayako wore a calot hat covered in grey silk with what looks like hand folded pleats around the outside edge of the hat.

Ayako Moriya (former Princess Ayako of Takamado) , who is expecting a baby, and her husband Kei were also in attendance, Ayako in a tiara from her mother’s jewellery collection, usually worn as a necklace. Also in tiaras were former Mikasa princesses, Masako Sen and Yasuko Konoe as well as the emperor’s paternal aunt, Takako Shimazu (Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s sister).

While not royal, it feels important to include retired diplomat Hisashi and Owada and his wife Yumiko- Masako’s parents, who, it is understood, have been an unwavering source of support to her over the past two decades. Yumiko wore a silk covered bumper percher hat in the same muted lilac shade as her gown. The hat was placed at a perfect angle and shows how a hat of this shape and scale can look wonderful on any aged wearer.

Last Wednesday, on the day following the enthronement, Imperial family members attended a court banquet. While the empress, as hostess, did not wear a hat, Crown Princess Kiko wore a tan silk covered bumper design. Her daughters opted for more new bandeau headpieces making more vibrant statements, Princess Mako in pale pink trimmed with pink gerbera daisies and Princess Kako in deep scarlet with delicate flowers and leaves.


Princess Nobuko topped her deep raisin purple velvet gown with a silk covered bumper hat in the same hue with split bumper brim embroidered with beads. Princess Akiko repeated a lemon yellow hat with white silk organza wrapped bumper brim, trimmed with a spray of silk flowers at the back. Princess Yoko repeated a salmon pink pillbox hat trimmed in wispy feathers that give it distinct texture.


Princess Hisako wore a boater hat variation in what looks like cream and peach crin. The hat’s shallow peach crown is accentuated with a with cream hatband and its focal point, a gently fluted brim, in transparent overlapping layers of the two shades. The left side of the hat is trimmed with leaf cutouts and applique lace studded with pearls. Princess Tsuguko repeated her blue and green silk jacquard percher hat with layered sash and trailing spray of blossoms on the side- a spray that has received a trim since its first outing.

Former Takamado princesses Noriko Senge and Ayako Moriya were also spotted at the banquet in a pair of bumper hats, Noriko in a veiled white design with ostrich feather trim and Ayako in forest green with a dark spray of feathers on the side.

 

Empress Masko’s parents, Hisashi and Yumiko Owada, attended again, Yumiko in a small, angular pillbox in the same pale avocado shade as her ensemble.

Excellent footage of this court banquet can be seen below. This post concludes our look at hats worn to the Japanese enthronement, dearest readers. Which designs here stand out most to you?

Photos from social media as indicated 

Imperial Enthronement: Ceremony

The main element in Tuesday’s Imperial Enthronement was the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi, an official proclamation ceremony where the new emperor announces to domestic and foreign audiences that he has ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne.

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This ceremony took place inside the Imperial Palace before a large audience. Emperor Naruhito again appeared in sokutai robes, this time in the dark rust-brown colour reserved for his role, and the distinctive black kanmuri hat.

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Empress Masako wore a traditional “junihitoe” multi-layered kimono which dates back to the Heian Era (794 to 1185). In white, silver, red, coral,  purple, pale peach and green, the kimono is regal and dramatic, especially paired with the the elaborate sculpted sweeping ponytail that is worn with this costume along with a triple pronged golden headpiece.

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Crown Prince Fumihito wore saffron orange sokutai robes and a black kanmuri hat.

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The Imperial princesses also wore the traditional junihitoe with Crown Princess Kiko in shades of red, pink, orange, gold, white and purple, with a top robe in slate navy and the others in layers of green, navy, red, burgundy, yellow and white with a top robe in royal purple. Each wore the traditional spiky gold headpieces atop the costume’s dramatic hairstyle.

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Crown Princess Kiko

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Princess Kako and Princess Mako

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Princess Hanako

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Princess Hanako and Princess Nobuko in front; Princesses Akiko, Yoko, Hisako and Tsuguko in back

On their own, these spiky headpieces and tall hats seem so unusual but somehow, they add to the grandeur and strong sense of history at these events.

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Next up, we’ll look at the hats worn by royal guests.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Last Sunday, Princess Hisako attended a baseball tournament for school children in Tokyo in a large hat with wide black brim and white pork pie-style indented crown
Also last Sunday, Queen Elizabeth repeated her pale blue straw cloche with sloped crown, silk hatband and handmade feather flower by Rachel Trevor Morgan to attend Sunday Service at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle. The Countess of Wessex repeated a navy felt Jane Taylor trilby and the Duchess of Cornwall repeated her natural ecru straw capulet hat.

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Princess Hisako departed Tokyo for an 11-day visit to Canada in a prim white bowler with side bow.
Princess Nobuko in a cream pyramid saucer hat trimmed with a prim white-piped navy bow to open an exhibition today in Tokyo
Brace yourselves, dear readers- there were a lot of new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Navy straw hat trimmed with multi-coloured thread by British brand NDLQ Millinery
Wonderful cream and deep coral teardrop hat with bow topped ruffle by British milliner Rae Oakley
Unexpected spiky hatband on this black straw and felt design by Dutch milliner Nienke Visser
Pink button percher with wonderful deep pink leather dahlias by Australian brand Maker Millinery
Striking headpiece of overlapping sinamay diamonds by British brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Red straw bonnet with silk flower made by Australian milliner Lauren Ritchie for a theatre production
Lush and luxe headpiece of handmade royal purple silk flowers and gold feathers by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Creative cerulean blue straw calot with peacock feather trim by Belgian milliner Amélie D’Hooghvorst
Winter white felt button percher with soaring and sparkling black twist trim by British milliner Vivian Sheriff
Bonkers but beautiful hat with many-layered orange crin brim by British milliner Stephen Jones
Cobalt felt cloche with teal felt appliqued peacock by German milliner Angelika Löbering
Two stunning designs by Australian milliner Souri Sengdara under label Velvet and Tonic: a perfectly
proportioned scarlet braided velvet bandeau
and a sculptural teal straw pillbox with ivory pleated fan wrap
And from Australian milliner Jill Humphries who works until the Jill and Jack Millinery label, this breathtaking halo headpiece in gold jinsin with cut gold feathers. Simplicity without any compromise of beauty.

India Hicks has launched a new podcast that captures fantastic stories told by her mother, Pamela Hicks. They are filled with interesting royal tidbits and worth a listen.
Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko are on a trip to Bhutan and, for the first time, have brought Prince Hisahito along with them. Visits with the Bhutan king, queen and crown prince yielded some lovely photos, especially ones of the young boys together and Prince Hisahito trying out archery, Bhutan’s national sport


Photos from social media as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 2002, seventeen years ago, that saw Princess Nobuko wear a wide-brimmed, cream straw hat wrapped in net veiling to open an exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Japanese Red Cross Society. It’s a far larger scale Imperial royal hat than we usually see these days and I’d love to see more of this!

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Photo from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko in a pale grey repeated bucket hat with kettle brim at the National Junior High School Selection Shogi Championship in Yamagata August 3
On Saturday, August 3, Princess Hisako was in Teshikaga for the “Starry Sky Town, Blue Sky Town” National Convention. She wore a very interesting ivory hat with short brim, coral hatband and tall ivory wrap around the crown that fluted into the shape of a flower.
On Sunday, August 4, she attended the closing ceremony of a national Sea Cadet convention in Tokyo. The blue hat she wore is trimmed with a twist in the same printed fabric as her suit, a slim navy twisted hatband and layered, textured leaves in jade, magenta, chocolate, blue and cream. The scale and shape are so great on her and I adore the pop of colour!


On Tuesday, August 6, Queen Elizabeth officially took up summer residence at Balmoral Castle, inspecting the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the castle gates. She repeated a Rachel Trevor Morgan designed hat first worn last summer– this outing gives a much better view of the silk crepe covered cloche with double hatband (love the punchy contrast of the black hatband) and handmade flowers.
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On Wednesday, August 7, Empress Masako, Crown Princess Kiko, Princess Hanako and Princess Nobuko attended the Florence Nightingale Medal Ceremony, which honors nurses. Empress Masako’s white silk covered bowler features a wide hatband of appliqued lace, Crown Princess Kiko’s ecru hat with mushroom brim is covered in the same jacquard floral print as her suit, Princess Hanako’s repeated white straw hat has a cuffed brim in silk crepe that is slightly elevated on one side and Princess Nobuko’s white hat has a crisply contrasting wide navy silk hatband. You can see these hats in motion at this video clip.


On Thursday, August 8, Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended the King’s Cup Regatta in Cowes to watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in the race. While his parents donned informal baseball hats, Prince George was slightly more commanding in his naval cap.
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On Saturday, August 10th, Princess Tsuguko of Takamado attended the archery finals of the Inter-High School General Sports Championships in Yatsushiro in a striking black and white straw hat.


On Sunday, August 11, members of Queen Elizabeth’s family joined her for Sunday morning service at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in Scotland. The Queen repeated an Angela Kelly designed cream square-crowned cloche with thick hatband in the same pink striped bouclé as her matching suit, trimmed with a pink silk rose. The Duchess of Cornwall repeated a dark mushroom grey formed felt beret trimmed with pheasant feathers. Princess Beatrice of York repeated a cream Gina Foster beret percher trimmed with navy silk flowers and veil.
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Empress Masako in an angular grey silk hat with bumper brim and small bow at the back on Thursday at a WWII commemoration ceremony
Princess Hisako in a pale celery green hat with appliqued lace covered crown and rolled crin brim today to open a new field hockey stadium for next year’s Olympic summer games (notice her field hockey stick necklace!)
Queen Elizabeth attended a craft fair at Crathie Kirk in Scotland today, finally giving us a great view of the turquoise straw hat with double hatband and bows she wore, also in Scotland, back in 2017. Clearly a Rachel Trevor Morgan design, I really like the contrasting stripes on the bow ribbon tails which tie in with Her Majesty’s skirt
1940s inspired hat with deeply pinched black crown and ivory mushroom brim by Australian milliner Carole Maher
Lime sinamay abstract leaf headpiece with ivory bow by Spanish-based British milliner Donna Hartley
Teal button percher with veil, curled quills and multicoloured silk flowers by British milliner Bee Smith
Amazing texture and volume on this ecru silk abaca ruffled bandeau by Australian milliner Rachel Henry
Blush sinamay sidesweep with rose and black feathers and black butterflies by British milliner Bundle MacLaren
Fantastic open-crowned hat covered in red flowers by Irish brand Suzanne Ryan Millinery
Creative take on a classic black and white boater (love the textured brim!) by Australian Brand Monroe Millinery
Tangerine sinamay hat with button base edged in a wide, sleek ruffle by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Raspberry pink straw teardrop beret percher with plume and multicoloured flower by UK brand Miss Ginny Millinery
Teal felt Garbo hat with amazing black embroidered brim by American milliner Behida Dolić
Ivory braided straw vintage Dior-inspired hat with black veil and ribbon by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Oversize ice blue saucer with irredescent blue and silver floral trim by UK brand Guibert Millinery
Pink pyramid of ombre dyed silk round petals trimmed with an ostrich plume by London milliner Awon Golding
Pale apricot sinamay hat with flying bow and quill by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
For our dear gents, a patterned Panama from Christys Hats and deep blue felt fedora from Hornskov København
Wonderful rosette bandeau of sage silk taffeta and blush silk organza by Prudence for Lock & Co. Hatters
And from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, this fabulous grape sinamay percher with pink and scarlet twist. Colourful hats can be difficult to balance but this one is perfect, remaining firmly stylish and modern (no cartoonishness here!). It’s also impeccably finished- note the complete absence of visible seams and crisp edges on the two-toned twist.  So fun!

Condolences to the Dutch royal family as they grieve the loss of Princess Christina (Princess Beatrix’s youngest sister) who died yesterday after a battle with bone cancer. Plans are for a private memorial with her cremated remains going to Fagel’s Garden Pavilion on the grounds of Noordeinde Palace. Read a statement and obituary from the Dutch monarchy here. 
Lovely informal shots of the Spanish Royal Family taken while on their annual vacation in Palma de Mallorca.
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Adorable picture of Lady Sarah McCorquodale and her daughter Celia taken during preparations for Celia’s wedding last summer, for which she wore the Spencer family tiara.
Countess Josephine of Rosenborg (daughter of the late Count Christian of Rosenborg) and Kenneth Schmidt were married on August 8
In an interesting move, the Imperial Household Agency released footage of former Princess Noriko’s music and dance performances (she is an accomplished ballerina), taken before she married. They also announced that her younger sister, the former Princess Ayako, and her husband Kei Moriya are expecting their first child.
We end this week with adorable photos of Princess Anne’s four granddaughters Savannah, Isla, Mia and Lena, enjoying the Festival of British Eventing the first weekend of August at their grandmum’s estate, Gatcombe Park
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Photos from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko in a small almond kettle brimmed hat with layered pale blue hatband last Sunday at the Prince Tomohito Memorial World Grand Prix International Bicycle Competition 2019 in Nagano.
Camille Gottlieb, daughter of Princess Stephanie of Monaco, in a black piped natural straw hat last Monday at the Fight Aids gala. Camille’s older sister, Pauline, also shared a snap of herself in a casual straw hat. 
Queen Margrethe arrived at Sønderborg Harbour on the Royal Yacht Dannebrog on Tuesday en route to her summer residence Graasten Palace (where she was sweetly welcomed by her grandchildren!) in her pink hat with floral hatband
Princess Nobuko in navy and red trimmed hats on Wednesday and Thursday to celebrate 130th anniversary of the Japanese Red Cross Society in Fukushima
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Beautiful amethyst silk abaca-wrapped  cap with twists and quill by Dutch milliner Mirjam de Rijke
Summery fedoras in genuine Panama straw with subtle hatband details by British milliner Amanda Denton
Elegant navy and cream checkerboard straw saucer with cream jinsin twists by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Adore the classic elegance of this white straw percher with layered grey bow by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
Technology and millinery meet in this amazing red 3D printed hat by Australian milliner Carole Maher
Adore the painterly pale greige feather flowers on this percher by Scottish milliner Maggie Mowbray
Midnight blue velvet padded kokoshnik bandeau with peacock feathers by British milliner Stephanie Gallen
Simply beautiful pale pink saucer with ombre dyed crin ruffle by British milliner Tracey Miller
Striking gold and red feather flame headpiece by Californian milliner Amy Fowler
Fascinating shape on British milliner Harvey Santos’ white ‘Guggenheim’ brimless hat

And from from Irish milliner Aoife Harrison, this stunning forward facing saucer with black and gold feathers

Lovely shot of Queen Margrethe with half her grandchild squad at Graasten Palace. Her nephew, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, also shared these lovely snaps of his daughter, Princess Olympia, with her grandparents, the king and queen. 
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☀️Sommer på Graasten Slot. 📸 Kongehuset ©️

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Lovely snap shared by Crown Princess Mette-Marit to celebrate Crown Prince Haakon’s birthday
Charming photos of the Dutch king and queen with their daughters taken at an annual summer photo session at Huis ten Bosch Palace
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We conclude the week with this adorable salutation, sung to the Duchess of Cornwall on Tuesday for her birthday and with new photographs of Prince George, who turns 6 tomorrow, taken by his mum. Enjoy the end of your weekend!

Photos from social media as indicated