Also on Wednesday, Princess Mako celebrated her 27th birthday and was spotted arriving at the Imperial Royal Palace in Tokyo to visit her grandparents in a bumper hat covered in beige-pink patterned silk
Princess Mako turned 27 on October 23rd. She visited the Imperial Palace in the morning for birthday greetings with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. pic.twitter.com/JHQexd3meI
Princess Hisako, Princess Tsuguko, Noriko Senge, Sayako Kuroda, and other relatives watched Princess Ayako worship at the Three Palace Sanctuaries on October 26, 2018. 📷: NHK, FNN videos pic.twitter.com/oCI7X1raRb
This week had an abundance of state banquets (in Portugal, Fiji and the UK) with some stunning royal looks – including Queen Mathilde here and here, the Norwegian royals, the Danish Royals and Princess Ayako at the formal Choken-no-Gi ceremony- likely the last time we’ll see her in a tiara.
June 6 marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa. As per tradition, a ‘grave festival’ was held at Toshima Oka cemetery in Tokyo. The Imperial family was led at this event by the late Prince Tomohito and Princess Nobuko’s daughters Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko; their grandmother, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince and Princess Akishino were also in attendance with the women in veiled black bumper hats and the men in morning dress, carrying silk top hats.
The event was also attended by former princesses Mrs. Sayako Kuroda (Prince Naruhito’s sister, the former Princess Nori) and Mrs. Noriko Senge (former Princess Noriko of Takamado) who repeated the dress code of pale grey dresses topped with black veiled bumper hats.
Today, a similar event was held at the same cemetery and shrine, this time to mark the third anniversary of the passing of Yoshihito, Prince Katsura. Similar black, veiled bumper hats were worn again for this event by Princess Yoriko of Mikasa (Prince Katura’s mother), Princess Kiko and Mrs. Sayako Kuroda. Again, Crown Prince Naruhito attended in morning dress, carrying a black silk top hat.
The attendance of Sayako Kurado and Noriko Senge at these events feels noteworthy. Since the 1947 Imperial Household Law, Japanese princesses have lost their royal status upon marriage – until recently, former princesses did not attend royal events and appeared to be completely cut off from their royal relations. While these were family events (and as such, follow different rules than official Imperial ones), Princess Mako’s upcoming engagement announcement has started chatter about revising this law to allow Imperial princesses to retain some of their status (especially with a single male in the current young generation). I can’t help but hope that the appearance of Sayako and Noriko this week is a sign that, at the very least, the inpterpretation of this law is starting to change.
The Imperial Royal Family are among the most prolific of royal hat wearers- so prolific that we have to break their 2014 millinery review into two posts. In cases where a hat was worn repeatedly 2014, it is shown here just once (usually, the most recent outing) and you can click on each hat to take you to the original post with larger views and detailed information. Without further ado, here are the hats we saw worn by all of the Japanese princesses in 2014:
Princess Hanako of Hitachi
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko of Mikasa
11 & 12. 13. 14 & 15.
16. 17. 18. 19.
20. 21. 22. 23.
Princess Noriko, Princess Tsuguko and Princess Ayako of Takamado
24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.
30. 31. 32. 33.
Princess Hisako of Takamado
34. 35. 36. 37.
38. 39. 40. 41.
42. 43. 44. 45. 46.
Princess Mako of Akishino
47. 48. 49.
50. 51. 52. 53.
Princess Kiko of Akishino
54. 55. 56. 57.
58. 59. 60. 61. 62.
63. 64. 65. 66. 67.
Crown Princess Masako
68. 69. 70. 71. 72.
73. 74. 75. 76.
77. 78. 79.
I think the collection above shows more creativity, diversity and colour than we might have expected. Will any of these hats receive your nomination for favourite royal hat of 2014?
Stay tuned tomorrow for a look at all the hats worn by Empress Michiko.
Please click on each photo to link back to the original post with additional information and photo sources
Amid rain showers of good luck, Princess Noriko of Takamado was married to Kunimaro Senge at the Izumo Taisha grand shrine in Shimane Prefecture yesterday. The smiling bride arrived at the shrine early yesterday morning in a mint green suit and a coordinating hat with flared brim and square crown wrapped in a large silk bow.
For the wedding ceremony, the 26-year old princess wore a traditional silk costume and a hairstyle that I can only imagine is steeped in symbolic tradition as well. (If anyone can provide further explanation, it would be most welcome).
I believe the only members of the Imperial family in attendance were the bride’s mother, Princess Hisako, and sisters, Princess Tsuguko, and Princess Ayako- all three women wore traditional kimonos, seen below.
Because this wedding ceremony is so different to those we’re used to seeing in the west, I am curious to hear your thoughts (and gently remind everyone to remain culturally respectful in your comments). I’m sure you all join me in wishing Noriko much happiness in her new life.
Those of you following the Imperial Royal Family likely saw the bittersweet rituals performed by Princess Noriko of Takamado last week as she bids farewell to her royal life. Yesterday, Princess Noriko and her mother Princess Hisako left Tokyo and flew to Izumo where her wedding to Kunihiro Senge will take place tomorrow. For this trip (and what is likely Princess Noriko’s final appearance as a princess), Noriko topped her ruffled suit with a pale pink bumper hat trimmed with a spray of silk rosettes on the side. Princess Hisako wore a similar style hat in ice blue. While the hats and suits are not what one might consider cutting-edge style, I think the sentiments of this final appearance trump style today. They make a very sweet mother-daughter pair, don’t they?
In a thoughtful gesture of farewell, the Emperor and Empress sent the car usually reserved for them to take Princess Noriko to the airport.
Pop by tomorrow afternoon for coverage of Princess Noriko’s wedding!
Empress Michiko hosted a Folk Music Concert at the Concert Hall inside the Imperial Palace yesterday to celebrate Emperor Akihito’s 80th birthday. This concert was attended by the Emperor’s immediate family and the Takamado Princesses. Crown Princess Masako wore an ivory Breton style hat with characteristic upturned brim nearly as high as the crown of the hat. This silk hat appeared to be without embellishment.
The three young Takamado Princesses, seated behind the Emperor and Empress, wore predictably demure hats. Princess Ayako wore a pale blue bumper hat with silk rose trim on the side and Princess Noriko wore a large white silk hard-shelled beret, also with silk rose side trim. Princess Tsuguko’s hat was a little less predictable in bronze straw with a wide cream and band around the crown.
Princess Hisako of Takamado (second row, middle below) wore a pale blue hat with square crown. The crown appeared to be made of the same pale blue printed fabric as Hisako’s suit jacket. On Hisako’s right was Princess Mako in a white hat with square crown, rolled brim and wide sash around the crown. Mako’s mother, Prinkess Kiko (front row, right) wore a turquoise blue hat with brim tightly rolled up against the crown of the hat. Her hat was a much needed pop of colour amid the Imperial sea of neutral hats.
My favourite hat in this bunch was the bronze straw hat worn by Princess Tsuguko. Which one here strikes your fancy?