This Week’s Extras

On Monday, Princess Nobuko wore a white hat to attend the 130th anniversary of the Japanese Red Cross Society’s  Branch in Gunma.
Princess Hisako started out this week in Aichi attending an annual conference on nutrition and dietary improvement. For this event, she wore a cream hat with square crown and curved brim, trimmed with lichen green hatbands and side embellishment.
On Tuesday, Princess Hanako wore a yellow pillbox with embellished sides for the 30th anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale Arts Prize.
On Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex was in military uniform and cap again to lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in Fiji.
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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
Yesterday, Princess Ayako worshipped at the Three Palace Sanctuaries in advance of her wedding next week. While She was in traditional dress (and hairstyle), her mother, Princess Hisako, sisters Noriko Senge and Princess Tsuguko and cousin Sayako Kurada all wore white hats.

Today, members of the Takamado and Mikasa families donned brimless black hats to commemorate the second anniversary since Prince Mikasa’s death (Sankei)
Princess Margriet in a red pouf fascinator today to christen a reconstructed expedition ship
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Amazing gravity-defying ombre turban from London-based Awon Golding
Winter white felt angular cloche with exuberant pheasant feathers from British milliner Annabel Allen
Turquoise and tan feather headpiece with net veil from Australian milliner Neil Grigg
Red silk ruched bandeau with pearl trim from British milliner Laura Cathcart
Pale percher with statement sunburst spiky trim from Irish milliner Laura Hanlon
Navy wide brimmed design with red jin sin twists from Australian brand Millinery Jill
Two designs from British milliner Bundle McLaren- a wonderfully modern take on a pillbox in oxblood
with a flying bow
 and a chic black beret percher with silver dipped curling quills
Pale grey sculpted French lace bandeau tiara with dotted net veil from British label Catherine Walker & Co.
Navy straw percher with copper-tipped navy goose feathers from Irish milliner Theresa Nugent
Dramatic, 1950s-inspired blocked straw saucer covered in velvet on top and silk and graphic,
Art-Deco patterned lace on the bottom from from Texan milliner Milli Starr
And from Melbourne-based milliner Louise MacDonald, these wonderfully vibrant and textural bandeau headpieces of woven ribbon.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit shared this week that she has been diagnosed with chronic pulmonary fibrosis. While she is optimistic about treatment and the future, the illness will undoubtedly continue to impact her and her royal role. Living with chronic disease is not easy and as such, I request that all future comments about the Crown Princess’ millinery choices be framed with compassion.
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.
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Imperial Royals Mark Passing of Princes

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.

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Yurko of Mikasa, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Prince Naruhito, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko, June 6, 2017 | Royal 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.

Mrs. Sayako Kuroda and Mrs. Noriko Senge, June 6, 2017 | Royal 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.

 Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats Crown Prince Naruhito, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

 Princess Kiko, June 8, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Kiko, June 8, 2017 | Royal Hats

Mrs. Sayako Kuroda, June 8, 2017 | Royal Hats

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.

Royal Hats this Year: Japan Part 1

Royal Hats Year In Review 2014The 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. Princess Hanako, Jan 10, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 2. Princess Hanako, January 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 3. Princess Hanako, January 26, 2014 |  Royal Hats 4. Princess Hanako, April 6, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 5. Princess Hanako, May 15, 2014 | Royal Hats

6. Princess Hanako, June 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 7. Princess Hanako, July 8, 2014 | Royal Hats 8. Princess Hanako, July 10, 2014 | Royal Hats 9. Princess Hanako, July 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 10. Princess Hanako, July 14, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko of Mikasa

11 & 12. 2014-01-10 New year lectures 3 Mikasa 13. Princess Akiko, January 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 14 & 15. Princess Yoko and Princess Akiko, April 17, 2014 | Royal Hats

16. Princess Akiko of Mikasa, April 28, 2014 | Royal Hats 17. Princess Akiko of Takamado, June 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 18. Princess Akiko of Mikasa, July 27, 2014 | Royal Hats 19. Princess Akiko, October 6, 2014 | Royal Hats

20.Princess Yoko, October 11, 2014 | Royal Hats 21. Princess Yoko, October 16, 2014 | Royal Hats 22. Princess Yoko, October 16, 2014 | Royal Hats 23. Princess Yoko, November 10, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Noriko, Princess Tsuguko and Princess Ayako of Takamado

24. Princess Noriko, Jan 10, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 25. Princess Noriko, January 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 26. Princesses Tsuguko, April 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 27. Princess Noriko, April 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 28. Princess Noriko, May 27, 2014 | Royal Hats 29. Princess Ayako, July 3, 2014 | Royal Hats

30. Takamado Princesses, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats 31. Princess Noriko of Takamado, September 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 32. Princess Noriko, October 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 33. Princess Noriko, October 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako of Takamado

34. Princess Hisako, Jan 10, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 35. Princess Hisako, January 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 36. Princess Hisako, February 2, 2014 |Royal Hats  37. Princess Hisako, April 17, 2014 | Royal Hats

38. 2014-06-15 wake 6 39. Princess Hisako, July 3, 2014 | Royal Hats  40. Princess Hisako, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats 41. Princess Hisako, September 1, 2014 | Royal Hats

42. Princess Hisako, September 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 43. Princess Hisako, October 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 44. Princess Hisako, October 26, 2014 | Royal Hats 45. 2014-11-13 Japan Ex 2014 46. 2014-11-25 Chrysanthemum exhibition 1

Princess Mako of Akishino

47. Princess Mako, April 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 48. Princess Mako, May 26, 2014 | Royal Hats 49. Princess Mako, June 15, 2014 | Royal Hats

50. Princess Mako, June 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 51. Princess Mako, July 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 52. Princess Mako, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats 53.2014-12-28 Akihito birthday 1

Princess Kiko of Akishino

54. Princess Kiko, Jan 10, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 55. Princess Kiko, January 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 56. Princess Kiko, January 27, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 57. Princess Kiko, January 31, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

 58. Princess Kiko, April 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 59. Princess Kiko, June 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 60. Princess Kiko, June 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 61. Princess Kiko, June 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 62. Princess Kiko, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

 63. Princess Kiko, July 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 64. Princess Kiko, October 4, 2014 | Royal Hats 65. Princess Kiko, October 6, 2014 | Royal Hats 66. Princess Kiko, October 6, 2014 | Royal Hats 67. 2014-12-28 Akihito birthday 1

Crown Princess Masako

68. Princess Masako, June 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 69. Princess Masako, June 17, 2014 | Royal Hats 70. Crown Princess Masako, July 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 71. Princess Masako, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats 72. Crown Princess Masako, July 15, 2014 | Royal Hats

73. Crown Princess Masako, July 29, 2014 | Royal Hats 74. Crown Princess Masako, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats 75. Crown Princess Masako, October 30, 2014  | Royal Hats 76. Crown Princess Masako, November 4, 2014 | Royal Hats

77. Crown Princess Masako, November 10, 2014 | Royal Hats 78. 2014-12-09 birthday 79. 2014-12-28 Akihito birthday 2

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

Japanese Royal Wedding Reception

While they were formally married in a traditional ceremony at at the Izumo Taisha grand shrine on Sunday, Noriko Senge (formerly Princess Noriko of Takamado) and her new husband Kunimaro celebrated their wedding with a reception this evening at Hotel New Otani in Tokyo. For this celebration, Mrs. Senge added a diamond brooch to her hair and small diamond earrings. She looks tranquilly beautiful, doesn’t she?

Noriko Senge, October 8, 2014 | Royal HatsFor more information and photos (including pictures of the Crown Prince and Princess who attended the reception) see this post at The Imperial Family Of Japan blog. 

Japanese Royal Wedding

Royal HatsAmid 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.

Princess Noriko, October 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

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).

Princess Noriko and Kunimaro Senge, October 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Noriko and Kunimaro Senge, October 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

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.

Princess Noriko and Kunimaro Senge, October 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

According to Japanese law, Noriko lost her royal title and membership in the Imperial family with her marriage today and officially became “Mrs. Noriko Senge”. The Japan Times reports that the couple will host 300 friends and family at a wedding reception in Matsue on Monday, while Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be among the guests at a dinner party to be held at a Tokyo hotel on Wednesday.

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.

Photos from Sankei News; Jiji Press/Stringer via Getty; Kyodo via Japan Times; and Nikkei

Princess Noriko Travels to Izumo for Wedding

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?

Princess Hisako and Princess Noriko, October 3, 2014 | Royal Hats

In a thoughtful gesture of farewell, the Emperor and Empress sent the car usually reserved for them to take Princess Noriko to the airport.

Princess Noriko, October 3, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako and Princess Noriko, October 3, 2014 | Royal Hats

Pop by tomorrow afternoon for coverage of Princess Noriko’s wedding!

Photos from The Imperial Family of Japan

Concert for Emperor’s 80th Birthday

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.

Crown Princess Masako, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

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.

Crown Princess Masako and Takamado Princesses, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

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.


Imperial Royal Family, July 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

My favourite hat in this bunch was the bronze straw hat worn by Princess Tsuguko. Which one here strikes your fancy?

Photos from Asahi Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, and Asahi Shimbun via Getty