Imperial Anniversary Celebrations Continue at Tea Party

On Tuesday morning, a tea party for notable persons of the Heisei era was held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in continued celebration of Emperor Akihito’s 30 years on the throne. As hostess of the event, Empress Michiko did not wear a hat and as Crown Princess Masako did not attend, the most senior Imperial family member in a hat was Princess Kiko. We don’t associate Princess Kiko with millinery surprises but that’s exactly what she delivered at this event, joining her daughters in the bandeau trend that’s sweeping the globe!

In fact, all of the Akishino princesses appeared in bandeau headpieces- Kiko in a new cream one while Princess Mako repeated her beautiful peacock blue design with diamond pattern and Princess Mako repeated her pale lemon yellow silk jacquard bandeau with floral trim behind the ears.

 

The Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended the tea party. Princess Nobuko wore a new pleated burgundy calot (it photographed as deep scarlet in some light but read as more purple on video footage) with single feather trim. Princess Akiko repeated a cream hat with short brim and pleated hatband and Princess Yoko repeated a tall, ruched dusty pink pillbox trimmed in wispy feathers.

Princess Hisako wore an interesting leaf green flat hat with what looks like square points and feather trim while Princess Tsuguko looked lovely in an orchid purple domed bumper hat with feathers on the side.

I suspect the emperor’s upcoming abdication has made this anniversary celebration into such a large, multi-day event but no matter the reason, it’s great to see the Imperial family lend their support (and their hats!) and I was particularly happy to see Mrs. Sayako Kuroda  in attendance. I wish we could see better views of the Takamado princess’ hats because they look memorable. Which designs here stand out most to you?

Photos from FNN; The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty

Imperial Royals Celebrate Emperor’s 30th Anniversary

January 7, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum throne. This anniversary was officially marked yesterday with a series of celebrations, beginning with the Emperor and Empress receiving family members, all in formal daytime court dress, at the Imperial Royal Palace. Crown Princess Masako repeated a blue silk bumper hat- a short video clip shows this piece has an interesting twisted brim around the back, something I don’t think we’ve been able to see until now.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2018; Dec 9, 2017; Dec 9, 2015
Princess Kiko wore a cuffed calot hat covered in peach silk that I think is a new design for her. Princess Mako repeated the bandeau calot she wore on the day of her engagement announcement back in September 2017. Not visible here, the piece is trimmed with silk roses and leaves on the right side. It’s an interesting choice, particularly as her dotted silk gown has previously been worn with a matching bespoke calot covered in the same fabric. Princess Kako repeated her soft yellow spadded bandeau trimmed with a trio of silk blossoms on the bottom of each side, tucked behind her ears. Check out this bandeau’s previous outings on October 20, 2018 or January 14, 2015 for a better view. 


I believe Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet bowler hat with raised brim around the back, trimmed with ostric feathers (and is that a bow I see?). Princess Yuriko of Mikasa (grandmother to Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko) wore a brimless hat in deep eggplant purple. 

Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore a n open ring-shaped headpiece wrapped in green velvet. Princess Akiko topped her blue silk suit (with beautiful cutwork collar and yoke) with a matching silk rolled brim hat trimmed with ostrich feathers and blue veil. Princess Yoko’s tall, pale gray-green silk hat with high cuffed bumper brim had a retro 1960s feel, amplified by its placement on the back of her head. 

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her textured pale lilac suit with a matching flat crowned hat with double brim, the outer one wrapped in the same fabric as her suit. Princess Tsuguko was also in a flat-crowned design, her repeated peach silk hat trimmed in looped peach fabric around the bumper brim.

The Emperor and Empress then attended an event hosted by the Japanese government at National Theatre in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her slightly domed saucer hat covered in pale pink silk with white lattice crin underbrim, beautifully trimmed with silk cherry blossoms and a luminous silk bow

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While the hat is not unlike Michiko’s other hats in terms of shape and scale, the colour is a slight departure (so good, right?!) and the trim is simply lovely. It’s a good hat for her as saucer hats go and I’m glad she chose something outside her usual grey palate for this celebration.
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Embed from Getty Images
Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Nov 14, 2018

The evening saw a dinner at the Imperial Palace (Crown Princess Masako arrived in plum and Princess Kiko in vibrant blue) while today, most of the extended Imperial royal family was seen at a formal tea party. These photos certainly don’t show great view of these hats- despite these shortcomings, do any hats stand out to you?

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

This Week’s Extras

Princess Hisako publicly endorsed the Race For Water Foundation in early February with a sporty baseball hat.
On February 15, Princess Tsuguko attended the opening ceremony of this year’s Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival in a pink silk hat with floral trim. Her sister, Noriko Senge accompanied her and in a sweet touch, Tsuguko referenced her sister during her speech (Noriko’s personal emblem as a princess was an orchid)
The Prince of Wales presented campaign medals to the 1st Battalion Welch Guards on Tuesday while on Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex, who is Captain General Royal Marines, visited the 42 Commando Royal Marines at their base in Bickleigh to carry out a Green Beret presentation. Both wore military uniform berets for these visits.
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Back in October, we looked at the wedding of Duchess Sophie von Württemberg and Count Maximilien d’Andigné. I  came across photos of the couple’s civil ceremony which show the bride in a delicate pink floral bandeau. So pretty. Another sweet touch- Sophie wore her paternal grandmother’s wedding dress for the religious ceremony and here, for the civil ceremony, she wore a retro shift dress belonging to her maternal grandmother.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Wonderfully graphic black felt beret with grey & cream rose by Danish milliner Katrin Cecilia Jacobsen
Marvellous red felt fedora with extended brim and belted hatband by Polish milliner Marta Ruta
Beautiful ivory upswept saucer with curling quills & pink flowers by British milliner Vivien Sheriff
Vibrant orange printed saucer hat by EnaGancio fashion, which specializes in African prints
Black straw hat with ruffled upsweep and gold straw trim by British milliner Isabella Josie
Fuchsia straw picture hat with abacca fan and straw twists by British brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Adore the leaf trim on this elegant navy & ivory straw disc by Australian millinery student Abigail Fergusson
Luxe midnight blue velvet percher with leather flowers, straw twists & veil by Irish milliner Julie Kenny
Headpiece of more than 700 individually placed feathers made by American milliner Milli Starr

And oh my- how I adore this exquisite coral straw teardrop beaded percher with silk abacca twists by Irish milliner Michelle Gleeson. Stunning simplicity at its best.

The Japan Times published two interesting articles this week that are both an insightful read:
Princess Charlene shared this wonderful series of snaps taken during Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques’ first trip to her home continent.
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First African Experience

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Princess Madeleine shared this lovely portrait, taken for Princess Leonore’s fourth birthday and Haga Palace released these snaps of Princess Estelle on the occasion of her 7th birthday this week


On Thursday, King Harald celebrated his 82th birthday- Princess Märtha Louise shared this very fun family portrait with a sweet message wishing him a happy birthday.
We send you off this weekend with a royal red carpet moment from Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, who accompanied their parents to yesterday’s opening of a new development in Monaco. It’s worth noting that the sun was rather bright upon their arrival…
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Photos by Getty and social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

I need to step away from Royal Hats from Monday until the end of the month for some ‘real’ work focus and travel. I’ve planned a series on past Ascot hats and ask again that in my absence, you all share whatever new hats are worn each day in the comments of these flashback posts. I promise to be back soon!  

On Monday, the Imperial family marked the 30th anniversary of Emperor Showa’s death at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachiōji, Tokyo. Empress Michiko, Princess Kiko, Princess Akiko, Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko all wore black hats. The Imperial Crown prince and princess marked this anniversary at the Imperial Palace, Princess Masako in an ecru silk covered hat with high, upturned Breton brim.

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Zara Tindall posed with her husband, Mike on Monday, holding a pink straw sun hat.

On Wednesday, Crown Princess Victoria visited Livgardet (The Life Guards) in Kungsängen in a military green beret.

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I dag besökte Kronprinsessan Livgardet i Kungsängen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ På plats gavs information om Livgardet – som är ett av Försvarsmaktens största militära förband – och dess många olika ansvarsområden. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kronprinsessan fick bland annat en presentation av 13:e säkerhetsbataljonen, vars arbete är att upptäcka, motverka och bekämpa säkerhetshotande verksamhet, både nationellt och internationellt. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Dagen på Livgardet avslutades med att Kronprinsessan fick testa Robot 57 på simulatoravdelningen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Besöket är ett av Kronprinsessans återkommande besök inom Försvarsmakten. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ @livgardet ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Astrid Emilia Amtén/Försvarsmakten

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Also on Wednesday, Princess Sofia was photographed in a pink sun hat at a polo match in Florida where she, Prince Carl Gustaf, and the King and Queen are on holiday, visiting Princess Madeleine and her family.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Winter white beautifully embellished bandeau by Ukrainian milliner Elena Martynenko
Adore this pink straw percher with exuberant ostrich pompom by Australian milliner Meg Rafter
Forrest green velvet felt trilby with slim pale blue hatband by British milliner Bundle MacLaren
Honey orange straw percher with silk roses, veil & burnt feathers by London-based Turkish milliner Merve Bayindir
Blush straw dramatic sidesweep with pale grey looped rings from Irish milliner Aiofe Harrison
Prim Mary Poppins inspired embellished straw boater by British brand Frase Annand Millinery
I’m not usually partial to a bowler hat but adore this vibrant and fresh take on the bowler  by Italian brand Borsalino
Lovely blue straw kokoshnik bandeau with veil and white leather flowers by British milliner Justine Bradley-Hill
Amazing citrus branch headpiece by Australian milliner Rebecca Share that won top prize at Magic Millions Raceday

And from Australian milliner Danica Erard, this vibrant pink straw saucer with flying red bow around the front brim.

The Danish Royal Court shared this charming portraits of Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent to celebrate their eighth birthday.
How sweet is this snap, shared by their mum, of Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco returning to school after Christmas break?
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Back to School 2019

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Great view of London from the cockpit of a helicopter, flown from Kensington Palace to The Royal London Hospital by the Duke of Cambridge to celebrate the London Air Ambulance’s 30th anniversary.

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated 

Imperial New Year’s Lectures 2019

Members of the Imperial family attended the annual Imperial New Year’s Lectures today at the Imperial Royal Palace in Tokyo.

While the Empress did not wear a hat (as hostess of the event in her home), the Imperial princesses all followed the traditional daytime court dress code (gowns and hats) which continues to be used for this event.  
This event brings us a rainbow of Imperial royal millinery and this year was no different:
Princess Kiko: navy straight-sided pillbox she wore to this same event in 2014
Princess Mako: turquoise silk bumper hat with back bow she wore for the 2018 New Year’s poetry readings
Princess Nobuko: oxblood rounded pillbox with side feather I suspect is new
Princess Akiko: pink silk calot previously worn for the 2016 poetry readings and 2015 New Year’s lectures
Princess Yoko: ice blue silk straight-sided silk pillbox she wore to this event in 2015 and in 2014 
Princess Hisako: purple velvet bumper hat with ostrich feather pompomworn for the 2013 & 2015 poetry readings
Princess Tsuguko: repeated cream or pale yellow hat with very short, kettle brim and feather trim 
It’s difficult to tell based on this view (jump back to previous wearings) but what hats stand out to you most?
Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Celebrate Emporer’s 85th Birthday

Emperor Akihito marked his 85th birthday yesterday with an annual greeting from the Imperial Palace balcony and a special birthday lunch which included members of the extended Imperial royal family.

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While the Empress did not wear a hat (as other monarchs usually do not when hosting an event in their home), Crown Princess Masako wore a matching midnight blue velvet ruched dress and bumper hat. The same bugle bead embroidery on the cuffs and collar of the dress trims one side of the hat, adding a lovely bit of sparkle against the dark colour which is glorious on Masako.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: While very similar to this hat, I believe this is new

The ladies of the Akishino family wore a trio of calot hats, all which I think are new. Princess Kiko’s royal blue design features a cuff and bow (or butterfly) trim at the side while Princess Mako’s narrower design (a bandeau-calot hybrid) in pale seafoam green silk is trimmed with pale pink roses on the side. Princess Kako completed the trio in a pale aqua silk covered calot with cuff brim and silk floral trim at the side.

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Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko of Takamado and Princess Nobuko, Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko of Mikasa joined the family for a celebration lunch, all of them in brimless pillbox or bumper designs. Princess Hisako stood out in a vibrant blue feather trimmed bumper hat previously worn to the 2014 annual New Year’s Poetry Reading. Princess Tsuguko repeated her peach silk covered bumper hat trimmed with large abstract leaves in the same hue (worn for the New Year Poetry Reading last January). Princess Nobuko’s hat, in pale celery green, features a bumper brim that overlaps on one side and a crown covered in the same lace as the bodice of her gown. Princess Akiko’s pale yellow bumper hat is lavishly trimmed with what looks like a large silk flower and net ruffles in the back while Princess Yoko repeated the textured salmon pink pillbox trimmed with chevron stripes of ostrich feathers that she wore for the New Year’s Poetry Reading in 2016. 


It’s wonderful to see most of the Imperial royal family in attendance for this celebration- the Emperor’s last before the throne is passed to Prince Naruhito in April. What do you think of these festive brimless hats yesterday in Japan?
Photos from Getty as indicated

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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