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 Alexandra repeated a grey straw hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan on Wednesday for a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent to celebrate its 900th anniversary
On Thursday, Princess Benedikte attended the opening of the Jacob A. Riis Museum the Southwest Jutland city of Ribe in her repeated navy textured straw picture hat with curving, sideweeping brim.

Queen Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth were in Africa this week, visiting several UNICEF projects. After meeting with the Maasai in Kenya, they came away gifted with names “Namayiana” (blessed one) and “Nasieku” (first born) and these traditional headdresses

On Friday, Queen Margrethe presented a military award, repeating her new terra cotta orange straw hat with navy hatband. Yesterday, she took part in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the execution of a Danish resistance group in her refined pink straw hat with white trim.
Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko took part in American Independence Day celebrations today at the Tokyo American Club. Princess Hisako wore a biscuit straw hat with very short, rolled brim while Princess Tsuguko topped her floral dress with a lovely wider brimmed hat trimmed with flowers.

Make sure to cast your vote in the 2019 Millinery Association of Australia Design Award People’s Choice category– there are some truly astounding hats

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Orange parsisal button percher with peach blossom vine by American milliner Karen Morris
Kokoshnik bandeau headpiece covered in pink pearls by British milliner Jane Taylor
Black and white straw design with flying bow by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
Blue straw percher with crimson silk floral trim by Australian brand Felicity Northeast Millinery
Fanciful maribou-edged brim on this grey, pink & white ombre design by Danish milliner Mathilde Thoe Førster
Green leaf shaped disc hat with gold quills by Irish milliner Teresa Nugent
Striking stripes! Trio of eye catching striped hats by American milliner Behida Dolić
Slate blue saucer embroidered with tropical birds by Australian brand Amanda Lynn Millinery
Chic pink and cream straw fedoras with slim silver hatbands from French milliner Laurence Bossion
Stunning transparent brim on this navy and marine blue picture hat by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Dusky pink straw percher with flying bow and chenille rosebud veil by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Lovely textured sage green Florentine stitched straw summer hat by British milliner Siana Yewdall
And two hats that made me catch my breath- first is this natural straw beret percher with exquisitely ethereal handmade silk iris flowers and leaves by Leicester-based milliner Guilia Mio
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I'm so proud of finally share this little beauty I've made for a lovely #motherofthegroom! 💜💜💜 She came to me with a stunning dress, we start talking about flowers and for some reason I told her I can see irises on her hat...she looked at me and she said that irises are her favourite flower and she has a lot I her garden!!!! It was meant to be!!! . . For enquiries about #bespoke hats visit my website (#linkinbio👈 ) or PM me . . @giulia.mio.millinery #couturehats #couturemillinery #millinery #bespokemillinery #giuliamiomillinery #weddingseason #summerwedding #specialoccasion #gardenwedding #silkflowers #irises #handmade #madeinleicester #madetomatch #motherofthebride #weddingguest #leicester #supportleicesterlocal

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and second is this stunning turquoise design with parasisal crown, two-toned double layer sinamay brim, hand rolled flying bow and turquoise guipure lace applique by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit. Truly- this hat caught my eye before I realized who made it!

A possible answer to widespread questions about Princess Haya’s absence at Royal Ascot. Whatever is going on in this situation, I’m sure you all join me in wishing her and her children safety and peace.

Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Host and Embark on Foreign Visits

Numerous world leaders were in Japan this week for the G20 Summit- on Thursday, the emperor and empress welcomed French President and Mrs. Macron to the Imperial Palace for a luncheon in their honour. While the empress, as hostess, did not wear a hat, the Imperial princesses in attendance did.

Princess Mako and Princess Kako both wore silk covered bumper hats trimmed with bows at the back. It’s difficult to tell- I think Mako’s hat and suit is an almond beige while Kako’s looks to be a blush pink.


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Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore a grey hat with Pork pie crown and rolled brim trimmed with a darker grey hatband and bow at the back. Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her blue and grey floral print suit with a repeated ivory saucer. The hat features an ivory windowpane crin inverted binding around the brim and is trimmed with pale blue silk ruffled flowers on the side.

The most interesting hats of the day were on Princess Yoko of Mikasa, who wore a white hat with wide, curved brim and tall pinched crown, trimmed with a pale turquoise hatband and Princess Tsuguko of Takamado, whose hat featured a navy crown with ivory wrap and ivory brim with a stripe of navy binding. With her navy and cream ensemble, the hat topped a crisp and very summery look.

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This year marks 100 years of Polish-Japanese diplomatic relations, a centennary being celebrated with a visit by Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko to the Eastern European nation. For their arrival yesterday at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Princess Kiko wore a cream bumper hat with upfolded brim. Polish first lady Agata Duda’s fuchsia straw button percher with straw loops and feathers is a small hat but an eye-catching one!

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For a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier later in the day, the Crown Princess wore a brimmed white hat with upturned kettle brim trimmed with a layered taupe hatband. Kiko wears so many brimless bumpers, it’s great to see her in a brimmed design for a change.

Following the visit to Poland, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko will continue to Finland where we’ll no doubt see several more hats. What do you think of these designs at these foreign diplomatic relations events?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Appear On Palace Balcony

Following the abdication and enthronement ceremonies that took place earlier last week, the Japanese royal family appeared balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Friday for the emperor and empress’ first official public appearance.

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Empress Masako chose vibrant yellow for this debut, a colour we’ve not seen on her in recent memory. Her silk covered hat features a domed crown and tightly upturned kettle brim, trimmed with a hatband embroidered with diagonal stripes of gold and saffron bugle beads.

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The beaded hatband links with the exquisite starburst (or rising sun?!) motif around the collar and cuffs of her gown with a slight but very welcome contrast provided by the diagonal direction. It’s a matched ensemble, for certain, but such is the Imperial way at events as high profile as this and it’s wonderful to see something on the empress as sunny as her smile has been this week. Dare we hope it’s a foretaste of more vibrant hats to come?!

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Crown Princess Kiko repeated a bumper hat covered in cream silk printed with a small floral jacquard pattern. The hat is simply trimmed with the same finely braided trim as on the bodice seams and cuffs of her gown. Kiko’s ensembles are always impeccably finished and I suspect the subtle detail in this hat is best viewed at closer range.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 15, 2016; December 23, 2011

Princess Mako repeated her cuffed calot hat and gown in printed pale gold silk. The hat is simply trimmed with a bow at the back.


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 16, 2017; December 23, 2015

Princess Kako followed her sister’s lead, repeating a cuffed calot hat and gown in pink silk printed with a small floral motif. As far as calots go, this has a lovely shape emphasized by the cuff. The right side of the hat is trimmed with pink silk flowers.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: December 23, 2015

Princess Hanako brought some of her characteristic millinery pizzazz with a heart shaped hat in the same periwinkle blue silk as her gown. The hat’s crown features an inlay of pleats- a unique detail I can’t remember seeing on another royal hat. The pleats emphasize the unusual heart shape; the hat is finished with a small, rolled brim and spray of silk lilies of the valley at the back. The design feels rather creative for an Imperial hat, something I’ll always applaud!


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

Princess Yuriko, who will celebrate her 96th birthday next month, looked regally elegant in her deep green pillbox hat trimmed with a silk rose at the side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 10, 2019

Princess Nobuko topped her melon hued gown with a pleated bandeau-calot in a slightly lighter shade, trimmed with orange silk rolled rosettes and bow loops on the side. The different shades of peach, melon and orange work so well to create a look that is interestingly nuanced but still, very coordinated


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is nes

Princess Akiko repeated her pale blues silk covered Breton hat trimed with ostrich feather wrap that fills the surface of the brim, and a dotted net veil.  The hat’s narrow brim suits petite Akiko very well and, as I’ve mentioned before, does not overwhelm the amazing cutwork on the collar of her gown.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: February 24, 2019; January 16, 2019

Princess Hisako paired her salmon pink paisley floral high necked gown with a beautiful brimmed hat. The design, which features a shallow crown, is trimmed with a lace hatband and delicately patterned veil that overlays the brim. The plain salmon silk covered hat is further trimmed with a spray of silk blooms and leaves on the side. We consistently see the Imperial royals in hats and gowns of the same hue but the different materials used on the two pieces here give such lovely contrast and interest to the ensemble. It’s just exquisite.

 

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

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Princess Tsuguko wore a percher hat in a beautifully patterned green silk. The teardrop shaped base is trimmed with a layered sash across the top of the hat embroidered with the same vine pattern as on the collar of her gown, and is finished with a trailing spray of blossoms on the side. The embroidered detail gives lovely dimension to the pieces and the balance of high collar, hairstyle and angle of hat placement (set off by that stunning aquamarine brooch) is just superb.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

This event leaves me hope-filled for an increase of more colourful and creative millinery on the Imperial royal ladies during this Reiwa era. There are some wonderful hats here- which ones stand out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Newsletter Communication Center; Jiji; Mainich

Imperial Enthronement

On the day following Emperor Akihito’s abdication, Emperor Naruhito was enthroned yesterday in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo attended by the royal family. The Imperial princesses all wore sparkling tiaras (jump over to this post at The Court Jeweller for an excellent review of the tiaras). Crown Princess Kiko appeared, for the first time, in the Crown Princess Parure with scrolled tiara while Empress Masako looked wonderfully regally (and beamingly happy) in the the Meiji Tiara, a tiara reserved for the empress.

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Following the enthronement ceremony, Imperial family members greeted the new Imperial couple (see this in full in the first embedded video at the bottom). Crown Princess Kiko paired her cream jacquard silk gown with a matching bumper hat, covered in the same fabric and simply trimmed with an embroidered cuff at the back. Princess Mako repeated her seafoam cream bandeau-calot, covered in the same dotted silk as her gown. The hat is beautifully finished with a bias silk binding and spray of silk flowers on the right side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe Crown Princess Kiko’s hat is new. Princess Mako’s hat was worn February 24, 2019; September 4, 2017

Princess Kako repeated her buttercup yellow padded bandeau headpiece. The design is covered in the same floral jacquard silk as her gown and trimmed with silk blooms behind her ears. Princess Hanako of Hitachi was also in yellow silk with a statement hat. The straw base of this design has a rolled brim that looks to be covered, on both sides, with tiny, individual silk blossoms and is finished with a feather pouf at the back.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Princess Mako’s hat was worn February 26, 2019; February 24, 2019;October 20, 2018; January 14, 2015 I believe Princess Hanako’s hat is new.

Princess Yuriko of Mikasa wore a slate blue silk covered pillbox embellished twisted silk roses and leaves. Princess Nobuko of Mikasa topped her oxblood lace gown with a lace and silk organza striped turban trimmed with a large flower with wired starburst organza petals on the side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I don’t believe we’ve seen either hat before

Princess Akiko repeated her pink silk gown and crescent bandeau headpiece. Yesterday’s video finally gives us a view at the bandeau’s detail, showing a wonderful lattice pattern woven in silk ribbon anchored with pearls. Princess Yoko continued with more millinery surprises, topping her flowing gown with a percher hat in pink silk, worn on the right side of her yead. The design looks to be trimmed with cream beads- a detail we’ll have to wait for a better angled look to see for certain.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Princess Akiko’s headpiece was worn January 11, 2018; I believe Princess Yoko’s hat is new

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her vibrant cereulean blue silk gown with a matching domed bumper hat. The upturned edge of the brim is covered in matching blue feathers and there looks to be a spray of silk flowers on the right side of the design. Princess Tsuguko repeated a purple floral headpiece that wraps around the right side of her head- a headpiece I can’t wait to see in greater detail!

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe Princess Hisako’s hat is new. Princess Tsuguko wore this headpiece January 16, 2019 (I still think it’s a reworked version of the headpiece she wore January 14, 2015)

Finally, the new emperor and empress ended the day with a return to the Imperial Palace to greet Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko. For this visit, Empress Masako donned a bumper hat covered in the same dotted jaquard silk print as her warm ivory hued gown. The left side of the brim is beautifully draped in four pleats that echo a simlar detail on the gown’s waist- subtle touches, indeed, but ones that are impeccably executed.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

There seems to be an overall feeling of goodwill toward the emperor and empress- I’m sure you join me in wishing them the very best as they transition into their new roles.

Photos from Getty as indicated; Newsletter Communication Center

Abdication Marks Start of Reiwa Era

The 30-year Heisei reign officially ended today with the abdication of Emperor Akihito. The abdication ceremony was held in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.


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Crown Princess Masako looked radiant in an exquisite new hat. The design features a domed crown covered in pearlescent silk and a lace covered bumper brim- the same scroll patterned lace as was on her gown. The hat shape works well with the high collared gown and the pieces combine to make an elegant and very regal look.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat news

Princess Kiko repeated a bumper hat in palest celery green silk. The raised brim is overlaid in the same lace as on Kiko’s gown. I prefer Kiko in more saturated colours but it’s not surprising to see her in a pale hue for such high profile events. The lace overlay on the hat’s brim provides a lovely, textural frame around Kiko’s face.


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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: December 23, 2014

Princess Mako repeated a cuffed calot hat covered in the same ice blue floral printed jacquard silk as her gown. The blue silk flowers that adorned this hat at its first outing are visible in the photo below.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 15, 2016

Princess Kako repeated a royal blue bumper hat with brim edge embroidered with the same royal blue bugle beads that trim the basque waist of her gown.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 10, 2015

Princess Hanako wore a pillbox hat with domed crown, wrapped in a pleated silk wrap (or bumper brim?) and trimmed with a multi-looped bow. I believe this hat is new (the gown was paired, at its last outing, with a different hat). Princess Hisako repeated the deep purple bumper hat with ostrich feather pouf at the back we last saw her wear at the 2015 New Year’s Poetry Readings. Princess Tsuguko repeated the burgundy silk covered beret she wore for the 30th anniversary celebration of the emperor’s reign back in February. This view shows lavish floral and feather trim on the side of the design and a burgundy net veil that, I suspect, swaths the entire hat.

Princess Yoko topped her mint green silk gown with a matching veiled percher hat worn at a wonderfully rakish angle on the side of her head. The ensemble has a vintage, 1940s vibe to it that she wears very well. Princess Akiko repeated her lime-yellow silk gown with matching bumper hat with what looks like inlaid silk stripes on the side of the raised brim. Princess Nobuko paired her pale sage green silk gown with a matching brimless hat trimmed with a large ecru silk flower and veil. Princess Yuriko (Yoko and Akiko’s grandmother) repeated her deep eggplant purple, low profile bumper hat with bow at the back.

The Imperial royals know how to do retrained, elegant looks better than any other royal house and today was no exception. You can watch highlights of today’s abdication ceremony here along with commentary and an interesting overview of the Emperor’s life (start at 12:00). In recent days, NHK World also broadcast a 3-part documentary on Emperor Emeritus Akihito that I found informative, enjoyable and highly recommend:

Part I: Emperor of A Defeated Nation
Part 2: The Two Of Us
Part 3: The Symbol Of A Nation

The Reiwa reign of Emperor Naruhito began at the stroke of midnight (Japanese time) on May 1. His enthronement ceremony will follow tomorrow.

Photos from Getty as indicated; Kyodo News, Kyodo News and Kyodo News via Getty; NHK World

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 formed beret (covered in silk, I would imagine) 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