This Week’s Extras

Just fitting in this post while I step away for a day- I’ll be back to finish coverage of Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding tomorrow!

Back on May 4, Prince Mihailo and Princess Ljubica of Serbia christened their daughter Natalija in the church of St. George at Oplenac. Princess Ljubica wore a cream straw disc base percher hat with straw loops and ostrich feathers.
Last Sunday, the Prince of Wales took part in the Cavalry Sunday parade, an annual march and commemorative service held the second Sunday of May by the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association in Hyde Park. He sported the traditional black felt bowler hat worn by retired regimental members to this event.
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On Monday, the Earl of Wessex donned a dapper cream straw fedora for The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards Presentations in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
Also on Monday, Princess Hisako wore a cream silk covered bowler trimmed with a modern floral motif and a very interesting, octagon shaped upturned kettle brim for her departure en route to Sweden. I’m not sure I like the brim shape but it’s undisputably unique.
Princess Beatrix celebrated the bicentenary of the Hermien Mill in Harreveld on Friday, repeating her navy straw hat with domed crown wrapped in layers of wide straw ribbon.
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Yesterday, Crown Princess Kiko attended the 30th National Greenery Conservation ceremony in Tottori in a cream hat trimmed with a pale green hatband (not a coincidence, I’m sure!)
The Duke of York was photographed yesterday in more rehearsals for upcoming Trooping the Colour. The Duke was appointed Colonel of Grenadier Guards in 2017 (taking over from the role his father had held since 1975) an will review the troops in this regiment on June 1 to make sure they are in tip top shape for the Queen’s birthday parade on June  15
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Today, Princess Yoko donned a tall, flared pink cloche hat for youth tennis championships in Kashiwa.

This week, I updated the post on all of Queen Máxima’s signature upswept brim ‘slice’ picture hats and was gobsmacked to realize she has 25 (and counting) of this style! Jump to the updated post for a peek.
The following new millinery designs jumped out at me:
Brilliantly practical straw percher with interchangeable trim from British milliner Fernanda Lewis
Two great picture hats (one with lovely ombre ruffle & one with pink perspex bow) by British milliner Ellie Vallerini
Exquisite movement on this crin trimmed black straw beret percher by Scottish milliner Maggie Mowbray
Pale grey saucer with iridescent pinwheel of layered crescent petals from London-based milliner Merve Bayindir
Red button percher with swirling scarlet cherry blossoms by Irish milliner Suzanne Ryan
Bandeau headpieces with colourful, statement-making trims from British milliner Jess Collett
Striking black and white design, amazingly made without a hat block by Australian milliner Louis Macdonald
Lovely colour story on this lilac and peach floral trimmed boater from Irish milliner Carol Kennelly
Stunning midnight blue beaded pillbox percher with flying bow by New Zealand milliner Anel Heyman
Adore the ribbon pinwheel trim on this cream straw trilby from period-inspired British brand Bea & Evie
Fantastic statement star magnolias on this magenta hugger percher by Australian brand Murley and Co.
Pattern! Vibrant floral printed black straw boater with feather trim by Canadian-based brand Jaycow Millinery

 

Princess Märtha Louise was in a lot of headlines this week after announcing a new relationship. Here’s the interview she and her new partner Shaman Derek Verrett conducted to address some of the controversy:
Princess Benedikte’s daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, was married to Count Michael Ahlefeld-Laurvig-Bill’s wedding yesterday. Interestingly, she wore a floral tiara from her new husband’s family. Princess Märtha Louise (and Shaman Derek Verrett) were among a handful of family and royal guests.
Wonderful footage of the entire Cambridge family exploring the “Back to Nature” garden the Duchess was part of creating at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.


And, we wrap up this weekend with a start to the Royal Ascot countdown… it’s just 4 weeks away!

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Imperial Enthronement

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

This Week’s Extras

On Monday, the Akishinos visited the Imperial Musashino Cemetery in Hachioji. Princess Kiko wore a black silk bumper hat.
Prince Charles in a white kippah on Tuesday for a visit to the Nidhe Israel synagogue in Bridgetown, Barbados
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On Wednesday, a concert by music university graduates held at the Imperial Palace was enjoyed by several members of the Japanese royal family. Crown Princess Masako and Princess Kiko repeated bumper hats in oyster beige and pale blue; Princess Mako wore a navy cuffed calot with pointed sides and Princess Kako, a pale blue silk bowler hat. Princess Akiko repeated a pistachio green brimmed hat and Princess Yoko, a black design with square crown and short kettle brim edged in trim.


Yesterday, Queen Mathilde attended the funeral of Cardinal Godfried Danneels in her black calot wrapped in overlaid wide stripes of textured black woven fabric and trimmed with a large looped rosette on the side.
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During this week’s Danish state visit to Argentina, Crown Prince Frederik gained a bird’s eye view of a wind farm development (wind turbines from designed and built by a Danish company) near the city of Bahia Blanca. The Danish monarchy also shared photographs taken in northern Argentina after the official visit that show Queen Margrethe in what looks like a new, flat crowned, red brimmed hat 


Congratulations to Princess Kako who is graduating from the International Christian University in Tokyo. She took part in the graduation ceremony yesterday  in a gown and mortarboard hat.
Casual hats for Peter Phillips and Princess Anne today, cheering on Zara Tindall who is competing at the Gatcombe Horse Trials held on the grounds of Princess Anne’s estate.
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Statement gold freeform percher with butterflies by New York brand Suzanne Couture Millinery
Purple feather covered pillbox percher from Melbourne brand Jill & Jack Millinery
Sharp stylized cream felt trilby with black floral trim from Russian milliner Denis Gulyaev
Adore the colour contrast on this large copper straw disk with blue feathers from Irish milliner Aiofe Harrison
Vibrant purple straw button percher with pink flower and feather spray from US brand Fascinate Designs
Wonderful vintage print on this navy and cream pillbox by Australian milliner Chris Mullane
Blush straw saucer with light-as-air tulle pompom trim from British milliner Sarah Cant
Sculptural and beautifully draped red felt headpiece from American brand ChuChu NY
For our dear gents, this very elegant black beaver felt fedora from Danish brand Hornskov København
In a time when the need for recycling only increases in importance, Kenya-based milliner Chloe Mitchell
trimmed this charming ecru and grey floral embellished percher entirely out of felt scraps

And from British milliner Marisa Groom, this cream and pink straw beret percher with ombre cream, grey and pink organza ruffles.

Those sweet royal twins in Monaco don’t miss a holiday, do they?! So sweet
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Happy St Patrick’s Day 🍀🌈 🇮🇪 2019

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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

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

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 ostrich feathers (and is that a bow I see?). Princess Yuriko of Mikasa (grandmother to Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko) wore a low-profile bumper hat in deep eggplant purple with ribbon detail on the back. 

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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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

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