Catching Up Imperial Family Milestones

In last weekend’s “Extra’s” post, we celebrated the December 5 official presentation of Princess Aiko following her 20th birthday, dazzling in a diamond tiara and necklace borrowed from her aunt, Sayako Kuroda.
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It turns out that members of the Imperial royal family also gathered for this celebration, the ladies in hats as well! Princess Kako was seen arriving at the Imperial Palace in her pale sage green silk jacquard covered calot hat with cuffed bumper brim, trimmed with a spray of silk flowers on the side.

Previously Worn: Dec 23, 2019; Apr 10, 2019; 
Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet hat with clamshell-shaped bumper brim trimed with an ostrich plume and bow at the back.  Princess Yuriko wore a turquoise printed silk draped pillbox (or maybe a toque shape?) with rolled rose and leaves made of the same fabric, placed on the side of the design. 

 Princess Hanako’s hat Previously Worn: Feb 24, 2019; Jan 14, 2015;  Jan 10, 2014; Jan 4, 2011
Princess Nobuko looked to be wearing a new dusty pink silk covered pillbox high on the back of her head. Princess Yoko repeated her tall salmon pink silk covered pillbox wrapped in a double fringe of feathers in the same hue. Princess Akiko looked to be wearing a new cream hat with shallow crown and brim covered in a beautifully draped hatband that tied in a side bow.

Princess Yoko’s hat Previously Worn: Mar 23, 2021;  Nov 8, 2020; Oct 25, 2019; Apr 10, 2019
Princess Hisako repeated a salmon pink velvet pillbox with indented pork pie crown, trimmed in pink, peach and burgundy velvet applique flowers that also embellish the neck and shoulder lines of her matching gown. An interesting note from Imperial family expert Prisma- while this ensemble dates back until at least 1992, it was worn, most recently, in January 2014 by Princess Noriko! Princess Tsuguko looked to be wearing a silvery blue silk covered pillbox that I believe is new.

Previously Worn: Jan 15, 2014 (by Princess Noriko); Jan 14, 1992
Sayako Kuroda was also in attendance in a pale green silk calot covered in a ruched dotted white veil.

On December 9th, Empress Masako celebrated her 58th birthday. She arrived at the home of her parents-in-law in a pale blue silk covered bumper hat.

Sayako Kuroda was also seen arriving at the Imperial Palace to greet the Empress on her birthday in a pleated ecru calot hat.

Which ones of these eleven hats stand out most to you?

Images from social media as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

On Wednesday, October 23, Swazi King Mswati III and his newest wife, Inkhosikati LaMashwama arrived in Sochi to take part in the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit. Inkhosikati LaMashwama wore a magenta straw disc percher hat trimmed with straw twists, rosettes, feathers and sparkle crin bows
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On Thursday, October 24, Princess Yoko wore a sunny, tall-crowned cloche to open the 46th Tokyo Motor Show. The same day, Princess Kiko wore a beige silk covered bumper hat with smocked side panel to open the Meiji Jingu Museum

Also on October 26, Queen Margrethe repeated her tan, caramel, chocolate and burgundy checked hat with short  brim and stacked hatbands for military awards and parades at Fredericia. Crown Prince Frederick wore a Tyrolean hat to host a hunt on the Gludsted Plantation in central Jutland on Monday, October 28.
The Imperial Princesses in hats on Monday for the 3rd court enthronement banquet. Last Sunday, a memorial for the Prince of Mikasa (Takahito) was held on the third anniversary of his death. Crown Princes Kiko, Princess Mako, Princess Kako, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, Princess Akiko, Princess Yoko and Princes Tsuguko were all in attendance in demure black hats.

On Thursday, Queen Maxima repeated her warm brown straw picture hat with high upswept brim.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
And from British milliner, millinery instructor and millinery flower maker Ann Tomlin, this whimsically wonderful green button percher trimmed with a handmade wildflower garden. It’s just so charming.

Lovely new portraits of the Belgian royal family (see here, here and here) released last weekend for the celebration of Princess Elisabeth’s 18th birthday
The Norwegian and Greek royals shared inspiration for their Halloween costumes this year

Photos from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Queen Silvia celebrated Swedish National Day, along with the king, in Ludvika last Thursday in a repeated ivory felt calot hat with silk flower and brown feather trim. Festivities later in the day saw the Queen and adult princesses in folk costume with traditional white cotton folded hats.

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Also on Thursday, Prince Harry was in uniform to preside over the annual Founder’s Day Parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea (a retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army). Royal Hospital residents, known as Chelsea Pensioners, wore their distinctive tri-corn hats.
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On Thursday, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko conducted rites related to the abdication at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Tokyo. The empress emerita repeated a slate grey veiled saucer with knotted bow.
On Saturday, members of the Imperial royal family attended the 5th anniversary memorial ceremony for Prince Katsura. The Imperial royal women, who included the Empress, the late Prince’s mother, Princess Yoriko and sister,  Yasuko Konoe (formerly Princess Yasuko of Mikasa) all wore black hats.


Infanta Elena and her father, King Juan Carlos, attended the men’s singles final match yesterday at the French Open Tennis tournament in Paris in summery straw fedora hats
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Wonderful dusky pink embellished bandeau (see the detail!) by Scottish label Angels and Insects Edinburgh
Exquisite veil on this black button percher with white silk flowers from British brand Lock & Co.
Elegant coral sinamay teardrop with crin layered bow by Irish milliner Edel Black
Fantastic pink straw boater with animated bow & hand-dyed pheasant feathers from British milliner Ian Bennett
Adore the shape and movement on this royal blue straw veiled headpiece by Irish brand Marc Millinery
Wonderful black percher with white oversize pinwheel flower by London-based Spanish milliner Rafa Peinador
Prettiest textured straw button percher with ombre straw ruffle by British milliner Ellie Vallerini
Trios of lovely lilac and pale grey designs by Italian milliner Guiliana Mio
Love the unique swirling curves this denim blue straw design from British label John Boyd
Cream straw button percher with amazing ombre fuchsia & aubergine crin trim by British milliner Tracy Miller
White and yellow marabou feather fluff hat by London-based milliner Awon Golding

Great family photo released by the Danish court on the occasion of Prince Joachim’s 50th birthday

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates an incredible 98th birthday today and I’m sure you join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays.
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Photos from 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