Imperial Family Attends Spring Garden Party

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko hosted a Spring Imperial Garden Party at Akasaka Gyoen Imperial Garden yesterday. The Empress, shown leading the Imperial Family to the party below, wore a pale blue saucer hat trimmed with a large bow. When it comes to Michiko’s saucer hats, I think bigger is better and any departure away from her preferred grey ensembles is a winner for me. 

Princess Kiko and Princess Mako of Akishino (The Emperor and Empress’ daughter-in-law and granddaughter) wore a pair of traditionally shaped hats. Princess Kiko’s hat in fresh green included several coordinating bands around the crown while Princess Mako’s white bowler was trimmed with a band of yellow ribbon studded with yellow flowers.

Three of the Takamado Princesses, seen at the top left in the photo below, were also in attendance. Princess Hisako wore a jaunty beige-cream bowler with squared crown and large spray of flowers and feathers on the side. I thought this hat came to life with this embellishment and while the colour was a little bland, made it a fun hat. Princess Hisako’s eldest daughter, Princesses Tsuguko, wore a navy pillbox with pork pie indented crown. The photo above shows a rather twee bow on the back of this hat- an embellishment I think this hat would be better without. Tsuguko’s younger sister, Princess Noriko, wore a pale butter yellow hat with what looks to be a mass of ribbon blooms at the back (see the photo above for a better look). While the shape and colour of this hat were rather nondescript, the ribbon flowers made it come to life and Noriko gave it some additional personality by wearing it at a a slight angle.

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko (nieces of Emperor Akihito), rounded up this Imperial group. Princess Yoko, seen in blue in the center of the photo above, wore a white hat trimmed with blue puffs (carnations? pompoms?) to match her suit. Princess Akiko, seen below at the right, wore a dove grey pillbox.

The hats yesterday were all rather predictable but together, made up a lovely bouquet of millinery in classic spring colours. Are there any hats that stood out to you as your favourite?

2014-04-17 Garden Party 1

Photos from Getty as shown and Asahi Shimbun via Getty

Turkish State Visit to Denmark

The Danish Royal Family welcomed Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Mrs.Gül yesterday for a state visit to Denmark. To greet the Turkish couple at the airport, Queen Margrethe repeated her white flat disk hat trimmed with white fur. This remains one of my favourite of Margrethe’s hats although the whole look is a bit too icy white, in my opinion, for the start of spring.

Queen Margrethe, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats BlogQueen Margrethe, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Margrethe, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 4, 2013; February 3, 2013; January 14, 2012

Crown Princess Mary repeated a grey calot hat with leaf trim on one side. Her hairstyle complimented this hat beautifully; I also thought this hat was an understated compliment to Mary’s grey coat and black dress. I’m not usually a fan of closely fitting calot hats (they look like helmets!) but I thought this one was very fitting for today’s welcome ceremony.

Princess Mary, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mary, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Mary, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Mary, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mary, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: unknown. My guess is Susanne Juul
Previously Worn: January 14, 2012

Princess Marie topped off her tailored coat with a pink cocktail hat. This hat, comprised of multiple petals and a feather pouf center, was far from understated but I suppose it worked well enough on Marie. Again, I thought her low side chignon was the perfect hairstyle for this hat. It is nice to see Marie in some colour although I’m just not sure this hat was the right one for this event.

Princess Mary and Princess Marie, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Marie, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: unknown 
Previously Worn: I believe this headpiece is new.

Princess Benedikte looked elegant in a brimless black hat trimmed with a spray of black feathers. I think I may have preferred a navy hat with her coat and dress but this hat is lovely on her, especially with that hit of fuchsia lipstick.

Princess Benedikte, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Benedikte, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: unknown. My guess is again, Susanne Juul
Previously Worn: March 9, 2006February 2, 2005

It’s lovely to see the whole Danish royal family in attendance at these events. Which royal hat was your favourite today?

Danish Royal Family, March 17, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from Nikolai Linares via and Patrick van Katwijk via Dutch Photo Press

Princess Hisako Opens Tablewear Festival

Princess Hisako of Takamado attended the opening ceremony of 2014 Tableware Festival 2014 yesterday in Tokyo. She wore an oxblood wool suit with matching hat; the hat was unembellished except for a flat, upturned charcoal grey brim. I do not like beanie shaped hats for royal occasions and I’m afraid this hat does not change my opinion. What do you think?

Princess Hisako, February 2, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photo from The Imperial Family of Japan



Well, dear readers, when I introduced our plan to celebrate royal birthdays this year, I did not expect you to respond with such gusto! Over 100 hats were suggested for the Duchess of Cambridge on her birthday this week. Amazing! Several of you let me know how cumbersome it was to go through all the comments to link to the photos. I apologize that you are not able to post direct photos, but I have brought up images from your links for each comment. I am working to move this blog off of wordpress next month (we’ve grown too big!) and the new blog will have better commenting options.

In the meantime, head back over to Kate’s birthday post and scroll through the comments to see all of the hat suggestions made for her. You, dear readers, have put forward some awe-inspiring hats. I can’t wait to see what you suggest for our next royal birthday girls. For those of you wanting to get a head start, the royal birthdays in January include: Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Princess Claire of Belgium, the Countess of Wessex, Queen Mathilde, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco.

Duchess of Cambridge in Gina Foster's "Maplpaquet" designPhotos combined from WPA Pool via Zimbio and Love Hats

Most Prolific Royal Hat Designers of 2013

Hat Query  Longtime reader Guiliana asked, “Of all the hat designers, whose hats did we see most last year? Which designers hats were the most popular?”

This is a question I can roughly estimate, at best. There are many hats that go unidentified so the following statistics are based only on hats with confirmed designers (about half of the overall total). I also decided to count the number of times a hat was seen (instead of the number of individual hats we saw) as I thought it would provide a more accurate indication of the popularity of each designer’s work. So, our rough summary of royal hats in 2013 looks something like this:

The Royal Hats Blog Designer Summary for 2013

The two newest queens in Europe are both longtime wearers of Fabienne Delvigne’s millinery so it’s no surprise that she is the designer whose work we saw most this year. If these two young queens keep wearing hats, I expect Fabienne Delvigne will be very busy again this year. It is also not a surprise that the number two and three spots belong to the designers of Queen Elizabeth hats, and the fourth spot, the designer of Queen Beatrix’s hats.

If you would like to look more closely at the work of any of these designers, I have added a section on the “In The Design” page linking to all of their individual websites. I understand that many readers are not interested in designer information but I think it’s an important facet to the royal hats we all know and love. There would be no royal hats without these talented designers.

Farewell, 2013

2013 brought us a Coronation Jubilee, a Ruby Jubilee, 3 major royal weddings, 2 enthronements and 365 days of wonderful (and wonderfully awful) royal hats. As we already determined our favourite and least favourite hats of 2013, here are the top trends that defined the overall scope of royal millinery this year.

The Royal Hats Blog

2013 Royal Hat Trend #1- Rebirth of the Toque 

2013 Royal Hat Trend #2- The Young Queens Wearing More Hats  

2013 Royal Hat Trend #3- Embellished Small Brimless Hats Replace the Fascinator 

2013 Royal Hat Trend #4- Beautiful Hats from the York Princesses

2013 Royal Hat Trend #5- The Diagonal Brims

With 2013 wrapped up, I wish you a very Happy New Year. I can’t wait to enjoy all of the surprises (and groans) in store for us as we enjoy another year of royal hats!

Jan 1 2013

Royal Hat Trends of 2013: #1

The Royal Hats Blog2013 was a stellar year for royal hats with major royal events in Great Britain, The Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium (along with Ascot and  royal weddings in Luxembourg, Sweden and The Netherlands). Amidst streams of beautiful, bold and sometimes bizarre royal hats, there was one millinery trend that took us all by surprise and stands out above all others.

2013 Royal Hat Trend #1- Rebirth of the Toque

At first, I was not a fan of this hybrid turban-pillbox hat. I end the year, however, knowing more about the history of the toque and having warmed up to its unique shape. While it is a hat style we have seen primarily on Queen Máxima and Queen Mathilde, Queen Margrethe appeared in a toque last month… maybe we will see more toques in 2014. Please click on the photos below to link back to their original post and photo credit information. All hats below (except for the black one worn by Queen Margrethe) were designed by Belgian milliner Fabienne Delvigne.

Queen Máxima, September 13, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne I The Royal Hats Blog Queen Mathilde, Oct. 23, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Mathilde, September 24, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Máxima, Nov. 20, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Máxima, June 19, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog  9 Queen Mathilde, Oct. 16, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Margrethe, Dec. 12, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Máxima, Oct. 18, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog  Queen Máxima, June 21, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog