Queen Mathilde Launches Ship

Queen Mathilde was in Oostende yesterday to launch a new dredging installation ship. For this event, she repeated her grey printed calot hat with straw twist trim.

Queen Mathilde, April 28, 2016 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Paired with her coordinating coat, the hat makes for a very streamlined and coordinated ensemble. However, something about the all-over print falls flat for me. On its last outing, this hat was paired with a grey suit and I think the subtle contrast of fabric set this hat off to greater success.

Designer: Philip Treacy. Coat by Armani
Previously Worn: June 24, 2015; February 19, 2014
Any new thoughts to share about this piece since the last time we saw it? Do you like it enough to include it in this month’s poll of favourite repeated royal hat?
Photos from Getty as indicated and The Belgian Monarchy

Imperial Royals At Spring Garden Party

Members of the Imperial Royal Family attended an annual spring garden party hosted by the Emperor and Empress yesterday at the Akasaka Imperial Garden.

Imperial Royal Family, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko led her family in an elegant white wool suit topped with her large white saucer hat with pink petal trim. Within the realm of the empress’ style, it was a lovely hat for this event.

 Empress Michiko, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 24, 2014December 2, 2013

Crown Princess Masako was also in white, pairing her suit with a squared bowler hat with short, upturned brim. If you look closely, you will see that the band around the crown of this piece is anchored by very slim braided trim which brings some much needed texture to it.

Crown Princess Masako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: November 5, 2014

Princess Kiko repeated a pale green silk covered pillbox while her daughter, Princess Mako, wore a square-crowned pink hat with short upfolded brim.

Designers: unknown
Previously Worn: Princess Mako’s hat is new. Princess Kiko’s hat was worn April 26, 2007
Princess Hanako of Hitachi repeated her smart ecru hat with square crown and linear, upturned brim while Princess Nobuko of Mikasa topped her seafoam green tunic suit with a coordinating feather trimmed hat. Her daughters, Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko wore simple hats in pale blue and pink. Princess Hanako of Takamado looked to be pale blue suit and hat- the hat followed one of her go-to shapes with a low, flat crown and short, U-shaped curled brim while her  daughters donned the most dramatic millinery shapes of the day. Princess Tsuguko topped her navy and black printed dress and jacket with a wide brimmed black picture hat brimmed in what looks to be long navy feathers around the flat sided crown. Princess Ayako topped her pale lilac ensemble with a matching saucer hat, placed at the most rakish angle we’ve seen among the Imperial royals in a long time.
Imperial Royal Family, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
It is always fun to see such large scale royal hatted events such as this one, even if the hats are not exciting. The last two certainly piqued my curiosity (oh how I wish we could see them better) which is not something I often can say about Imperial millinery. What do you think of this parade of Japanese royal hats? Are any of them worthy for your nomination of favourite hat worn this month?
Photos from Getty as indicated; The Asahi ShimbunThe Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun via Getty 

Dutch Royals Celebrate Koningsdag

Members of the Dutch Royal Family joined King Willem-Alexander in Zwolle today to celebrate his birthday. For this informal annual celebration, Queen Máxima wore a new hat in pale lilac straw with a rounded mushroom brim (see a short video of its creation here). I thought that the hat’s pairing today, with Máxima’s floral skirt and bright cardigan, was unexpected. Colour scheme aside, we seldom see hats worn with twin sets these days and this ensemble hit just the right notes of informality and nostalgia needed for this event while still feeling chic.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne 
Previously Worn: This hat is new. While it looks very similar to the hat worn August 6, 2015, they are different
Queen Máxima’s fashion keeps us all on her toes and the styling of her ensemble today was a successful suprise. I can’t wait to hear you weigh in with your thoughts about this hat!
Photos from Getty as indicated

Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

There are a number of hats worn this month by members of the Imperial Royal Family that we must catch up on:

April 2: The Imperial couple visited Nara to take part a memorial service commemorating the 2600th anniversary of the death of Emperor Jimmu (the first emperor of Japan). On the first day of their visit, which took them to the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Empress Michiko wore a new ensemble in a cool slate blue. Her saucer hat, a larger scale than we often see on her, was simply trimmed with silk flowers and leaves. It’s a great piece on her that worked well with her suit (love the lattice smocking detail!).

Empress Michiko, April 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely house of Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

April 3: Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko visited the mausoleum of Emperor Jimmu. Empress Michiko repeated her small, stacked grey saucer hat with slim stripe around the outside of the hat and flat bow trim. Princess Kiko wore a large black bumper hat without embellishment.

Empress Michiko and Princess Kiko, April 3, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko and Princess Kiko, April 3, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer of Empress Michiko’s hat: Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: April 16, 2015November 20, 2013; August 15, 2011;  August 15, 2009; June 22, 2009; August 15, 2008August 15, 2007; August 15, 2006; August 15, 2005; August 15, 2004March 17, 2004; August 15, 2003; August 15, 2002August 15, 2001August 15, 1995
Designer of Princess Kiko’s hat: unknown
Previously Worn: November 12, 2012 

For their visit to the Kashihara Jingu Shrine later that day, Empress Michiko changed into a white suit topped with a white silk covered disk hat. We have seen this piece before on her- I like the wide, swathy white silk bow trim (Michiko’s hat trims are usually smaller) and the touch of grey silk on the bow ties the hat beautifully to her jacket.

Empress Michiko, April 3, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely house of Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: February 20, 2016; March 13, 2015

April 4: On the final day of their visit to Nara Prefecture, the Imperial couple visited Takamatsuzuka Tomb and museum in Asuka Village. Empress Michiko repeated her dove grey rimmed saucer hat with folded bow trim for this engagement.

Empress Michiko, April 4, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely house of Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: November 17, 2015

April 12: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko  visited the Mausoleums of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun. For this, she wore a new hat in slate blue-grey. The saucer design featured a short rim around the perimeter (it looks like the outside of the hat is white) and a stacked, folded bow encircling one side of the piece. Changes in the Empress’ millinery are subtle at the best of times but this is certainly a departure from the go-to shapes we usually see her wear.

Empress Michiko, April 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

April 20: And finally, Princess Kiko of Akishino, who is president of the President of the Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi-Aiiku-Kai, attended the foundation’s 48th National Convention in Tokyo. Made of the same monochrome striped silk as her ice blue suit, Kiko’s bumper hat was trimmed with what looks to be a small bunch of silk flowers on the side. What stands out to me here is how the brim has been covered on the fabric’s bias, creating a diagonal stripe. It’s another very subtle but rather lovely touch.

Princess Kiko, April 20, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko, April 20, 2016 | Royal Hats

These aren’t the most exciting hats (and believe me, the sea of grey pieces in the Empress’ wardrobe is getting harder and harder to tell apart) but there are some design details, particularly on the first hat and last two hats, that are really lovely. Any thoughts on this bunch of very neutral Imperial hats?

Photos from Sankei; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi ShimbunThe Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Sankei; Sankei; and FNN News

Princess Beatrix Opens Roosevelt Centre

On April 20, Princess Beatrix was in Oud-Vossemeer to open the Roosevelt Information Centre (ancestors of US Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt hailed from this area of Holland). For this event, she repeated her red straw hat with tall and boxy bumper brim, topped with navy trim around the perimeter of the rounded crown. While the shape is not my favourite, I love how Beatrix’s red hat, shoes and purse add hits of colour to her more neutral suit.

Princess Beatrix, April 20, 2016 in Suzanne Moulijn | Royal Hats  Princess Beatrix, April 20, 2016 in Suzanne Moulijn | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrix, April 20, 2016 in Suzanne Moulijn | Royal Hats  Princess Beatrix, April 20, 2016 in Suzanne Moulijn | Royal Hats

Designer: Suzanne Moulijn
Previously Worn: April 21, 2015May 22, 2013; March 9, 2011

We’ll undoubtedly see the princess tomorrow for annual Koningsdag celebrations, held this year in Amsterdam. Any thoughts to share about this hat until then?

Photos from Robin Utrecht, Robin Utrecht, Robin Utrecht and Robin Utrecht via ANP

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Wee Prince Alexander of Sweden left the hospital with his parents in a white cap (Kungahuset Facebook)

Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was awarded an honorary doctorate degree (Facebook)

Great article on royal warrant holder, Lock and Co. Hatters (New York Times) and millinery style tips from Jane Taylor (Marie Claire)

Princess Anne took the salute at Britannia Royal Naval College for the graduation of 154 Officer Cadets (Royal Navy Facebook) and the HCM Reigment’s Freedom of the City of London parade

Prince Harry joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a joint effort between the Royal Foundation and numerous mental health charities.

Royal Hats

Danish Princess Isabella turned 10 this week and lovely portraits were released for her birthday as well (Daily Mail)

The American Presidential couple dined at Kensington Palace this week while on a visit to London. One of their hosts was allowed to stay up 15 minutes past his bedtime to meet them.

This week was all about Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday. Don’t miss galleries of the Queen’s style here and here,
longtime royal photographer’s account of photographing the Queen, or this excellent review of all of Her Majesty’s Jewels (The Royal Jewel Vault).  If you haven’t already seen them, here are the three official portraits of the Queen taken by Annie Leibovitz for this milestone (note little Mia Phillip’s death grip on her great-Granny’s handbag) and the wonderful four-generation stamp-sheet photograph of the Queen and her three heirs commissioned by the Royal Mail.

You won’t want to miss these two family tributes.