Wrapping Up Imperial Royal Tour

In the midst of a busy schedule of royal events over the past two weeks, I completely forgot to wrap up the Imperial visit to Thailand. My apologies!

On Sunday, March 5, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrived in Thailand (see their departure from Vietnam earlier that day at this post). The Empress disembarked the flight in a new grey saucer hat with flat bow across the front, trimmed with a dotted black net tulle veil. The addition of the net veil is a trimming departure for the empress, one that gives a bit of textural contrast to the hat.

Empress Michiko, Mar 5, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Mar 5, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, Mar 5, 2017 | Royal Hats

After a quick 24-hour visit, the Imperial couple departed on Monday, March 6 to return home. For their departure, Empress Michiko wore her ninth new hat of the tour. The pale grey rimmed saucer hat is trimmed with a double looped half bow in the same darker grey silk as her dress. This design is not a departure from anything else we’ve seen on the Empress, although the balance between the saucer brim and the side bow is particularly pretty in this piece.

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

The royal couple arrived home on the evening of Monday, March 6. The Empress disembarked the Japan airways jet in a repeated saucer hat in the same tiny black and white check as her coat, trimmed with a large curved bow.

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:March 18, 2016January 19, 2015

Most of the extended Imperial royal family greeted the Emperor and Empress at the airport. Crown Princess Masako wore a new black (or navy?) hat with upfolded velvet brim, edged in braid trim. Some of you may recall that she wore a green version of this same for the Emperor and Empress’ departure.

 Crown Princess Masako, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko,  Princess Kako both wore variations on bowler hats while Princess Mako repeated a navy cloche with upturned, short trim trimmed with a bow on the side. 

Imperial Royal Family, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Imperial Royal Family, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Hanako repeated a white cloche variation with short mushroom brim and wide grey ruched hatband. Princess Nobuko looked to be wearing a large navy saucer hat (worn at a wonderfully jaunty angle) while her daughters Princess Akiko wore a grey trilby with navy hatband and Princess Yoko sported a white design with short brim and tall crown. Princess Tsuguko of Takamado looked to be wearing her navy indented pillbox with back bow and Princess Ayako topped her camel coat with a matching hat that appears to be trimmed in a Lady Amherst pheasant feather.

Imperial Royal Family, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Several of you have commented about the tradition for extended Imperial family members to greet the Emperor and Empress at their departure and arrivals home- it is a lovely tradition and one that allows us to see lots of hats! Which designs here stand out most to you?

The Imperial Household Agency announced last week that the gruelling pace of this tour caused sickness for the Empress, who has now suspended engagements in order to recover. We wish her the very best in her return to health.


9 thoughts on “Wrapping Up Imperial Royal Tour

  1. First of all, I wish the Empress a very speedy recovery! The shingles (as she’s reported to be suffering) are very painful. I hope she feels better soon!

    All of the ladies look very sharp and sedate. Empress Michiko is so lovely in her hats! I don’t mind that they’re normally a variation on a theme. She wears them…and wears them well.

  2. The variations in the saucer hats are subtle indeed, but the large side bow works very well. It looks as though there is a layer of something underneath, at least in the front?

  3. The elder royals of most dynasties do have a duty-driven schedules the would tire (and seemingly show a dramatic contrast with the younger generations’ pace.). This admire the older SO elegant royals and only hope their stellar qualities and sense of appropriateness will inspire the younger members of their families! I believe those who follow will ultimately live up to their forbears’ inspiring qualities.
    About the hats of the Japanese Royal ladies, I believe they find a style that works for them and stick to it. They seem to believe that too much variety or creativity is unseemly for those in their positions and wish to appear tasteful, refined and modest. As for the Empress’ saucer hats, I absolutely adore them! She looks wonderful in the style and has raised the varying details to an art form. (Or perhaps her hat designer has done that! 😻) Whoever is the source, I’m endlessly amazed at how many sweet and clever ways the wee chapeaux can be varied!
    The very sincerest and best wishes for Her Majesty’s speedy recovery!

  4. I had wondered what happened to this, and then forgot in the midst of all the Cheltenham hattery haha!

    Grey is nothing new for the Empress, but the netting on the arrival hat is something we’ve almost never seen, except at the funeral of Fabiola. Paired with the dove grey, the black netting seems lighter and not funereal. It’s a nice departure from the typical trim.

    The second hat stands out less, but I do like that the bow detailing is on the side, and not down in the front. And the repeat for their return to Japan is a good one, even if it is the third grey hat in a row.

    Obviously I prefer the dark emerald version of this hat on Michiko, but the black makes more sense for a nighttime “welcome home” for the Emperor and Empress. Kiko, Kako, and Mako all looked fine in their hats, but I continually find them to be the most boringly dressed members of the Imperial Family.

    Hanako looks lovely in her hat, and I enjoy that Nobuko has spiced things up with a saucer creation (even if it’s in a very sedate navy). Akiko and Yako repeat shapes they often wear, so nothing new to say about their hats. What I really want are close ups of Tsuguko and Ayako’s hats, especially Ayako’s! Feathers on a Japanese imperial hat, especially a possible pheasant feather?? Give me more of this please! Finally, where was Hisako?

  5. I like both hats and complementary outfits for the Empress. The Emperor and Empress are such a refined and delightful couple. Wishing Her Majesty a speedy recovery.
    It makes me wonder how these older reigning royals, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, manage to keep up with their schedules. One has to admire their sense of duty and hope the younger generation will learn by example.

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