Imperial Royals Mark Passing of Princes

June 6 marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa. As per tradition, a ‘grave festival’ was held at Toshima Oka cemetery in Tokyo. The Imperial family was led at this event by the late Prince Tomohito and Princess Nobuko’s daughters Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko; their grandmother, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince and Princess Akishino were also in attendance with the women in veiled black bumper hats and the men in morning dress, carrying silk top hats.

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Yurko of Mikasa, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Prince Naruhito, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

The event was also attended by former princesses Mrs. Sayako Kuroda (Prince Naruhito’s sister, the former Princess Nori) and Mrs. Noriko Senge (former Princess Noriko of Takamado) who repeated the dress code of pale grey dresses topped with black veiled bumper hats.

Mrs. Sayako Kuroda and Mrs. Noriko Senge, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Today, a similar event was held at the same cemetery and shrine, this time to mark the third anniversary of the passing of Yoshihito, Prince Katsura. Similar black, veiled bumper hats were worn again for this event by Princess Yoriko of Mikasa (Prince Katura’s mother), Princess Kiko and Mrs. Sayako Kuroda. Again, Crown Prince Naruhito attended in morning dress, carrying a black silk top hat.

 Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats Crown Prince Naruhito, June 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

 Princess Kiko, June 8, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Kiko, June 8, 2017 | Royal Hats

Mrs. Sayako Kuroda, June 8, 2017 | Royal Hats

The attendance of Sayako Kurado and Noriko Senge at these events feels noteworthy. Since the 1947 Imperial Household Law, Japanese princesses have lost their royal status upon marriage – until recently, former princesses did not attend royal events and appeared to be completely cut off from their royal relations. While these were family events (and as such, follow different rules than official Imperial ones), Princess Mako’s upcoming engagement announcement has started chatter about revising this law to allow Imperial princesses to retain some of their status (especially with a single male in the current young generation). I can’t help but hope that the appearance of Sayako and Noriko this week is a sign that, at the very least, the inpterpretation of this law is starting to change.

Hitachi Couple Attend Memorial

Back on May 29, Prince Masahito and Princess Hanako of Hitachi attended a Memorial Service for the Unknown War Dead at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo. Princess Hanako topped her grey dress with an interesting hat I wish we could inspect closer- the base appears to be black straw with a slightly domed crown, flat brim and bow around the back. A white (or pale grey) wrap around the base of the crown seems to extend onto the brim (instead of hugging the crown as a hatband does) and is further topped with a web of what I think might be grey lace. This gossamer changes the shape the hat appears to be from afar and adds such an air of mystery.

Designer:unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
We’ll likely have to save our final thoughts on this hat until we can see it better but for now, what do you think of this first glimpse? 

Catching Up On Royal Hats

After a short vacation, I’m back refreshed and ready for what will be a very busy upcoming month of royal hats! Thanks so much for keeping the conversation going while I was away- you readers are absolutely wonderful. A few of you have requested a post with photos of all the hats we missed over the past week – here we go.

May 21:  Princess Anne attending Day 2 of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2017 in a repeated hat with tall, navy straw crown and cream brim trimmed with navy straw bow loops, silk flowers and feather quills. She wore it most recently in June 2015 at garden party (jump to this post for better views).

May 24: Queen Sonja of Norway opened the 65th Bergen International Festival in a repeated gold straw hat with high, domed crown, flat brim and wide silk hatband we saw her last wear in June 2015.

Queen Sonja, May 24, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 24: The Duchess of Cornwall presented RAF Halton with new colours. She repeated a hat by Lock and Co. with a tall crown, upturned kettle brim and side bow in nubbly natural straw.

May 24: The Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl of Wessex presented the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award gold awards at Buckingham Palace in a pair of straw Panama hats

May 25: Queen Elizabeth visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and an equestrian farm in Staffordshire, repeating the orange straw cloche with wrap around the crown that she first wore for Ascot last year. Designed by Angela Kelly, the hat is trimmed with orange straw bows, silk roses and royal blue feathers.

May 25: Empress Michiko, Princess Kiko, Princess Hisako and Princess Nobuko attended the Japanese Red Cross Society annual meeting. Empress Michicko repeated a white saucer with blow and transparent lattice underbrim and Princess Kiko repeated a bowler variation with upturned, kettle brim and pleated hatband in the same ice blue printed silk as her suit. Princess Hisako wore a charcoal grey straw design with wide, dotted hatband sash that tied in a bow at the side while Princess Nobuko repeated a white hat with rolled brim and crisp navy hatband with white pinstripes.

Imperial Royal Family, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats  Princess Kiko, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats  Princess Nobuko, May 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 25: Princess Eugenie co-hosted a Buckingham Palace garden party with her father to celebrate the Centenary of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). She wore a new gold straw hat with inverted crin brim by Nerida Fraiman (it’s the Crin Disc Gold from SS 2017). I adore the shape and sheen of this design.

  

May 26: Princess Anne delivered closing remarks at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2017 (read parts of her speech here). She looked fantastic in an emerald green dress topped with a cream straw hat with diagonal crown and sharply upturned brim on one side. The hat is trimmed with a mass of cream feathers on the lowered side of the brim and stacked hatbands in gold and caramel straw. While the hat follows a very similar shape and colour to the one she debuted for Easter last year, I think this one is different. Have any of you seen it before?

May 27: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko travelled to Toyama to attend the 68th National Tree-Planting Festival. On the first day of their three day visit, Empress Michiko repeated a large, white, domed saucer hat trimmed in a black and caramel striped silk bow she most recently wore during their last visit to this region in October 2015.

Empress Michiko, May 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 27: Charlotte Casiraghi photographed attending a wedding in Italy in a white cuffed calot hat. It’s a repeated pice that was worn several decades earlier by her mother, Princess Caroline.

Hermosa #CharlotteCasiraghi asistiendo a una boda en Roma | 27 de Mayo 2017

A post shared by Charlotte Casiraghi (@charlottexcasiraghi) on

Is it the same hat? #carolinedemonaco #princesscarolineofmonaco #charlottecasiraghi #Monaco

A post shared by @miss_nostalgiamc on

May 28: Empress Michicko on Day 2 in Toyama in a large white saucer with a coordinating bow to her lime and black and white hounds tooth checked suit she first wore June 1, 2014. How wonderful is that hit of lime!

Empress Michiko, May 28, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, May 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, May 28, 2017 | Royal Hats 

May 28: Queen Elizabeth en route to Crathie Church for Sunday Service in a repeated magenta straw hat with upswept brim, white straw hatband, straw loops at the side and a pair of magenta feathers. Jump over to this post for better photos from this Rachel Trevor Morgan design’s most recent outing in May 2016.

May 29: Empress Michicko wrapping up the visit to Toyama in her repeated, teal blue, rimmed saucer with grey, black and white plaid bow in the same silk as her skirt. She wore it last June 4, 2016

Empress Michiko, May 29, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, May 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

May 31: Today, The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the London Youth charity’s 130th anniversary. He looked rather dapper in his straw Panama hat.

I think that catches us up! I think there’s only one hat here that didn’t make it into your discussion- Princess Anne’s cream straw hat worn with the green dress. I think this is a knockout outfit for her and am curious to hear what you think. Any final thoughts on the hats we’ve seen over the past week?

Imperial Royals At Floral Events

Last Thursday, Princess Nobuko of Mikasa officially opened the 2017 International Roses & Gardening Show in Saitama Prefecture. For this event, she wore a white straw hat with straight sided crown and rolled brim, wrapped in a swath of pale blue tulle. I often straddle the fence when it comes to such frothy hats but this one, paired with he blue and green floral dress, seems wonderfully appropriate for this event.

Princess Nobuko, May 11, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Nobuko, May 11, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Last Saturday, Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Princess Hanako visited the 50th anniversary exhibition of the Japanese Ikebana Art Association in Tokyo. Princess Hanako, who is Honorary President of the Association, wore a cream hat with rounded crown and mushroom brim that looked to be made of crin (or some type of transparent material). The hat is embellished with what appears to be green shoots (or vines?) and tiny leaves placed around the brim. I can only hope Hanako wears this again soon so we can have a better look. I’m intrigued.

Princess Hanako, May 13, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Hanako, May 13, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
Photos  from Mainichi and JNN News

Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

The Imperial royals have been busy over the past week, leaving us several hats to catch up. On April 20, Princess Akiko repeated her white cloche with upturned brim on a visit to the Mie Prefecture Museum. This design is a larger scale than many of Akiko’s other hats and works well on her.

Princess Akiko, April 20, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: July 22, 2015
Last Tuesday, April 26, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko commemorated the 100th anniversary of RIKEN, Japan’s largest research institute. The Empress repeated a pale blue saucer hat with raised rim around the back and a large, stacked, circular origami bow.
Empress Michiko, April 26, 2017 | Royal Hats
Empress Michiko, April 26, 2017 | Royal Hats
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: October 29, 2016October 11, 2014May 16, 2012
On Wednesday, April 27, Prince Masahito and Princess Hanako of Hitachi attended the 35th Ueno Royal Museum Grand Prize award ceremony in Tokyo. Princess Hanako repeated her sage green silk covered hat with cloche shaped crown  and mushroom brim with lace overlay.
Princess Hanako, April 27, 2017 | Royal Hats
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: November 13, 2015August 5, 2015; June 26, 2015; May 19, 2015
And finally, On Thursday, April 28, the Emperor and Empress presented the 11th Midori Academic Prize in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her white saucer hat we first saw her wear during the Imperial couple’s tour of Vietnam in March this year. Like much of the Empress’ millinery, this hat is all about subtlety- a gently raised rim, transparent lattice underbrim, flat bow in ombre grey silk and monochrome silk anemone blossoms and leaves. On its own, the piece falls a little flat tonally but combined with Michiko’s ombre silk suit, it really works.
  Empress Michiko, April 28, 2017 | Royal Hats
Empress Michiko, April 28, 2017 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, April 28, 2017 | Royal Hats
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: March 3, 2017
Thoughts about this quartet of Imperial royal hats?
Photos from Line News, AsahiSankei; and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty

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.

Imperial Visit to Vietnam Part 2

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko continued their visit to Vietnam over the weekend in the former Vietnamese imperial city of Hue. As they toured the former imperial citadel on Saturday, Empress wore a new saucer hat. In pale grey, the large scaled saucer features a slightly raised rim and is trimmed in a double bow in the same fabric as Michiko’s suit and striped tunic. The striped bow ties beautifully with the tunic, which extends beyond Michiko’s black jacket in a style we don’t often see on her but one that looks so sharp.

Empress Michiko, Mar 4, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Also on Saturday, the emperor and empress visited the gardens and memorial house of Vietnam’s nationalist Phan Boi Chau (1867-1940) who campaigned for a strong relationship with Japan to gain Vietnam’s independence. For this visit, Empress Michiko wore a gently sloped white saucer hat with a white transparent lattice underbrim and a curling ribbon in the slate blue/grey accent as is on her suit. The curling ribbon is backed in a high sheen silk which gives the piece a bit of sparkle in the sunlight.

Empress Michiko, Mar 4, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Yesterday, the royal couple departed Vietnam for Thailand. Empress Michiko wore a white rimmed saucer trimmed with a folded bow in the same grey silk as her suit and a sprinkling of white silk blossoms. The light, delicate feel of the hat compliments her graphic suit really well.

Empress Michiko, Mar 4, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: this hat is new
These three designs, combined with the four we saw last week, made for seven new hats on the Empress during this Vietnamese visit. None of the shapes or colours are a great surprise although there are some lovely details and great millinery workmanship here to admire. Which of these six new hats in Vietnam stands out to you most?
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the two hats Empress Michiko wore today in Thailand.
Photos from Getty as indicated; Kyodo News, Hoang Dinh Nam and Kyodo News via Getty