Hello again, dearest readers! It’s wonderful to be back with you- thank you all so very, very much for keeping the conversation going while I was away. I want to quickly review the hats we’ve seen this month and give you all the opportunity nominate any designs you wish to see in our October favourite new and repeated hat polls. Here are the hats we saw October 1 to October 7:
Sunday, October 1: Empress Michiko in a repeated pale grey rimmed saucer with origami circular trim worn on a visit to Ehime Prefecture
Tuesday, October 3: Crown Princess Victoria attended the opening of the Swedish Church meetings at Uppsala Cathedral in a new headpiece of dark green silk folded into dahlia blooms, each with a knotted silk center scattered with beads.
Tuesday, October 3: Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako attended the closing meeting of the 14th Science and Technology in Society forum in Kyoto in a repeated caramel brown bowler style hat with upturned Kettle brim, edged in a wide stripe of ribbon.
Tuesday, October 3: For the opening of Danish Parliament, Queen Margrethe repeated her blue beanie hat with black patent leather cuff. Princess Benedikte repeated her red felt brimless hat with stacked crown by Susanne Juul, Crown Princess Mary repeated her Jane Taylor designed purple pillbox with beaded side feather trim and Princess Marie repeated her navy straw fedora with wide net tulle hatband wrap and silk flower trim
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Tuesday, October 3: Princess Hisako of Takamado attended a conference on public nutrition in Shimane Prefecture. She repeated an oyster grey straw variation on a boater hat with textured straw hatband, side bow and feather spray.
Wednesday, October 4: Queen Máxima opened an exhibition at the Mauritshuis museum in a new cranberry felt Garbo hat with hatband and side bow from Fabienne Delvigne
Wednesday, October 4: Princess Anne was joined by the Duke of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent at the memorial Mass for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor at Westminster Cathedral. Princess Anne repeated a black cocktail hat with net veil wrapped beret base circled in feathers. Princess Michael repeated a black felt Breton hat with side bow.
Wednesday, October 4: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Brunei Embassy in Tokyo to sign a guest book of good wishes for the Sultan of Brunei. The Empress repeated a small grey rimmed sauce hat with origami bow.
Thursday, October 5: The Earl and The Countess of Wessex attended The Sultan of Brunei’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Sophie repeated the natural straw saucer hat she first debuted at Ascot, with a slight change of trimming. The hat’s first outing featured black silk twists which were replaced here with taupe crin ones and a large coral pink feather.
On Saturday, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended the ceremony in Tokyo to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Big Brothers and Sisters Movement in Japan. For the event, Princess Masako wore an ivory bowler style hat with upturned kettle brim, simply trimmed with a wide hatband in the same pale gold as her suit.
Designer: unknown Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
I’d describe this hat as simple but serviceable – what’s your take on it?
On Tuesday, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended the opening ceremony of LAWASIA (The Law Association for Asia and Pacific) in Tokyo. Masako wore an ecru hat with trilby-esque upturned back brim, trimmed with a wide blue hatband. I suspect the design is new.
Also on Tuesday, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko commemorated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Japan War-Bereaved Families Association. For this event, the Empress wore a larger scale white rimmed saucer hat trimmed with a silk bow in the the same buff and black printed silk as her blouse. I can’t say that I think the pairing of this particular silk with white was a great idea. As we’ve said many times here, it’s all a bit too much biscuit.
Yesterday, the Imperial couple were in Hidaka where they paid a visit to the Koma Jinja Shrine. For the event, Empress Michiko repeated her white saucer hat with transparent lattice underbrim and a curling ribbon ribbon in the slate blue accent as on her suit.
Princess Mako formally announced her engagement to Mr. Kei Komuro, a lawyer she met in 2012 while attending International Christian University in Tokyo. Princess Mako arrived at the Imperial Palace in a pale turquoise calot hat with silk floral trim at the side that she removed for the press conference. It’s a typically demure design that while unexciting, is a lovely colour on the young princess.
Designer: unknown Previously Worn: This hat is new
The young couple is expected to marry sometime during the autumn of 2018. Princess Mako’s royal status will end with her marriage, although I suspect we’ll still see her from time to time at family events (as we do with her aunt, Sayako Kuroda and cousin, Noriko Senge)
Last Thursday, July 27, Princess Hisako of Takamado attended an international calligraphy exhibition in Tokyo. For this event, she paired a black floral suit with a pyramid-centered saucer hat in black straw. This is one of my favourite Imperial royal looks in a long time- the streamlined, modern shaped hat and traditional floral print of the suit are a slightly unexpected combination but so chic.
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
Today, Princess Nobuko, Princess Kiko and Crown Princess Masako joined the Empress at the annual Florence Nightingale awards in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her white raised edge saucer with transparent lattice underbrim, trimmed with a pale celery silk knotted bow and silk leaves. It’s another ensemble of exquisitely subtle touches that the Empress wears, beautifully.
Designer: likely Akio Hirata Previously Worn: Mar 1, 2017
Princess Nobuko looked to be wearing a pillbox in the same grey silk print as her dress. Princess Kiko topped her pale blue suit with a coordinating pillbox and Crown Princess Masako wore a demure cream bumper hat.
Princess Hisako of Takamado is wrapping up a visit to Ireland to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Japan-Ireland diplomatic relations. Last Friday, she visited Irish President, Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at their official residence, Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin. She repeated a natural straw hat with short, kettle brim and a straight-sided crown with domed top. The hat is simply trimmed in a slim knotted hatband in the same fabric as her suit and a pair of orange feathers at the side. Here is a great side view of the hat in the Irish Times, taken at a visit to a children’s hospice in Dublin later that day.
Yesterday, on her birthday, Princess Hisako visited Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens Tramore. She wore a cream straw hat with square crown and trilby brim, trimmed with a double hatband in two shades of green that ends in an origami sunburst on the side. I may be reading more into this than is intended but the rising sun motif combined and the Irish green colour scheme hardly seems coincidental on a visit celebrating Japanese-Irish diplomatic relations.
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.
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.
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.
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.