Takamado Princess Officially Announces Engagement

On Monday, Princess Ayako of Takamado and Kei Moriya held a press conference at the Imperial Household Agency in Tokyo to officially announce their engagement.

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July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Ayoko wore a pink dress and coordinating hat for the event (matched adorably by her fiance’s striped tie!). The button based percher hat is covered in woven fabric (or very finely woven straw?) that contrasts slightly with her crepe embroidered dress, a great use of different textures not often employed with Imperial royal hats. The hat is trimmed with a folded crepe silk bow, edged with a stripe of the shiny side of the fabric and embroidered with tiny pink seed pearls. We don’t see many percher hats on Imperial royals and this one is a great choice for Ayako, particularly for this joy-filled announcement.

July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Princess Hisako was on hand to support her daughter in a smart hat covered in the same wheat-coloured silk as her suit. The design features a short brim that turns up around the back, similar to a trilby, a flat crown. The hat is simply trimmed with a hatband and front bow in the same fabric. 
July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats
I thought this was a wonderful hat for Ayako- my only disappointment here is that after her October wedding, her public role will end. I’m sure you all join me in wishing the young couple much happiness- what do you think of this pink percher hat?
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Photos from Getty as indicated; Kyodo News, The Asahi Shimbun, and Kyodo News via Getty; FNN
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Imperial Royals Attend Spring Garden Party

On Wednesday, members of the Imperial royal family joined the emperor and empress at the the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo for the spring garden party, an annual event that brings us a parade of Imperial royal hats.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Empress Michiko topped her ice blue silk suit with a small saucer hat in the same hue, trimmed with blue camellia flowers and a flat bow around the front.

Embed from Getty Images

Crown Princess Masako wore a pale pink straw hat with domed crown and short kettle brim, trimmed with a wide ruched straw hatband that finished in a large bow at the side. The bow makes the hat, I think, softening the angular lines of the crown and giving the piece some much needed energy.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko and Princess Mako wore hats in the same domed crown and kettle upturned brim shape. Princess Kiko’s hat, in pale blue, is delicately trimmed with a wide silk ruched hatband and silk blossoms on the side. Princess Mako’s white design, which has a wider brim than her mother’s design, is trimmed with a wide turquoise hatband and origami flowers that circle the hat. The combination of wider brim and higher contrast trim (with interesting origami) makes this a winner for me.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Nobuko stood out in a light purpley-grey hat with gentle side upsweep on the brim. The hat is exuberantly trimmed in a side spray of feathers and a wide swath of lavender and dark purple net tulle wrapped around the base of the crown that gives great movement to the design and links so well with the sheen of purple shades visible across the weave of her silk suit. Prinkess Akiko topped her pink suit with a matching hat with button crown, short cartwheel brim and bow on the side. Princess Yoko matched her pale yellow suit in a coordinating silk wrapped pillbox hat.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako wore a peach hat with square crown and widely rolled brim (the brim looks to be in the same silk jacquard print as her jacket while the crown looks to be a solid colour). Princess Tsuguko paired her burgundy silk dress in a matching bumper hat wonderfully trimmed with a wide silk bow and flowers on the side. Princess Ayako topped her yellow dress with a white button percher hat embellished with yellow and white flowers around the top half of the hat’s circumference. The floral trim on the hat references the ruffle on the hem of her dress, making a wonderfully coordinated and balanced head-to-hem look.

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

Apr 25, 2018 | Royal Hats

How great it is to see a variety of colour, trimmings and shapes on the Imperial Royals?! These nine hats, each of which I believe is a new piece, certainly made for a colourful millinery parade. Which designs stand out most to you?

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

On March 28, an exhibition on Queen Margrethe’s clothes, gowns and hats will open at The Old Town Museum in Aarhus. I believe this is the first time her hats will be on exhibition- something some of you might want to catch if you are in Denmark between now and September 9.

Crown Princess Mary in a new black hat with wide, mushroom brim on Tuesday for the private funeral of a family friend.

Wonderful to see that Lady Frederick Windsor appears to have recovered from the horrible car accident she suffered last November. She was photographed looking very well at the Cheltenham races last week in a tall crowned, rose trimmed navy hat from Siggi Hats.

Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein in a cosy knit winter hat to welcome the Austrian President and first lady for a visit (Luxarazzi)

On Tuesday, members of the Imperial royal family attended a concert at the Imperial Palace performed by graduating students from several Tokyo university music programs (Imperial Family Of Japan)

Princess Ayako, Princess Akiko, Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko and Princess Hisako in hats 

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Lovely draped cocktail hat with floral trim in the freshest pale spring green from Italian brand Birdcage Hats
Such an interesting mix of feathered crown, straw brim and silk brim binding
from Texas milliner Milli Starr
Large elevated side saucer hats with signature bright lycra loop trim from Irish milliner Aoife Harrison
The most perfect bow on this gold metallic straw cocktail hat from London milliner Fi Graham
Black peach bloom felt oversize fedora with beautifully shaped brim & rhinestone hatband from Stephen Jones
Such a pretty pale pink saucer bound in silk with roses & cut feathers from Yorkshire based Justine Bradley-Hill
Dark green button percher with amazing ultraviolet blue iridescent feathers from UK brand Mind Your Bonce

And from Irish milliner Maggie Mowbray, this stacked black and pink straw with veil and feathers in the most interesting shape that defies description. So creative without sacrificing wearability.

 Royal Hats

Sad to hear news that the King of Morocco and Princess Lalla Salma have divorced (Hola)

The Luxembourgish state visit to France included a surprising number of members of the Grand Ducal royal family (Luxarazzi)

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also celebrated her birthday this week- these great new formal portraits were released in celebration of her birthday.

The Duchess of Wessex heard that a terminally ill young photographer wanted to take her portrait, so she invited him to do just that. The sitting and the resulting portrait are shown below. (Hello)


 

Photos from NTV and Jiji

Closer Look at Three New Designs

Three hats came up in discussion in Saturday’s ‘extras’ post that I think warrant greater coverage and discussion here on Royal Hats. So here we go!

Last Thursday, February 1, Princess Margriet attended a ceremony at the Flood Museum in Ouwerkerk to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the 1953 flood caused by a storm tide across the northwest European shelf that caused massive flooding in the Netherlands and claimed 1836 Dutch lives. For this national commemoration, Margriet wore a navy blue felt trilby style hat with extended brim. Lengthening a trilby brim doesn’t always work but this one hits the mark and looks wonderfully stylish on Princess Margriet.

Embed from Getty Images

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

Last Friday, February 2, Princess Ayako of Takamado and Princess Nobuko of Mikasa attended the 67th Kanto Tokai Flower Exhibition in Tokyo, both in black hats. Princess Ayako’s rounded crown design features a mushroom brim and unique flat fan bow bow on the side of the crown. Princess Nobuko’s brimess hat follows an asymetrical shape emphasized by wide velvet binding on the top and bottom, and is simply trimmed with a bow at the back. It’s a much bolder shape than we’re used to seeing on Imperial royal hats but one that Nobuko carries so well.

Feb 2, 2018 | Royal Hats

Feb 2, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: both are
Previously Worn: I believe both hats are new

I think all three hats are a great example of style by shape- no exuberant trims are needed to make them stand out (perhaps, except Princess Ayako’s hat, which would look amazing with a large Lady Amherst feather wrapped around the brim!). I’m curious to hear what you think. 
Photos from Getty as indicated; Sankei

Imperial New Years Poetry Reading

Last Friday, the Emperor and Empress hosted Utakai Hajime, which translates as ‘First Poetry Reading’, a gathering at the Imperial Royal Palace at the beginning of each new year where participants read traditional Japanese poetry on a common theme before a wider audience. Like the New Years Lectures, the dress code for this event is Court Dress, giving us another opportunity to see the Imperial royal ladies (except the hostess, Empress Michiko) in gowns with hats.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko repeated a pale yellow hat with double bumper brim in the same pale yellow silk as her gown. Princess Mako topped her turquoise gown with a matching bumper hat trimmed with a bow at the back.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designers: unknown
Princess Kiko’s hat was previously worn:Dec 23, 2012
Princess Mako’s hat was previously worn: Jan 11, 2017 and Dec 23, 2013

Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore the most interesting design of the event, a open crowned headpiece of dusty pink tulle wrapped around a wide rim. Her daughter, Princess Akiko, wore a cream hat with pleated crown and short brim covered in the same silk jacquard as her gown. I believe both of these hats are new additions.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her high necked bright blue skirt and jacket with a matching hat with white brim, trimmed with a spray of blue and white flowers on the side. Princess Tsuguko wore a peach bumper hat trimmed with large abstract leaves in the same hue while Princess Ayako wore a brimless design in pale seafoam green silk to match her  gown. I believe these three hats are new as well.

Jan 12, 2018 | Royal Hats

Photos of this event are scarce which is such a pity as there are numerous hats that would greatly benefit with closer views. Princess Hanako, who usually brings the most daring millinery designs to these New Years events, did not attend and was certainly missed. From what we can see here, what hats stand out to you most?
Photos from ntv.co.jp; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty as indicated

Imperial New Years Lectures 2018

Yesterday, members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the Ceremony of Kosho Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Lectures)  at Imperial Palace in Tokyo. A tradition of royal enlightenment since 1869, these Imperial New Year’s Lectures saw experts in the field of human, social and natural sciences address the royal delegation in their respective fields. When the lectures began 149 years ago, the daytime dress code across royal courts for ladies reflected the prevailing Victorian fashions of the time- long gowns with hats. This event is one of a handful each year that maintains this dress code, giving us the rare opportunity to see hats with full length gowns.

Imperial Royal Family, Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako made her first appearance at this event in 15 years in a repeated Breton hat. Made of the same hint-of-blue silk jacquard as her gown, the hat features a pork pie style crown and characteristic rolled Breton brim.

Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats  Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2014Dec 23, 2013; Dec 9 2010; Dec 23, 2009; Dec 9, 2006Dec 23, 2005

Princess Kiko topped her celery green gown with a matching capulet style hat that I believe is a new addition to her wardrobe. Following a classic capulet shape (a calot with extended front combined with a bumper brim around the front and sides of the piece), the hat is trimmed with a small back bow and covered in the same lace that adorns the top of Kiko’s gown. Princess Mako made her last appearance at this event in a repeated navy velvet, rounded edge pillbox hat trimmed with a bow on the side in the same blue silk as her gown.

Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

Previously Worn: I believe Princess Kiko’s hat is new. Princess Mako wore this to this same event in 2016  

The Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended this event. Princess Nobuko wore a wonderful pale green pillbox trimmed with a giant ivory silk flower that I believe is new. Princess Akiko repeated a pale pink silk calot trimmed with silk rosettes. Princess Yoko wore a majenta textured pillbox. Princess Hisako topped her elegant dove grey gown with a matching bumper hat with side feather trim that I believe is new. Pricess Tsuguko also went with a new design that looks to be a burgundy silk tam variation trimmed with flowers on the side. Princess Ayoko repeated her pale yellow silk jacquard gown and matching calot bandeau trimmed with silk flowers and leaves on each side.

Jan 10, 2018 | Royal Hats

These lectures always brings some millinery surprises and such is the case this year, even with a few repeated pieces. I missed seeing Princess Hanako, who always stands out at this event. What hats stand out to you here this year?

Imperial Royal Memorial and Tour

Last Friday, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa attended a service at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the death of her late husband, Prince Takahito. For this memorial, she wore a veiled black bumper hat.

Princess Yuriko, Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Mako, Princesses Akiko and Yoko of Mikasa and Princesses Hisako, Tsuguko and Ayako of Takamado all wore veiled black bumper hats.

Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

On October 29, Princess Akiko braved the rain in a repeated a white pillbox hat for the enshrinement of Prince Mikasa’s spirit at the Imperial Palace.

Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

Over the weekend, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures. For a visit to a robotics innovation center on Saturday in Kitakyushu City, the Empress wore a large white (or cream? oyster?) domed saucer trimmed with a large bow that looked to be embroidered in a lattice pattern with metallic thread.

Oct 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: the bow seems new… who knows about the saucer. 

The focus of the visit, the 37th National Meeting for the Healthy Ocean, took place Sunday in Munakata City. Empress Michiko wore a smaller scale saucer in pale bluey-grey trimmed with a multi-looped silk bow that circled around the left side of the design. The sheen of the silk bow gave a bit of contrast to the hat, which was, I suspect, covered in the same fabric as Michiko’s suit and caped jacket. The shade of blue is more becoming on her than the dull grey we often see her wear.

Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe the hat is new

The visit concluded yesterday with a stop in Kitakyushu Eco-Town Center. Empress Michiko repeated a familiar hat for this leg of the visit, a denim blue saucer trimmed with an angular, flat folded blue and gold bow.

Oct 30, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 30, 2017 | Royal Hats

Oct 30, 2017 | Royal Hats 

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Oct 26; 2016; Sep 28, 2016Jan 29, 2016Oct 30, 2015May 21, 2015Apr 9, 2015
The last hat has made seven appearances during the past two years, leading me to wonder if the Empress’ larger saucer hats (like the first one) are repeated with interchangeable trims to coordinate with her attire. I seldom see them repeated as much as the blue hat… but perhaps, it is simply a favourite. What do you think of this group of hats?
Photos from Sankei; AsahiAsahi and Asahi via Getty; JijiAsahi; Asahi; Kyodo NewsKyodo News and Kyodo News via Getty; Sankei, Mainichi and Asahi