Princess Hanako Returns To Public Life

After several months out of the public eye to treat  lumbar spondylosis, it was wonderful to see Princess Hanako out and about today at the 42nd Asia-Pacific Festival and Charity Bazaar in Tokyo. For this visit, she wore a spring green suit with matching hat, covered in the same fabric. A modified bowler, the hat features a rounded crown and flat brim, whimsically trimmed with a wide swath of dotted white veil. The veil trim does wonders to lift the hat, which is a rather staid shape on its own, as does the colour.

Apr 18, 2018 | Royal Hats   Apr 18, 2018 | Royal Hats

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

It’s so lovely to see Princess Hanako again- I’m sure you join me in wishing her the very best in her continued recovery. What do you think of her fresh green hat today?

Photos fromAsahi and Mainichi  

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Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

The Imperial royal ladies have been on a vibrant and creative streak with their millinery the past week and a half, something I thought we needed to admire in a dedicated post. Brace yourselves, dearest readers, for some saturated colour!

On  December 1st, the Imperial House Council met to set the date of Emperor Akihito’s abdication for April 30, 2019. Princess Hanako attended the meeting in the most unusual and unique of hats. The design builds on a silk covered helmet shaped base with a very short, flat brim over which lies a voluminous wrap of loosely pleated dark green organza. The design is further trimmed with a vine of green silk leaves wrapped over the crown. It’s a little out there in terms of royal hat designs we’ve seen this year and that it appeared on an Imperial royal head makes me happier than I can express. We’ve called for Imperial royal millinery experimentation and dearest readers- THIS IS IT! Yes, the shape is odd and not terribly flattering but it’s not a standard bowler hat in a pale pastel. The colour is lovely on Hanako and while don’t particularly like the avant garde design, I absolutely adore that Hanako wore it. Happy claps.

Dec 1, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 7, 2017 | Royal Hats

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

Last Tuesday, December 5, another jewel toned hat appeared at an Imperial royal function. For a Tokyo ceremony honouring individuals making significant contributions in support for persons with disabilities, Crown Princess Masako donned an deep purply-burgundy felt hat with oxblood pleated hatband in the same fabric as her suit. The brim on this design is a little larger than Masako usually wears and the larger scale is a great change on her. It’s a simple hat but the classically elegant shape is one that works really well for Masako. More happy claps!

Dec 5, 2017 | Royal Hats  Dec 5, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Nov 10, 2014; Nov 18, 1996

Last Thursday, December 7, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a ceremony marking completion of Tokyo’s new public square New Square in front of Tokyo Station. For this event, the Empress repeated an apricot hued flat saucer hat with hound’s tooth bow and silk flower. It’s not my favourite colour on her but it’s also not grey, something I’m always happy to see! The link between the hat base, the lapels and sleeve panel on the jacket and the skirt does make for a characteristically unified ensemble and the high contrast pattern adds a bit of punch. Happy claps again.

Dec 7, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 7, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: March 28, 2014
Last Saturday, on the occasion of her 54th birthday, Princess Masako paid a customary visit to the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Royal Palace. For this visit, she repeated a simple bumper hat covered in blue silk. This style and colour is a more traditional choice but there’s something so calmly beautiful about the subtle sheen on the smooth edges of this hat that makes me really like it on Masako. 
Dec 9, 2017 | Royal Hats 
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2015
And finally, yesterday Princess Hisako attended the 130th anniversary of the Japan Red Cross Society Aichi Prefecture Branch. For her visit to a blood collection center and keynote address at the celebration ceremony, HIsako topped her ice blue jaquard patterned suit with a matching bowler hat variation covering in the same fabric. The hat is trimmed with a slim blue silk hatband that links to the collar on her suit, and a blue net veil wrap studded in blue silk leaves. The leaves on the veil is make an interesting textural addition that I’ve not seen closeup before and their effect keep me going in for a closer look- not something that Imperial royal hats often inspire me to do. I’m not such a fan of the repeated pattern on both the suit and hat but the leaf studded net wrap somehow makes it work.
Dec 12, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 12, 2017 | Royal Hats
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: September 8, 2015May 13, 2015
Dearest readers, there is much here to discuss. We’ve got interesting shape, different proportions and unexpected colour. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these hats!

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? 

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

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe wore her blue beanie hat again last Sunday for the rededication of Silkeborg Church (Kongehuset)

Milliner Nicola de Selincourt shared a better view of the hat she made for the Countess of Snowdon (worn to the late Lord Snowdon’s Service of Thanksgiving April 7 ). The more I see, the more I like.

 

Princess Hanako of Hitachi repeated a white hat April 7 in Okinawa at the 11ith Ikebana International Convention. (Imperial Family of Japan)

Real fur is always a very controversial choice but I’m intrigued by Australian milliner Neil Grigg’s recycling of a vintage mink into a hat. How many moth eaten old fur coats are out there, waiting to be turned into glamorous hats?!

 Royal Hats

Charming anecdotes from personal encounters with Queen Elizabeth (Express)

Our thoughts go out to Crown Prince Frederick, Crown Princess Mary and family who lost their beloved dog of 12 years, Ziggy, last weekend

A memorial garden for the late Princess of Wales opened this week at Kensington Palace. It’s one of several tributes planned this year, the 20th anniversary year of her death. Pop over to the link below to see some stunning pictures.

And finally, the Belgian Court shared this video off Princess Eléonore playing her violin, with a special musical message at the end for her Papa.

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Queen Silvia in black straw hat with lovely twisted hat band detail at yesterday’s funeral of Carl Adam “Noppe” Lewenhaupt, a very close friend of the King since childhood (Svenskdam)

Queen Silvia, Mar 30, 2017 | Royal Hats

On March 22, members of the Imperial family joined the Emperor and Empress a concert by music college graduates at the Imperial Palace. Princess Kiko wore a blue bumper hat, Princess Kako a white bowler, Princess Nobuko a large white toque and Princess Akiko, a white trilby with sea foam green hatband. The same day, Princess Hanako attended the 75th Award Ceremony of All Japan Youth Invention and Innovation Exhibition. She wore a pale blue felt hat with jauntily upturned short brim. (Imperial Family Of Japan)

Princess Kiko, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Kako, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Nobuko, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Akiko, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Hanako, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats

On March 29, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko offered prayers for Emperors Showa and Kojun at the Imperial Musashi Mausoleum in Hachiōji, Tokyo. The Empress wore a grey saucer with raised rim around the back and a folded bow at the side. 

 King Carl Gustaf opened a ski resort on Monday in his trusty brown fedora.

I absolutely adore these very happy, bouncing pink polka dots on this John Boyd design. If I was going to Ascot, this would be my pick because I can’t imagine a happier hat to wear.

Don’t worry- I haven’t forgotten Prince Felix’s confirmation in Denmark yesterday. We’ll look at the hat and headpieces from this event in a full feature post tomorrow.

Royal Hats

Adorable snap of wee Prince Jigme Namgyel of Bhutan enjoying the snow with his father King Jigme Khesar and grandfather King Jigme Singye

We enjoyed the hats from this week’s two state visits- here’s a peek at the formal fashion

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

 

Photos from IBL; The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Biglobe