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?
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Embed from Getty Images
Photos from Getty as indicated; Kyodo News, The Asahi Shimbun, and Kyodo News via Getty; FNN
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This Week’s Extras

Princess Hisako returned from a trip to Russia on Tuesday and, as per tradition, visited the Imperial Palace Sanctuaries to report her homecoming to the ancestral gods. She wore an interesting cream brimless hat with bumper top and gently ruched sides for the visit.

Also on Tuesday, Prince Nicolai of Denmark celebrated completion of his high school education in a Danish traditional graduation hat.


On Thursday morning, the Duke of Cambridge visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem during his high profile trip to the Middle East.

Also yesterday, Queen Mathilde repeated her royal blue ruched toque hat for the second day of the Australian state visit. 

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Princess Anne took part in a number of events in celebration of Armed Forces Day today

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Cream straw percher with amazing yellow feather trim from Canadian milliner David Dunkley
Wearable and stylish panama hats from Jess Collett with statement hatbands and pink pompom trim
From Irish milliner Teresa Nugent, a pale pink felt button percher with fab black & pink square ruffles
Unique double straw and crin brims on this lilac straw picture hat from Essex based Victoria Carson
Straw boater with upturned kettle brim in warm shades of taupe by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Red leather teardrop percher with sculptural knot & feather trim from Australian brand Millinery Jill
And from the incomparable millinery imagination of Stephen Jones, grey conical gnome hats with striped ribbon trim and matching beards seen at the Thom Brown Spring 2019 runway show in Paris. Words escape me for these hats.

It’s not a new design exactly… but I couldn’t resist sharing comedienne Kaye Adams’ musings on finding the right hat to wear to a wedding .

Royal Hats

Happy news from Japan- Princess Ayako will marry businessman Kei Moriya on October 29. The couple met late last year, introduced by Ayako’s mum, Princess Hisako, who has known Kei’s parents for a long time (she was a university classmate of his father and interacted with his late mother’s nonprofit work)

Queen Rania shared this lovely picture with her husband and eldest son on the occasion of Prince Al Hussein’s birthday.

In addition to his high school graduation, Prince Nicolai was also busy this week, walking on Monday in the Dior Homme Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. He took over Dior’s instagram page for the day, showing short clipos from behind the scenes you can view here.

Sweet snap of the King of Bhutan with his young son, Prince Jigme Namgyel

And to send us into the weekend with a flourish, the Earl of Wessex unveiling a plaque to officially open the renovated RAF museum yesterday with theatrical flair.

Imperial Royals Attend Red Cross Meeting

The Japanese Red Cross Society’s annual convention took place yesterday in Tokyo, attended by Honorary President Empress Michiko who has been active in the society’s work for more than sixty years. For this event, she repeated a cream silk covered saucer hat with transparent lattice printed underbrim, trimmed with a flat grey and cream bow. She also tucked some greenery into the hat, a touch I’ve not seen her do before.

May 16, 2018 | Royal Hats

For this, Empress Michiko’s last year as Honorary President, she was accompanied by Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako. Crown Princess Masako wore a navy silk covered square crowned hat with upturned bumper brim. Princess Kiko topped her grey suit with a matching square crowned bowler with upturned kettle brim and wide silk monochrome hatband. Princess Nobuko paired her black and navy silk jacquard print dress with a repeated cream hat with short, upswept brim and navy silk hatband and side bow. Princess Hisako topped her grey silk jacquard suit in a grey cloche/bucket hat wrapped in a wide wrap of dotted grey tulle. The resulting effect of the tulle wrap is unexpected and rather lovely!

May 16, 2018 | Royal Hats

I wonder what inspired the Empress to add that sprig of greenery to her hat?
Photos from The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty 

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.

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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.

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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

Royal Hat Catch Up

Thanks, everyone, for holding down the fort over the past two weeks! I appreciate being able to step away from Royal Hats from time to time and leave it in your very capable hands. Thank you! Here are all the hats that were worn while I was away:

Friday, February 23: Princess Hisako attended the opening of the “Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: The Golden Age in the Museo Del Prado” exhibition at the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. She wore a new large navy felt saucer hat trimmed with what looks like white silk flowers on the side.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
Monday: February 26: Princess Kiko  in a white bowler hat with ruched blue hatband to send off the Japanese national Paralympic team for Winter Olympic Games

Feb 26, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I suspect the hatband is a new addition to a previously worn hat

Monday, February 26:  Queen Máxima and Princess Amalia in cozy ski hats for a photocall during their annual ski holiday in Lech, Austria

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Tuesday, March 6: Queen Elizabeth visited the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for its 70th anniversary in her repeated royal purple felt hat with square crown, upfolded kettle brim and dark purple velvet hatband, trimmed with silk irises and velvet leaves.

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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: Dec 7, 2017;  Nov 24, 2016
Wednesday, March 7: Empress Michiko repeated her small rimmed pale blue-grey saucer trimmed with a multi-looped silk bow for the 70th anniversary ceremony of the municipal fire-fighting system at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Sumida, Tokyo.

Mar 7, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Oct 29, 2017
Wednesday, March 7: Queen Máxima repeated her burgundy velvet calot swathed in black net veil  to open the World Horti center, an international knowledge and innovation center for greenhouse horticulture in Naaldwijk

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: Nov 29, 2016

Thursday, March 8: The Duke of Edinburgh in his well worn Panama hat for a carriage drive at Windsor Castle

It has been a very quiet two weeks of royal hats- something that will change next week with a Te Deum mass for the new Swedish princess born this morning and the Cheltenham Festival. In the meantime- any thoughts about these hats?

Photos from Asahi; Sankei; social media and Getty as indicated

Princess Hisako At Football Championship

Back on January 1st, Princess Hisako was at Saitama Stadium to present the winning trophy after the 97th All Japan Football Championship final. For this event, she wore an interesting new black hat. The design features a close fitting rounded crown (similar to a bowler or cloche) with upfolded brim trimmed with a hatband that appears to buckle on the side through a series of grommets. The brim is vented on one side, giving it  relaxed points and a lovely sense of movement around the hat.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
We see so few royal hats with brims cut open the way this one is- a simple design feature that gives such a different look and energy to the hat. Thanks to reader Avery for bringing this hat to my attention!
Photos from Getty as indicated