Imperial Royals At Calligraphy Exhibition & Medical Award

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.

Princess Hisako, Jul 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako, Jul 27, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Hisako, Jul 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
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.

Empress Michiko, Aug 2, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, Aug 2, 2017 | Royal Hats

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.

Imperial Royal Family, Aug 2, 2017 | Royal Hats

 Thoughts about these Imperial royal hats?

Princess Hisako Visits Ireland

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.


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: July 30, 2016
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.

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

Thoughts about these two Imperial royal hats worn in Ireland?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

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?

Princess Hisako At 2017 Tokyo Tableware Festival

Thanks to reader Avery who commented over the weekend about Princess Hisako of Takamado’s appearance at the Tokyo Tableware Festival last week. Her hat is so interesting I thought it was worth its own post (words seldom said about an Imperial royal hat!). The mushroom shaped design looks to be covered in black silk and is trimmed with a large pouf of black feathers at the back. It’s an unexpectedly avant garde choice for Hisako’s lace trimmed tweed suit- I’m not sure the two pieces show each other off to greatest effect. That being said, it’s a design that has taken me completely by surprise and for that reason alone, I’m inclined to love it.



Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
Thanks, Avery, for sharing this. I can’t wait to hear you all weigh on this unusual hat!
Photos from Twitter as indicated; and the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo

Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

Back on October 12th, , Princess Akiko of Mikasa attended the 14th Commendation Ceremony of People’s Self Defence Officers in Tokyo. For this event, she wore an interesting navy wool top hat with rolled brim and bright turquoise hat band. The shape is a surprise on an Imperial head and while I applaud ANY millinery experimentation in this family, I’m not sure it’s the best shape for Akiko. The bright hat band, however, is a win.

Princess Akiko, Oct 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

On October 14, Princess Hisako of Takamado visited an elementary school while on a trip to Kobe City where she witnessed a disaster preparation drill. She wore a simple black bumper style hat that coordinated well with her black and white suit.

Princess Hisako, Oct 14, 2016 | Royal Hats

And finally, Princess Nobuko of Mikasa was in Kagawa Prefecture over the weekend. On Saturday, she visited the National Leprosy Sanatorium in Takamatsu City in this pale staw pork pie crowned hat with rolled brim, wide grey hat band and pheasant feather trim. It’s a great informal hat that feels stylish on the princess. And how great is it to see some pheasant feathers on an Imperial royal hat? Next time, double the size, please.

Princess Nobuko, Oct 22, 2016 | Royal Hats

What do you think of this trio of Imperial hats?

Photos from SankeiKobe Shimbun; and Yomiuri

Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

After taking a few days off here to enjoy the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, it’s back to business as usual today here at Royal Hats. Hold on- we have lots to cover today. First up are some Imperial royal hats that may surprise you.

Back on October 1st,  Princess Hisako of Takamado opened the 28th “Starry Sky Town, Blue Sky Town” National Conference on environmental awareness in Kochi. For this honour, she wore a white hat with straight sided crown and slightly raised brim on one side. While the hat is fairly simple in design, its embellishment, a hat band made of layered ruffles in the same pink print of her suit, is a major departure for an Imperial hat. I’m not sure the ruffled hat band works but I love the use of such a vivid pattern on a Japanese royal ensemble.

 Princess Hisako, Oct 1, 2016 | Royal Hats

On October 2, Princess Hisako wrapped up her visit to Kochi with a stop at the Center for Advanced Marine Core Research at Kochi University. For this event, she topped a printed beige jacket with a coordinating fedora hat. This hat looks to be trimmed with a beige bow at the back and a hat band made of black net tulle that ties in with the print on her jacket. The colour is rather bland and I’m not sure about back bows on fedoras but the tulle hat band has me intrigued as it adds some interesting texture to the piece.

 Princess Hisako, Oct 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Back on September 28, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre. For this event, Princess Masako repeated a white hat with trilby style brim, straight-sided square crown and wide monochrome hat band.

Crown Princess Masako, Sep 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Sep 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

From September 28 to October 2, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Iwate Prefecture to take in the 71th Japanese National Sports Festival. For their arrival on September 28, Empress Michiko repeated a denim blue suit and matching saucer hat trimmed with knotted bows backed in gold. The vivid contrast on this hat makes it one of my favourites for Michiko and it was lovely to see her in it again.

Empress Michiko, Sept 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Sept 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: January 29, 2016October 30, 2015; May 21, 2015April 9, 2015

For a visit to Kamaishi on September 30, the Empress repeated a dark slate blue-grey saucer hat trimmed with a white silk origami-style bow with slim blue and black stripes that look to be hand painted.

Empress Michiko, Sep 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Sep 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: I suspect Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: June 4, 2015; October 2, 2015; June 2, 2014October 27, 2013

On October 1st, the royal couple officially opened the National Sports Festival held at Kitakami. For this honour, Empress Michiko wore a pale grey hat with domed center and flat double brim trimmed with a large monochrome silk bow on the front brim. If you look closely in the second photo, you’ll notice that the lower brim appears to be made of fine straw in a lattice pattern which lends some subtle textural contrast to the piece. It’s a larger size hat than the Empress wears and the scale is most attractive on her.

 Empress Michiko, October 1, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, October 1, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I can’t find a previously worn hat with the same lattice underbrim- perhaps this is new?

On the final day of their visit, the Emperor and Empress took in in the gymnastics competition of the National Sports Festival in Morioka City. Empress Michiko repeated a suit and hat in the most wonderful shade of cereulean blue that we have not seen in several years. In the style we have come to associate with the Empress, the saucer hat features a raised rim around the back and a flat bow that wraps around the front. While not an exciting shape, what makes this hat stand out is its bright colour- such a wonderful departure for Michiko and and one she wears so beautifully.

Empress Michiko, Oct 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Oct 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likley Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: November 1, 2013

Do any of these seven Imperial royal hats stand out to you in particular?

Photoa from MainichiMainichiSankei; Asahi; Asahi; Asahi, Asahi via Getty; Asahi; and Asahi

Takamado Princesses Visit Hiroshima

Princess Hisako and Princess Ayako of Takamado were in Hiroshima last week to attend the National Junior Highschool Archery Championships. Last Wednesday they paid a visit to the Peace Memorial Park, both dressed in memorial white ensembles. Princess Ayako wore a simple white hat with short, upfolded brim while her mother, Princess Hisako, wore a larger scale design with flat brim and domed crown in the style of a Pork Pie hat. This is an unusual millinery shape for Hisako that I thought the sleek design was great on her.

Princess Hisako and Princess Ayako, August 10, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako and Princess Ayako, August 10, 2016 | Royal Hats

What do you think of Hisako’s interesting hat?

Photos from Sankei