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

Birthday Celebration Of Swedish King: Royal Guests

Celebrations for King Carl Gustaf’s 70th birthday over the weekend also included attendance by representatives from numerous royal houses. Queen Margrethe led the Danish contingent (she and the Swedish King are first cousins) in the same mint green wool crepe hat that she first wore for her own birthday last year. It’s a great hat on her and the interesting shape of this hat’s bumper brim makes it a continued success for me

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: September 8, 2015; June 5, 2015May 23, 2014April 16, 2015

Princess Benedikte topped her pale aqua coat with a hat in coffee coloured straw that featured a slightly upturned brim on one side. The hat is trimmed with a giant silk bloom on the side that looks very close to the one on this other hat.

Princess Benedikte and Countess Marianne Bernadotte, April 30, 2016 Photo taken by Sofia Svanholm | Royal Hats

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

Crown Princess Mary repeated her marvellous purple pillbox hat with side feather trim. It’s a wonderful hat on her that was again, styled beautifully with her camel coat. In the last photo below, she is pictured with Icelandic First Lady Dorritt Moussaieff who wore a white felt hat with wide, upturned brim that was filled with silk flower petals.

Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the “Shell” design
Previously Worn: March 17, 2015October 7, 2014

One of the most interesting hats of the day was worn by Princess Hisako of Takamado. The design featured a flat, rounded crown in covered in yellow silk, wrapped with a wide yellow silk band and trimmed with a multi-looped bow at the side. The centrepiece of the hat is undoubtedly its brim, made of accordion folded straw piped in yellow. Those of us who follow millinery worn by the Imperial royals will appreciate just how bold and out-of-the-box this design is; while it might carry a 1980s soap opera vibe, it’s so out there that I have to love Princess Hisako for it.

Update: The reason this hat has an 1980s vibe is because it dates back to 1997!

Princess Hisako and Crown Princess Mary, April 30, 2016 Photo taken by Sofia Svanholm | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: October 4, 1997

Princess Beatrix wore a hat in one of her signature shapes with a tall, upfolded bumper brim and flat, stacked crown. The burgundy straw used for this piece has a glamorous shimmer that, when paired with her snakeskin printed tunic and skirt (not to mention that divine cape), makes for a knock-out ensemble. Isn’t this Dutch Princess is looking her best?!

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

Speaking of glamour…Princess Märtha Louise glittered in a metallic lace dress topped with a fascinator in pale pink layered feathers and a net tulle veil.

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

Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, pictured below right, wore a calot hat in cafe-au-lait coloured straw trimmed with feathers and a net tulle veil in the same colour. As you can also see below, Queen Sofia of Spain and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria (as well as Crown Princess Margarita of Romania in the lower photo) did not wear hats.

Crown Princess Katherine, April 30, 2016 Photo taken by Sofia Svanholm | Royal Hats Crown Princess Katherine, April 30, 2016 Photo taken by Sofia Svanholm | Royal Hats

Finally, Princess Ursula of Bavaria was spotted in small cocktail hat with a pheasant feather covered base and trimmed with a navy double bow and dotted net tulle veil.

Princess Ursula, April 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

UPDATE: Thanks to blogger Hovikirjeenvaihtaja and reader Avery for hunting down this photos of Princess Anna of Bavaria and Hereditary Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha who wore hats afterall! Princess Anna topped her blue suit with a navy beret-based percher hat trimmed with a large sunburst of red feathers on the side. Seated next to Anna in the photo below is Duchess Elizabeth of Bavaria who is sporting a pale blue fascinator or curling straw ribbon and silk blooms.

Princess Anna of Bavaria, April 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Anna of Bavaria, April 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Kelly wore my favourite fascinator at this event, a mass of intertwined, curling straw ribbons swathed in a bubble of coordinating dotted net tulle veil.

 Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, April 30, 2016 | Royal Hats Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, April 30, 2016 | Royal Hats Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, April 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

That wraps up coverage of King Carl Gustaf’s 70th birthday celebration! Amidst this wonderful parade of royal hats, which ones were your favourites?

My sincere thanks to Sofia Svanholm for granting permission to share her excellent photos. Do peek at her blog and gallery of photos of this event as both are very well done.

Photos from Getty as indicated; SVT1 Screen shot; IBL, IBL and IBL;  and Sofia Svanholm 

Imperial Royals At Spring Garden Party

Members of the Imperial Royal Family attended an annual spring garden party hosted by the Emperor and Empress yesterday at the Akasaka Imperial Garden.

Imperial Royal Family, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko led her family in an elegant white wool suit topped with her large white saucer hat with pink petal trim. Within the realm of the empress’ style, it was a lovely hat for this event.

 Empress Michiko, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 24, 2014December 2, 2013

Crown Princess Masako was also in white, pairing her suit with a squared bowler hat with short, upturned brim. If you look closely, you will see that the band around the crown of this piece is anchored by very slim braided trim which brings some much needed texture to it.

Crown Princess Masako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: November 5, 2014

From a distance, Princess Kiko’s pale green hat looked to be a silk covered pillbox but closeup, it revealed itself to be a bumper hat with flat, upfolded cuff brim. Her daughter, Princess Mako, wore a square-crowned pink hat with short rolled brim.The shape of this piece looks like a cross between a bowler hat and a top hat… a hybrid that I’m not keen on.

Princess Mako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats   Princess Mako and Princess Kiko, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Mako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designers: unknown
Previously Worn: Princess Mako’s hat is new. Princess Kiko’s hat was worn April 26, 2007
Princess Hanako of Hitachi, seen below on the left repeated her smart ecru hat with square crown and linear, upturned brim.
Imperial Royal Family, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
Princess Nobuko of Mikasa topped her pale aqua suit with a whimsical hat wrapped in a swath of coordinating tulle that leaves one thinking of cotton candy. Princess Princess Akiko’s rounded crown white hat featured what looks like a moulded sash and brim combination in the same pale celery as her suit. Princess Yoko wore a pink hat in the same square crowned shape as the one worn by Princess Mako. A wide ruched silk sash wrapped around the crown, ending in a flat bow on the side.
Princess Akiko and Princess Nobuko, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats       MIkasa Princesses, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
Princess Hisako of Takamado wore an suit and matching hat, both from the same ecru patterned silk. The hat featured a low, flat crown and short, U-shaped curled brim- a shape which, unfortunately, looks like a squashed top hat.
Princess Hisako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
The most dramatic millinery shapes of the day were worn by the younger Takamado Princesses. Princess Tsuguko topped her navy and black printed dress and jacket with a wide brimmed black picture hat trimmed in what looks to be a wide bleu sash (or long navy feathers?) wrapped around the flat sided crown. Princess Ayako topped her pale lilac ensemble with a matching saucer hat, placed at the most rakish angle we’ve seen among the Imperial royals in a long time. Both ensembles showed more personality than we’ve seen in a long time on Imperial Royals, something that fills me with glee!
 Princess Tsuguko and Princess Ayako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats  Princess Tsuguko and Princess Ayako, April 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
It is always fun to see such large scale royal hatted events such as this one, even if the hats are not exciting. The last two certainly piqued my curiosity (oh how I wish we could see them better) which is not something I often can say about Imperial millinery. What do you think of this parade of Japanese royal hats? Are any of them worthy for your nomination of favourite hat worn this month?
Photos from Getty as indicated; The Asahi ShimbunThe Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; and Sankei

Catching Up With The Imperial Princesses

The Imperial royal princesses were busy over the weekend, welcoming the Emperor and Empress home from their Philippine visit (jump over to this updated post to see their hats) and carrying on other engagements. On Sunday, Princess Hisako attended the opening of the annual Tableware Festival in Tokyo. For this event, she wore a new hat with rounded crown and cartwheel brim trimmed in what looks to be silk rolled flowers on the side. It’s a larger, much more angular hat than we usually see on Hisako.

Princess Hisako, January 31, 2016 | Royal Hats

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

Also on Sunday, Prince Masahito and Princess Hanako of Hitachi left for France where the Prince will be awarded the “Grand Prize of the Paris Charter Against Cancer”, a personal award honouring his 40 year cancer research career. For their departure, Princess Hanako wore an ivory hat with tall cloche shaped crown and short, mushroom brim. The hat’s trim, a wide transparent sash or brown organza with side bow, seems more suited to a summer design of straw than one in winter felt and the hat’s proportion seemed a little off. These issues aside, it is so wonderful to see the Imperial princesses experiment with new and interesting millinery shapes.

Princess Hanako, January 31, 2016 | Royal Hats

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

Photos from  from Yomiuri and Sankei