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.
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!
I wonder what inspired the Empress to add that sprig of greenery to her hat?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
On Wednesday, Princess Kiko presided over the 50th National Convention of Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi-Aiiku-Kai (Association for Maternal, Child Health and Welfare) in Tokyo in a cream hat with stacked lime hatband.
Lady Amelia Windsor in a beaded gown and headpiece to walk in the Dolce and Gabanna Alta Moda show at the MET in New York
Wonderful interview (in French) with Fabienne Delvigne about Queen Máxima’s signature hat shapes. There’s an adorable clip at the end of the Dutch queen offering one of her hat pins to Crown Princess Mary on a windy day.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
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.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also celebrated her birthday this week- these great new formal portraits were released in celebration of her birthday.
The @CourGrandDucale is doing a great job making up for the tiara-less appearance in Paris last night as they just released a new tiara portrait of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa to mark her birthday later this week. pic.twitter.com/Ljc9IrcdEo
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.
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.
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.
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attend a fire-fighting ceremony at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on March 7, 2018. pic.twitter.com/RejNH7S1Fp
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
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
Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar in cosy knit wool hats to open a multisports facility in Daniel’s hometown on Thursday. The prince also donned hockey gear for a charity match.
Victoria and Daniel brought Estelle and Oscar in Daniel's home town Ockelbo for the opening of a new multisports hall this afternoon 😍 Daniel's parents were there too pic.twitter.com/7niUWlT89U
Princess Kiko wore a new black felt cloche with diagonal crown wrap on Wednesday to the Japanese Olympic team’s send off to the Pyeong Chang Olympics. While so similar to Queen Elizabeth’s diagonal wrapped crown cloche hats, this one somehow feels much more modern and sleek.
Also on Wednesday, Princess Alexandra wore a black hat with grey faux fur cuff brim for a visit to The Old Moat Garden Centre in Epsom.
Congratulations to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on the announcement of their engagement. While we’ve yet to hear details, this means potentially two major hatted events (in addition to Trooping the Colour and Ascot etc.) for the British Royal Family in 2018. BRING ON THE HATS.
Peek at the lovely photo King Albert and Queen Paola used for their Christmas card this season
I was surprised to find this Christmas card in the mail today! The card came in 6 weeks after I’ve sent them mine. It’s such a lovely card from King Albert and Queen Paola and it’s A5-format. 😍 pic.twitter.com/v9c3bOkH60
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?