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?

Wrapping Up Imperial Royal Tour

In the midst of a busy schedule of royal events over the past two weeks, I completely forgot to wrap up the Imperial visit to Thailand. My apologies!

On Sunday, March 5, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrived in Thailand (see their departure from Vietnam earlier that day at this post). The Empress disembarked the flight in a new grey saucer hat with flat bow across the front, trimmed with a dotted black net tulle veil. The addition of the net veil is a trimming departure for the empress, one that gives a bit of textural contrast to the hat.

Empress Michiko, Mar 5, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Mar 5, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, Mar 5, 2017 | Royal Hats

After a quick 24-hour visit, the Imperial couple departed on Monday, March 6 to return home. For their departure, Empress Michiko wore her ninth new hat of the tour. The pale grey rimmed saucer hat is trimmed with a double looped half bow in the same darker grey silk as her dress. This design is not a departure from anything else we’ve seen on the Empress, although the balance between the saucer brim and the side bow is particularly pretty in this piece.

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

The royal couple arrived home on the evening of Monday, March 6. The Empress disembarked the Japan airways jet in a repeated saucer hat in the same tiny black and white check as her coat, trimmed with a large curved bow.

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats  Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:March 18, 2016January 19, 2015

Most of the extended Imperial royal family greeted the Emperor and Empress at the airport. Crown Princess Masako wore a new black (or navy?) hat with upfolded velvet brim, edged in braid trim. Some of you may recall that she wore a green version of this same for the Emperor and Empress’ departure.

 Crown Princess Masako, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Kiko,  Princess Kako both wore variations on bowler hats while Princess Mako repeated a navy cloche with upturned, short trim trimmed with a bow on the side. 

Imperial Royal Family, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Imperial Royal Family, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Hanako repeated a white cloche variation with short mushroom brim and wide grey ruched hatband. Princess Nobuko looked to be wearing a large navy saucer hat (worn at a wonderfully jaunty angle) while her daughters Princess Akiko wore a grey trilby with navy hatband and Princess Yoko sported a white design with short brim and tall crown. Princess Tsuguko of Takamado looked to be wearing her navy indented pillbox with back bow and Princess Ayako topped her camel coat with a matching hat that appears to be trimmed in a Lady Amherst pheasant feather.

Imperial Royal Family, Mar 6, 2017 | Royal Hats

Several of you have commented about the tradition for extended Imperial family members to greet the Emperor and Empress at their departure and arrivals home- it is a lovely tradition and one that allows us to see lots of hats! Which designs here stand out most to you?

The Imperial Household Agency announced last week that the gruelling pace of this tour caused sickness for the Empress, who has now suspended engagements in order to recover. We wish her the very best in her return to health.

Imperial Royals Set Off For Vietnam

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko departed Japan yesterday en route to Vietnam where they will take part in a six-day visit. The royal couple were seen off at the airport for this historic visit (Akihito is the first emperor to visit Vietnam) by members of their extended family. Empress Michiko looked very smart in her repeated black saucer hat trimmed in origami folded bow, backed in the same black and white hound’s tooth check as her skirt.

Empress Michiko, Feb 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Mar 16, 2015

Crown Princess Masako topped her emerald coat with a matching hat in velvet felt. The flat crown and upturned brim shape of this hat is one we’ve seen on Masako before but in a saturated colour and with the addition of braid around the brim edge, the familiar shape is transformed into something special.

  

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Princess Kiko wore a cloche variation in camel felt with diagonally upturned brim. The brim shape is an unexpectedly pert departure for Kiko that works well for her.

Princess Kiko and Princess Masako, Feb 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Princess Mako and Princess Kako both sported bowler variations with rolled brims and squared crowns in chocolate brown felt. This side-by-side view of these two very similar pieces shows the significant difference that subtle changes in crown height or tightness of brim roll can make to the overall look of a hat.

Designer: unknown
Princess Mako’s hat was worn Jan 30, 2016 and Nov 29, 2013
Princess Kako’s hat was worn Jan 30, 2016. I believe it was also worn by her mother, Princess Kiko on Nov 29, 2013 

Princess Nobuko and Princess Hanako both sported navy and white hats (far left, below). Princess Nobuko’s winter white felt ddesign (a fedora variation maybe?) featured an upturned brim and navy hatband while Princess Hanako’s hat contrasted a cream brim against a navy crown. Both hats are sharp, stylish pieces that I wish we could see up close.

Princess Nobuko and Princess Hanako, Feb 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe both hats are new

Princess Akiko repeated her winter white cloche hat with an upturned cuff brim while her sister, Princess Yoko topped her yellow coat with a matching bowler variation with yellow squared crown and rolled ivory brim. Princess Tsuguko of Takamado wore what looks like an ecru bumper hat with large bow trim at the side.

Princess Tsuguko, Princess Yoko and Princess Akiko, Feb 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Tsuguko, Princess Yoko and Princess Akiko, Feb 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: all are unknown 
Previously Worn: Princess Akiko’s hat was worn Jan 26, 2016. I believe Princess Yoko and Princes Tsuguko’s hats are new. 

When the royal couple touched down in Hanoi, Empress Michiko embarked in a mushroom grey hued suit with coordinating hat. One of her larger saucer shapes, the hat is simply trimmed with a curling ribbon in the same two shades of grey as her silk suit. It’s a simple hat but one that works really well with this ensemble.

   

Designer: Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
There are some nice surprises in this group of hats- which designs stand out to you?
Photos from Getty as indicated; Shizou Kambayashi via Associated Press; Kazuhiro Nogi via Getty; REUTERS/Issei Kato

Imperial Royals Open Art Exhibit

Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako opened a Danish exhibition at the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo yesterday. For this event, she wore a cream silk covered hat short, upturned brim and squared crown.  The hat’s only embellishment is a wide, double hatband that meets in an art deco inspired curve at the side. We’ve seen Masako in numerous pale hats in a similar shape- certainly not exciting designs but ones that she has embraced during her return to public life over the past few years.

Crown Princess Masako, Feb 9, 2017 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Feb 9, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: while this is similar to several of Princess Masako’s other hats, I believe this particular one is new
Photos from The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty

Japanese Royals Celebrate Disabled Children & The UN

Last Wednesday, Prince Masahito and Princess Hanako of Hitachi attended the Japanese Society for Disabled Children’s 35th annual Art Exhibition. Princess Hanako wore a smart ivory hat with Pork Pie crown and mushroom brim trimmed with a taupe bow wrapped around the back of the design.

Princess Hanako, Dec 14, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Hanako, Dec 14, 2016 | Royal Hats

On Monday, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attend a symposium in Tokyo commemorating 60 years of Japan’s membership in the United Nations. Princess Masako topped her burgundy suit with a matching felt hat trimmed in a wide velvet hatband with bow at the back. The brim on this piece is slightly wider than we see on most of Masako’s other hats and both the elevated scale and saturated colour work beautifully on her.

Crown Princess Masako, Dec 19, 2016 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Dec 19, 2016 | Royal Hats  Crown Princess Masako, Dec 19, 2016 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Dec 19, 2016 | Royal Hats

While Imperial royal millinery style usually sticks to its own set of more conservative rules, these pieces both feel more modern and fashionable- what do you think of them?

Photos from Sankei and Kyodo News via Getty; and Sankei

Birthday of Princess Masako

Royal Hats Crown Princess Masako of Japan was photographed arriving at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo yesterday, no doubt for a special visit on the occasion of her birthday. She wore a new hat in pale blue silk jacquard with a square crown and short bumper style brim. The stark lines of the design contrast interestingly with the draped neckline of her dress, particularly as the two pieces are made of the same fabric. The small hat is a typical scale for Imperial royal hats and while I’d prefer something a little larger, it does allow us fans to focus on Masako’s face. It’s so good to see her looking so well.

Crown Princess Masako, Dec 9, 2016 | Royal Hats

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

Photo from The Asahi Shimbun via Getty

Day 1 of Singapore State Visit To Japan

Singapore President Tony Tan  and his wife Mary were welcomed by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo yesterday for the start of a five day state visit. Predictably, Empress Michiko wore a hat for the welcome ceremony, a large domed saucer in palest oyster grey, trimmed with a spray of silk roses and leaves. It’s one of the larger hats we will ever see on Michiko and the scale works well for her.

Empress Michiko, Nov 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Nov 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

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

Crown Princess Masako wore a midnight blue velvet hat with founded crown and sharply upfolded brim.Trimmed simply with a silk hat band in the same brighter blue as her suit (the hat matches her lapel), this design is all about the luxurious sheen off the velvet that covers it. It’s so great to see saturated colour on Princess Masako that any qualms I have about the hat’s shape (or an annoyingly large pucker in the velvet on the crown) are erased.

Update- thanks to reader Avery who notice this hat was first worn back in late January 1995 while on a visit to Jordan.

Crown Princess Masako, Nov 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Nov 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:January 1995; February 7, 2016
I suspect we’ll see other hats during this visit- what do you think of these to for its start?