There's a new princess at this year's Imperial New Year Gala -- as she turned twenty this year, Princess Mako gets to join in the festivities, wearing the new diamond tiara she debuted recently. Her mother, Princess Kiko, is to her right, wearing her wedding tiara, and to Mako's left is Princess Hanako, wearing her usual fringe tiara.
I'm all for consistency, but man, why don't these princesses ever get to wear new tiaras/colorful dresses like the ladies beside them?
PHOTO CREDITS: yuko2ch.net
Thanks to lovely reader Brian for sending along this photo of Princess Kiko! She and her hubs are on an official visit to Costa Rica at the mo, and I think she's got it just right on the "Imperial Highness making a visit to another nation" hattery front. Good shape, good size, neutral color -- I love how the hat sort of looks pearly to go along with her necklace. Thumbs up from me!
(Also, don't you just love Fumihito's goofy expression in the background? LOL!)
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS/Kent Gilbert
It's a little tough to see here, because they're out of focus, but I believe we've got Princess Kiko in the ivory gown (second from the right) wearing her wedding tiara, and Princess Hanako on the right of the photo in the blue gown, wearing the Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara. Same tiaras from last year as well -- looks like the Japanese follow strict tiara traditions on set occasions?
Also -- no sightings of Crown Princess Masako inside this year; last year, we saw her in a car arriving at the event, but not inside. I was really crossing my fingers that we'd get a Masako tiara sighting this new year!
PHOTO CREDITS: yuko2ch.net
The Japanese imperial hatters are really coming out of the woodwork for the Emperor's birthday this year! On the far right of this photo is Princess Kiko -- we haven't seen her since a tiara appearance last year to mark the new year.
Love Kiko's delicate pillbox hat here, though I can't tell exactly what color it is. It's very Audrey Hepburn, isn't it?
PHOTO CREDITS: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
More Tiara Alerts for the New Year! The Imperial family of Japan held a gala to celebrate the New Year, and the whole family busted out the formal headwear. In the center is our good friend Empress Michiko, wearing the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara. How about the diamonds on this one, hm? The "Chrysanthemum Throne" is one of the names for the monarchy in Japan, and the chrysanthemum flower is one of its most important emblems.
And we've got two more new princess standing behind Michiko! Over her right shoulder, in the gold gown, is Princess Kiko, also known as The Princess Akishino (it's sort of like a "Princess of Wales" or "Princess of Asturias" title in a Western royal house, though her husband is not the direct heir). Kiko is married to the younger son of the Emperor and Empress, and her son, Prince Hisahito, will one day likely inherit the imperial throne. Kiko is wearing the same diamond tiara that she wore on her wedding day in 1990. I'm not sure if it has a "title" or not, but if any experts on the imperial family know for sure, please pipe up and let us all know!
And last but not least, I believe that the woman standing directly behind Michiko is Princess Hitachi, who is married to the younger brother of Emperor Akihito. Born Hanako Tsugaru, she's wearing the Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara.
Whew! What a lot of royal bling!
Thanks to reader Kirsten for sending in info about this event!