Date, Participating Royals For Japan’s State Visit Revealed

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Date, Participating Royals For Japan's State Visit Revealed

Buckingham Palace has unveiled new details about the upcoming Japan state visit, scheduled for later this month. From June 25 to 27, King Charles and Queen Camilla will host Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan at Buckingham Palace, at the government’s request.

Prince William, along with the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, will join the King and Queen for select engagements.

In a new statement, the Palace announced: “Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan will pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of His Majesty The King from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th June 2024. Their Majesties The King and Queen will host the State Visit at Buckingham Palace.” 

It has been confirmed that the Emperor and Empress of Japan will arrive at Stansted Airport on June 22, three days before the state visit. Their Majesties will be welcomed by His Excellency Mr. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan, and the Viscount Brookeborough KG, Lord-in-Waiting, will greet them on behalf of the King.

Before the official visit begins, the Emperor will engage in a private schedule, including visits to Japan House and the Thames Barrier.

On the first day of the state visit, the Prince of Wales, who has been caring for Princess Kate and their three children during the Princess’s cancer treatment, will greet the Emperor and Empress at their hotel.

Prince William, 41, will accompany the couple to the Horse Guards Parade, where Their Majesties will receive a Ceremonial Welcome.

The King and Queen will formally welcome the Emperor and Empress at the Royal Pavilion on Horse Guards Parade. Presentations will be made, the Guard of Honour will give a Royal Salute, and the Japanese National Anthem will be played.

The Emperor, along with King Charles, will inspect the Guard of Honour, formed by the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards with the Band of the Welsh Guards. Afterwards, the Emperor and Empress will join the King, Queen, and Prince William in a carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where a second Guard of Honour, also formed by the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, will greet them.

Following lunch at Buckingham Palace, the royals will view a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery featuring items from the Royal Collection related to Japan before visiting Westminster Abbey, where the Emperor will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. In the evening, King Charles, accompanied by Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family, will host a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace.

What Else is on the Itinerary?

Other visits on the itinerary include The Francis Crick Institute, the UK’s flagship biomedical research centre, the Young V&A and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. There will also be a banquet at the Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation. 

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako were supposed to visit in 2020 but the visit was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Aside from London, the Emperor will travel to Windsor to privately visit St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, to lay a wreath on the tomb of Queen Elizabeth II. On their final day in the UK, the Emperor and Empress will also visit Oxford for a private programme of engagements including a visit to the colleges where Their Majesties studied. 

Meet Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako

Born on February 23, 1960, Emperor Naruhito is the current Emperor of Japan and the eldest child of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He became heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne at the age of 29 following the death of his grandfather, Emperor Shōwa.

At the age of four, Naruhito was enrolled in an elite Japanese school, graduating in 1982 with a degree in history. He attributes his interest in the subject to discovering an ancient roadway on the palace grounds during his youth. He later studied at Oxford, where he met many members of European royal families. In 1986, during a party for Spain’s Infanta Elena, he met Masako Owada.

Born Masako Owada on December 9, 1963, Masako became the Empress of Japan through her marriage to Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the throne in 2019. She is the daughter of a senior diplomat and a former president of the International Court of Justice, and she spent much of her childhood in Moscow and New York City.

After completing her education, Masako began working at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was one of only 28 out of 800 applicants to pass the entrance exams. She met Prince Naruhito at a party for Spain’s Infanta Elena in November 1986, and they married in 1993. Although she suffered a miscarriage in 1999, she gave birth to their daughter, Aiko, in 2001.

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