Britain Welcomes Japan’s Emperor on His First Official State Visit

Britain Welcomes Japan's Emperor on His First Official State Visit

Japan’s emperor and empress arrived in Britain on Tuesday for their eagerly anticipated state visit, which was first scheduled for four years ago.

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako landed at London’s Stansted airport on Saturday in preparation for their formal three-day state visit to the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, the 75-year-old King Charles III and Queen Camilla formally welcomed the royal pair before inviting Emperor Naruhito to view the 1st Battalion Welsh Guardsmen soldiers.

Earlier in the day, the prince of Wales, Prince William, welcomed and paid a visit to the distinguished guests.

After that, the heads of state rode in a state carriage to Buckingham Palace, where the 60-year-old empress was spotted donning a mask—apparently as a precaution against a horse hair allergy.

James Cleverly, the home secretary, Foreign Secretary David Cameron, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak were all present for the formal greeting.

State Visits to Britain “are an opportunity for building relationships with other countries,” according to Buckingham Palace, and typically occur twice a year in the winter and early summer.

After his father abdicated the Chrysanthemum Throne in May 2019, 64-year-old Naruhito assumed the throne as Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

This visit was initially scheduled for 2020, before the COVID-19 epidemic made headlines around the world and before Charles took the throne following the death of his mother.

The Japanese imperial couple arrived amid the cancer diagnoses of King Charles and Princess Catherine of Wales. Princess Anne, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s second-oldest child and the sister of the king, was still in the hospital on Monday following her concussion on Sunday, the day after Japan’s delegation arrived in Britain.

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The emperor will lay a wreath at the unknown soldier’s grave in Westminster Abbey before going back to Buckingham Palace for a formal banquet.

King Charles is scheduled to make remarks at the state banquet Tuesday evening local time at Buckingham Palace in London.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer are also expected to attend. This is the night before the two party leaders square off in a televised debate ahead of Britain’s July 4 election, which is less than ten days away.

Prior to their official farewell on Thursday back at Buckingham Palace, the emperor and empress will participate in “a number” of additional events over the next three days, including laying a wreath at Elizabeth II’s tomb in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.


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