July 14, 2024

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The Emperor of Japan gets the red carpet treatment on a state visit to the UK

The Emperor of Japan gets the red carpet treatment on a state visit to the UK
Comment on the photo, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s trip to the UK was originally planned for 2020 – but had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan begin a three-day state visit to the United Kingdom.

They will receive a ceremonial reception and carriage ride on the Mall, with a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

But due to the general election campaign, the Japanese royal couple will not be making the trip to Downing Street.

Royal greeting

Official visits are a mixture of ancient pomp and modern international politics, with the red carpet rolled out for important visitors.

The Emperor and Empress’s visit aims to strengthen military, scientific and cultural ties between the United Kingdom and Japan.

It is the first by a Japanese head of state since 1998 and will begin with a formal royal salute in a horse guards procession and then a procession to Buckingham Palace.

Official visits during general elections are unusual, and in the past they have been rescheduled to avoid conflicts with political campaigns.

But the Japanese visit went ahead, without the usual meeting with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

Comment on the photo, Formal banquets are held in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace

The centerpiece of this diplomatic compliment is the state banquet in the opulent surroundings of Buckingham Palace’s ballroom.

The king toasts his visitors on such occasions, often in their own language, and makes a speech in honor of his guests.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labor leader Keir Starmer will attend the state banquet on Tuesday evening, one of the last official occasions before next week’s election.

The return of nostalgia

The program of visits of the Emperor and Empress over the next few days will include Westminster Abbey, the Francis Crick Institute, Kew Gardens, and the Royal College of Music.

They will lay a wreath at the grave of Elizabeth II at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.

On Friday, after the official visit ends, they will nostalgically return to their former colleges at Oxford University, where they were students.