As Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne in May, he poignantly said: "I sincerely pray for the happiness of the people and the further development of the nation as well as the peace of the world." And on 22 October, the eyes of the world will be once again focused on Japan as Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are officially coronated. The festivities will take place over several days with banquets attended by thousands of guests, including many foreign royals and dignitaries.
Like his father Emperor Akihito, the new emperor is expected to wear a traditional robe and headdress for the ceremony. Prince Charles and Princess Diana were among the 2,200 people who attended the ceremony for Akihito in 1990. It's not yet known if Charles will also attend Naruhito's ceremony.
The royal couple will ride in an open-top Toyota Century limousine through Tokyo. This will be reminiscent of Naruhito's parents' coronation, when thousands of people, many waving Japanese flags, lined the route in 1990 to cheer on Akihito and Michiko as they passed by in a classic Rolls-Royce Corniche III.
The Prince and Princess of Wales attended Naruhito's father's coronation in 1990
Many will be interested to see how Empress Masako copes with the more high-profile role, given that she slipped out of the public domain from 2003 until 2014, when she started gradually taking on more duties again. Her doctors are confident that she is recovering well from her stress-induced illness but "there are still ups and downs in her health,” her medical team has said.
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