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King Charles leads Japanese emperor in glamorous State Banquet – best photos

The King is hosting a state visit from the Japanese royal family

Queen Camilla with Empress Masako, Emperor Naruhito and King Charles© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Updated: June 25, 2024
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King Charles and Queen Camilla hosted a State Banquet for Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako as they ended their first day of their state visit to the UK.

The glittering event saw the royals dressed in their finest outfits, with Queen Camilla looked especially splendid in cream silk crepe embroidered dress by Fiona Clare, alongside the Burmere ruby and diamond tiara. She also debuted the King's family order, a tradition that sees female royals wearing a picture of the monarch, which dates back to the time of King George IV.

Meanwhile, King Charles and Naruhito wore some stunning suits and Masako looked beautiful in an elegant cream dress alongside the Chrysanthemum tiara.

It had been a busy day for the Japanese royals who started their day by being greeted by the British monarch and Camilla at The Royal Pavilion before Charles and Naruhito inspected the Guard of Honour.

The royals then travelled up the Mall in a carriage before enjoying a private lunch inside Buckingham Palace. Naruhito and Masako were then shown Japanese-related items from the Royal Collection before a visit to Westminster Abbey.

King Charles and Emperor Naruhito travel in a carriage towards Buckingham Palace after the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade© Getty
The royals have had a busy day

The state visit has been different from normal ones with the schedule having to be changed due to the general election campaign. The Princess of Wales and Princess Royal have also been absent, the former as she recovers from cancer and the latter after suffering a concussion from a kicking horse on Monday.

Scroll down to see the best photos from the State Banquet below…


Staff ready the Palace© WPA Pool

Staff ready the Palace

Staff at Buckingham Palace put the finishing touches on ahead of the State Banquet making sure not even one fork was out of place.


A close-up of King Charles's family order© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The King's family order

A close-up of the Family Order worn by Queen Camilla. The diamond-encrusted ribbon features a portrait of King Charles in military uniform.


Keir Starmer and wife Victoria walking through Buckingham Palace© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Guests arrive

Amogn the guests to arrive for the swanky event were Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and pictured here, the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria.


The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attending the State Banquet© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh

While some senior members of the royal family were absent, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were in attendance at the State Banquet. Edward wore a dapper suit, while Sophie looked so elegant in green Suzannah London dress and a necklace that came from Camilla's collection.


Prince William and a woman walking behind Queen Camilla and Empress Masako© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Prince William arrives

Although the Princess of Wales had to miss the event due to her ongoing recovery from cancer, Prince William was present. The heir to the throne wore a suit for the event.


Emperor Naruhito and King Charles laughing© WPA Pool

Laughs all around

The King and Emperor were seen laughing together during their meal. For the meal, the royals tucked into poached Scottish langoustines on a nest of cucumber with basil mousse and chilled tomato consommé.

The main course consisted of a baked fillet of Cornish turbot, with herb butter wrapped in lettuce and sorrel cream sauce, a selection of Summer vegetables, creamed potato and spinach croquettes, a salad of green beans and quail eggs.

The lavish dessert was an ice cream bomb with peach sorbet insert on a bed of compressed peaches.


Emperor Naruhito addressing King Charles© WPA Pool

Naruhito's speech

As is customary, royals typically address each other in a speech during State Banquets. During his speech, Naruhito referenced the environment and the State Banquet that his own grandfather was at back in 1971.


King Charles addressing Emperor Naruhito© WPA Pool

The King's speech

In his own speech, Charles paid tribute to the ways that the United Kingdom and Japan are working together, while also referencing some of Japan's biggest exports, the Pokemon and Hello, Kitty franchises.

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