PRINCE CHARLES has joined other members of royal families from around the world to witness the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito of Japan – with the historic ceremony unfortunately disrupted by heavy rain.
Prince Charles arrived in Tokyo last night, marking his fifth official visit to Japan on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles travelled to Japan without his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. Camilla remained in the UK because, as President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society and Patron of Versus Arthritis, she will open later today the new Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and the Brownsword Therapies Centre, at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH). It is also understood her fear of flying may have played a part in her absence.
While other monarchs from around the world arrived at the enthronement with their spouses, Prince Charles was accompanied by Paul Madden, the British Ambassador to Japan.
Pictures from Tokyo shows the Prince of Wales chatting with Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, sitting next to him.
Among the other members of royal families attending the enthronement were King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands, King Felipe and Queen Letitia of Spain and Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.
Prince Charles is visiting Japan today and tomorrow (Image GETTY)
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain (Image GETTY)
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (Image GETTY)
The Prince of Wales attended the 30-minute ceremony at the state room of the imperial palace Matsu no ma.
There, Prince Charles and other royals watched the Emperor, who succeeded his father Akihito in May, promising to uphold the constitution and pledging his life to Japan in a centuries-old ceremony.
The enthronement ceremony took place successfully, but heavy rain falling caused some initial havoc and forced the palace to reduce the number of officials set to line up outside the building from 78 to 25.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan (Image GETTY)
Prince Charles attended the ceremony without Camilla (Image GETTY)
Prince Charles with Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark (Image GETTY)
The ceremony started with the new Emperor appearing behind purple curtains.
Sitting on the Takamikura throne, which weights around eight tonnes, he received the text of his speech from the Grand Chamberlain.
Reading it out loud, Emperor Naruhito said: “I proclaim my ascension to the throne to representatives at home and abroad”.
He then mentioned his beloved father, the now-Emperor Emeritus Akihito, and spoke of his love for the country.
King Willem-Alexander of Netherlands and Queen Maxima arriving at the palace (Image GETTY)
Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde (Image GETTY)
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako during the ceremony (Image GETTY)
Crown Princess Kiko of Akishino, who married the second-eldest son of the former Emperor (Image GETTY)
The 59-year-old Emperor continued: “I hereby swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfil my responsibility as a symbol of the state while always wishing for the happiness of the world and standing with the people”.
Emperor Naruhito sat near two of the most important symbols of imperial Japan, called Sacred Treasures, the Kusanagi sword and Yasakani no Magatama jewel.
The third Sacred Treasure is kept in the Ise Grand Shrine in the Mie prefecture, more than 500km south-west of Tokyo, and is the Yata no Kagami mirror.
Empress Masako was also enthroned and sat by her husband, also wearing traditional robes.
The Royal Family’s family tree (Image: EXPRESS)
The ceremony continued with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulating with the Emperor.
He said: “The people of Japan come together in extending the heartiest congratulations.”
Mr Abe also said to have been “deeply touched” by the Emperor’s speech, and called him a great symbol of state.
He continued: “I hereby pray for peace in the era of Reiwa.”
Prince Charles with the UK Ambassador to Japan, Paul Madden (Image GETTY)
The ceremony ended with three cheers, a 21-gun salute and all guests standing up.
The celebrations will continue in the evening, when dignitaries, Japanese government members and spouses and judicial members will attend a court banquet.
Similarly, Prime Minister Abe will host a banquet at the Hotel New Otani.
Prince Charles will remain in Japan for two days, during which he will also celebrate the UK’s ties with Japan.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK