COTE DE TEXAS: Royalty Descends On Tokyo: Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako

Royalty Descends On Tokyo: Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako

I was going to put this on Instagram, but it keep growing so I thought I would do a quick story here instead.



The biggest royal event of the decade happened in Tokyo this week and you probably had no idea it was happening until it was all over and done with.  In an elaborate and ancient enthronement ceremony, Japan crowned Emperor Naruhito  of the Chrysanthemum Throne, the 2500 year old royal court.   Earlier, his father,  Akihito, 85, had abdicated in favor of his son, Naruhito, 58, because of  his poor health.   Abdication in Japan is such a rarity, it’s been over 200 years since an emperor has done so.  

Tokyo was flooded with royalty and heads of state from all over the globe, dressed in their finery, tuxedos, and tiaras.   It’s hard to remember an event when so many royals were congregated at one event.      


The Emperor and his Empress were dressed in the ancient robes from the 10th century.  Extremely heavy, the empress robes consists of many layers. 

Can someone explain Naruhito’s crown?!!!!?   What is it supposed to represent?  I couldn’t find the answer anywhere.  It looks like the letter “J” to me.

The Empress Masako is a tragic figure, a victim of depression and anxiety.  Since her marriage 25 years ago, she has rarely ever been seen out in public.  It is only in the last few years that she ventured out a few times.

The Imperial Palace ancient park where all the events took place is surrounded by the modern city. 

The round oasis consists of moats, stone walls,  and exotic gardens that stand in stark contrast to the thousands of skyscrapers surrounding it.

A series of moats and gatehouses surround the palaces.

The Imperial Palace where an event for the guests was held.

The gardens surrounding the moats.  So gorgeous!!   Incredible.

Unfortunately it rained during the day of the enthronement ceremony which took place here. 

The royal couple have one daughter, here at the front.  She will not be allowed to be her father’s heir who instead is her uncle and his son.

Since Empress Masako had given birth to only one female, she was not allowed to travel abroad so that she might stay home and get pregnant with a male.  Yes, I kid you not!   The rules of the Japanese royal court are extremely strict and Masako suffered unmercifully because of them.  It’s hard to believe this could happen in today’s time, but it did.

Her husband is extremely supportive and he publicly railed against his wife’s constraints, citing she was a graduate of Harvard, a diplomat, and highly intelligent and did not deserve to be a prisoner of the court.  His pleas fell on deaf ears.


The two thrones are stored in Kyoto and were disassembled and trucked to Tokyo where they were put back together and then their lacquer was repainted for the ceremony. 

Naruhito can be seen here.  His modern wheelchair is one of the only symbols of the 20th century.

Royals sat and watched the ceremony.

Another aerial view where the royals live and where the ceremonies took place. 

The young couple at their marriage in 1993.  Misako is slightly taller than Naruhito.   He is the first royal to have attended school overseas.  He even wrote a book about his time at Oxford.  Misako spent formative years in Russia and the United States where she graduated from Harvard and attended Oxford.  She is highly intelligent and speaks three languages, though some reports say six.    She suffers from anxiety and depression but is trying hard to ready herself for her new role as the Empress.  The papers were ecstatic when for the first time she recently attended the annual garden party where she walked through the entire event and stayed to talk to visitors.  During an interview this year she admitted she feels insecure about fulfilling her duties.  Poor thing!  She certainly reminds one of Diana and Meghan. 

The young royal couple at their wedding in the ancient robes.

The trio.

All smiles at the banquet!   Here is the Empress is wearing a traditional tiara which has over 1,000 diamonds set in platinum.

The Homei-Den banquet hall.  Look for your favorite royal or world leader. 

Notice the food and the plates.  And be sure to notice the chinoiserie chairs!!!

What was served?  Glad you asked!!!

Japanese cuisine included grilled young sea bream, salt steamed abalone and spiny lobster soup with matsutake mushrooms.  For Muslims, they were served halal dishes.  For vegetarians, soy milk skin was substituted for beef.  Huh?!?!?!  And for those who insisted on western food, beef and asparagus rolls were prepared.

Ready for the banquet, Prince Charles.  Camilla doesn’t like to fly and for short trips, so for a two day event with a long flight, she stays at home.

The most gorgeous couple?  The King and Queen of Bhutan.  She is said to be the youngest queen on Earth, as opposed to Mars. 

For the day event, another gorgeous outfit!!!   His boots!!!

For the next night’s banquet hosted by PM Abe, the King wore the same outfit but the Queen wore yet another gorgeous native gown.

Former Sumo wrestler, now President of Mongolia, Buttulga Khaltmaa looked fabulous!!!!


There are a handful of Queens and Crown Princesses who are the darlings of the fashion world.  Queen Letizia of Spain is one of those.

For the day, she wore a belted, long sleeved dress.  The King wore the same outfit.

Another fashion darling is Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.  Pretty in lilac, but her tiara is too small for my materialistic tastes!  Love her dress.

For the day event, Mary, in another lilac gown.  The Prince is dressed the same.  Must be a theme.

Close up of Princess Mary.  She’s such a beauty.   But I am so worried about Charles’ hands!!  They have been so swollen lately.   Not sure what that is!!

A side view of Mary’s hat.  I love the way the royal fashionistas wear hats with the huge flower in it. 

There was yet another banquet that PM Abe gave.  No tiaras, no tuxedos for the men, no sashes or medals.   Crown Princess Mary looks pretty as usual.

The Empress hosted a tea, here laughing with Crown Princess Mary.  This is the new Masako.  Hosting a party would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

Another Fashionista Royal is the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden who came with her father the King.  Not thrilled with her peach lace dress and tiny tiara.   Oh, I am so obnoxious!!!!!   Just being honest.


But, when seen close up, her laurel leaf tiara is actually stunning.  Isn’t it beautiful?  I’m so sorry Victoria that I disrespected your tiara!!!

At the day event, Victoria looks so much prettier here.  And her father is dressed the same.  Definitely a theme!

How do you kiss with a huge hat?   Very carefully!

Crown Princess Victoria’s dress at PM Abe’s dinner was the prettiest of the three.

Queen Mathilde of Belgium was beautiful in gold lame.

Here, she is a winner.  Just gorgeous with her pillbox hat.

This couple cracks me up.  She’s Monika, Queen of Instagram selfies when she isn’t the wife of Czech’s President,

Hahahah.  Poor man.  I can only imagine how she bosses him around.  Darlink, I need a new Judith Leiber bag.

Prince Albert looking mad! 


Oy vey.  It’s not.  No.  Really??????

It’s the new President of the Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky.  Yep. 

I wonder if anyone went up to him and whispered in his ear “Quid Pro Quo….”

And I left the best for last.   The one.  The only…

QUEEN MAXIMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Queen of the Netherlands.  She is the most beautiful queen, has the most beautiful clothes, and wears the most beautiful jewelry.

I mean, look…..she is wearing a stomacher!!!!  When was the last time you saw a stomacher?  Maybe when Queen Mary was alive. 


Oh, she knows it.  I would too.  If only. 

Close up of her jewelry.   Yeah.  That necklace.  It’s beyond gorgeous!!!! 

OK,  wouldn’t you rather be Maxima with this tiara than the Emperor of Japan with that black ruler hanging off his head????

Hey, Maxie, I’m going to my cousin’s wedding next week.   Can I borrow the necklace?

For the crowning ceremony Maxima outdid herself:

For the daytime event – she wore a grey blue lace gown with matching gloves.

OMG.  Her hat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And another view.

One more.

OH, ok, one more!!!!  Notice her diamond earrings.

 For the PM Abe banquet, she chose a jumpsuit!  Strapless with a sequined bolero. 

She must have been hangry.   I’ve never seen her without a huge grin on her face.



I’ve been planning on doing a story on her and if you go and research her that will take all the surprise out of it, as if this story didn’t already do that.

Back to regular programming in a few days.




  1. The Dutch love their queen. She embraced the country,learned the language quickly, and they love that about her. Also, their children ride their bicycles to school. How cool is that!?!

    1. I can't wait to write it. I'm obsessed with her.

  2. I would like to thank you for the photos they
    were outstanding.

  3. Victoria's laurel tiara belonged to a favourite great-aunt until she inherited it a few years ago. While more modest than a lot of the other tiaras Victoria has access to this is a sentimental choice, and she has worn it to several very important occasions.

  4. YOU ARE so much FUN! So pleased to get to enjoy this...franki

  5. This was such a fun post. I do not follow the Royals at all but you sure brought me up to speed!!

  6. Oh I live for your ROYAL posts Joni! This was such fun. I imagine that the new Empress is getting to an age where the baby shop is closed. I do hope she will be able to travel after that. Gorgeous gowns. It must have been an amazing ceremony. I'll have to head over to Youtube to see if they captured the event live.

    1. I think she is way past the baby-factory time age.

  7. So, while in the diplomatic service you learn protocol, protocol, a service such as this one, it is considered extremely poor taste to outdo the tiara of the empress regnant (the new reign). During the actual crowning ceremony, in some countries, it is in poor taste to wear one at all - thus hats. I guess that is why they have so many lol! I sent a text to my diplomatic colleagues to find out the meaning of the headdress. Definitely not a J though. Masako was a year ahead of me at Harvard.

  8. You always have such informative posts, and I have learned so much over the years. But my absolute favorites (re-read dozens of times) are your Royals posts. Thanks again and can't wait for your Q. Maxima post!!!

  9. Well that was a delightful post! I was just about to google Queen Maxima when you stopped me. I hope Mr. Slipper Socks has recovered from the game last night.

  10. It's nice to see those smiles of different Royal Highness.
    I want to see more of their photos, hope you could post more.
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  11. Oh my goodness!!! Loved it all! So serious at first...had me thinking of researching Japanese history, but fun, so entertaining! You are a hoot, and you don't miss a thing!!!

  12. OMG how I love your posts!!!! Just home having dinner alone but with a big glass of wine! You have made the evening. I wish you had a tv show now and we all could hoot some more.
    Don't you ever stop writing. We need you!!!!

  13. Yes, do a post about Maxima! I love her.

  14. As an American of Scandinavian descent working with Japanese automotive clients in the USA, one of my only claims to fame is that I've met two Japanese Emperors a total of three times (once/twice) and sometimes use these meetings as a means of leveling the corporate playing field; literally as my trump card. "I just returned from discussing steel tariffs with President Trump..." "Oh really. I've met two of your Emperors and am currently planning for a third". Stunned silence.

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  18. This was a great post! Loved every minute of it. So fun and can't wait to read more about Maxima!

    Those first photos of the emperor & his wife remind me of those cut-outs where people stick their heads in take pictures...LOL

  19. No, the new empress is absolutely nothing like Meghan.

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