02 September 2017

Princess Mako's Tiara

TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

The eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, Princess Mako of Akishino, has been in the spotlight lately thanks to her recent engagement announcement, and I've been getting a few specific questions about her tiara. Today, we've got an in-depth look at the diamond sparkler.




TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese princesses first begin attending formal court functions at the age of 20. On her 20th birthday, Princess Mako was presented with a suite of jewels suitable for these events, including a tiara and a coordinating necklace. The tiara, which was made by the Japanese jewelry firm Wako, features fleur-de-lis, festoon, and floral designs. The tiara's motifs echo some of the design elements of her mother's diamond wedding tiara. The profile of Mako's all-diamond tiara is a bit different, though; it has sometimes been compared to that of Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara.




Since receiving the tiara in October 2011, Princess Mako has worn it regularly at the annual New Year's reception and at events like state banquets. Above, she wears the tiara at the New Year's reception at the imperial palace in January 2016. (She's standing between her mother, the Princess Akishino, and her younger sister, Princess Kako. Note the uniformity of the jewel sets presented to each Japanese princess.)


TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

But soon, the tiara will return to the Japanese imperial vaults. When Mako marries her longtime boyfriend, Kei Komuro, she will lose her imperial role, including her title and her jewelry. Tomorrow, the Emperor is expected officially approve Mako's upcoming marriage, and she and Komuro will speak together to the media for the first time. The wedding is expected to take place in 2018.