02 May 2019

Tiaras for a New Imperial Era

Handout/Imperial Household Agency of Japan via Getty Images

On Wednesday, a new imperial era dawned in Japan -- tiaras and all!



TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Following the abdication of Emperor Emeritus Akihito, Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne, beginning the new Reiwa era. He wore the collar and star of the Order of the Chrysanthemum, as well as the sash and star of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers.


Handout/Imperial Household Agency of Japan via Getty Images

Naruhito's enthronement ceremonies included an audience in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, where he made his first official speech as emperor. The ladies of the imperial family all wore tiaras and court dress for the occasion.


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

During her husband's first day on the throne, Empress Masako was regal in the tiara reserved for Japanese empresses, the Meiji Tiara. She wore it with its round diamond toppers. (More on the tiara here!)


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Unlike many of the tiaras in the Japanese imperial vaults, the Meiji does not have a coordinating mirrored necklace. Empresses usually pair the tiara with single, double, or even triple diamond rivieres. Masako chose a double riviere necklace for the imperial audience.


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

She secured the sash of the Order of the Precious Crown with a grand diamond brooch.


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

The all-diamond brooch is very similar in design to the pearl and diamond brooch from the Pearl Sunburst Parure. Either this is a separate, but nearly identical, all-diamond brooch, or the brooch from the parure is able to be worn without its usual pearls. (More on the Pearl Sunburst suite here!)


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Prince and Princess Akishino -- now Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko -- appeared with the rest of the imperial family alongside the new emperor and empress.


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time, Kiko wore the diamond scroll tiara and necklace worn by the nation's crown princesses. (More on the suite here!) This is only the second parure she's worn in public, after her own wedding parure. (See that suite here.) She paired the suite with a diamond and pearl ribbon brooch, rather than the scroll brooch that coordinates with the tiara and necklace. (More on that piece here!)


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Both of the Akishino daughters also attended the audience, each wearing the tiaras and coordinating jewels they received on their twentieth birthday. Above, Princess Mako wears her tiara and jewels. (More on the suite here!)


Handout/Imperial Household Agency of Japan via Getty Images

And you'll spot Princess Kako wearing her suite above. (More on the jewels here!)


The Court Jeweller/screencapture

Also standing alongside the Akishinos are Princess Takamado (wearing her wedding tiara) and her daughter, Princess Tsuguko (wearing her twentieth birthday tiara).


Handout/Imperial Household Agency of Japan via Getty Images

And there were even more imperial ladies in attendance!


The Court Jeweller/screencapture

Princess Hitachi wore her wedding tiara, and Princess Mikasa (who just turned 95!) wore a diamond kokoshnik, which I believe is also her wedding tiara. Princess Tomohito of Mikasa wore her wedding tiara, while her daughters, Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko (who are just out of frame in this image) wore their twentieth birthday tiaras.



The short audience is currently available for viewing on YouTube -- I've embedded it for you above!