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The Best Royal Jewels of 2019: #1 (The Japanese Imperial Enthronement)

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And now, for the sparkliest royal jewelry moment of the year...

#1: The Japanese Imperial Enthronement



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We witnessed a once-in-a-generation series of celebrations in Japan this year, as Emperor Akihito celebrated thirty years on the Chrysanthemum throne, and then abdicated in favor of his son, Emperor Naruhito.


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A new imperial era dawned in May, when Emperor Naruhito officially ascended to the throne. He made his first speech as emperor in Tokyo in front of Empress Masako and the rest of the imperial family.


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Empress Masako made her first appearance in the Meiji Tiara, an heirloom reserved for the use of the Japanese empress.


TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

And her sister-in-law, Crown Princess Kiko, wore the family's crown princely diamond parure for the first time as well.


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A few days later, the imperial family greeted the public from the palace balcony, with brooches and pearls the empress and princesses.


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Shortly afterward, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako hosted their first state visit, and Masako brought out a fantastic gold and diamond necklace during the state banquet.


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In October, we marveled at the pageantry at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as Emperor Naruhito was officially enthroned.


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The entire imperial family wore incredible ceremonial attire during the enthronement rite.


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And the numerous royals attending the ceremonies brought jewels with them from around the globe.


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That night, the imperial family hosted the first of a series of enthronement banquets for their guests. Empress Masako was dripping in diamonds...


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...and the foreign royal guests brought along their very best tiaras, too!


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In November, the festivities concluded with one more magnificent moment: a parade through the streets of Tokyo. Empress Masako again wore the heirloom diamonds of Japanese empresses. What an incredible imperial year it's been!