In April 2017, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain made a state visit to Japan, where they were hosted by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for a glittering state banquet. Today’s Sparkling Spotlight shines on the diamonds and sapphires worn by Letizia for the dinner.
The emperor and empress welcomed Felipe and Letizia to the imperial palace in Tokyo for the state banquet. Empress Michiko, one of the most elegant women in the world, was resplendent in a gold ensemble for the dinner, but by this time, she had stopped wearing tiaras, largely because of health issues.
Queen Letizia, though, brought along a tiara with her gala jewels for the evening. She arrived wearing a dramatic midnight blue ball gown made by one of her favorite Spanish designers, Felipe Varela.
The gown featured floral embroidery on both the bodice and the skirt. The rich, dark blue color of the dress was a beautiful contrast with the gold and red sash of Letizia’s Japanese order, the Order of the Precious Crown. She pinned the unusual star from the order, which is made of enamel and seed pearls, to the sash.
With the ensemble, Letizia wore diamonds and pearls from the Spanish royal collection. Her tiara, the Spanish Floral Tiara, is a nineteenth-century jewel that originally belonged to Queen Maria Cristina of Spain. She also stacked Queen Ena’s diamond bracelets on her left wrist.
She finished off the glittering ensemble with a modern pair of diamond and sapphire earrings. These are part of a parure of jewelry worn by her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia. The set also includes a coordinating necklace. She secured the sash of her order with a diamond fleur-de-lis brooch. This jewel is the central element from her own diamond and pearl tiara.