Our survey of some of Empress Michiko’s most sparkling tiara moments continues today with a very significant day in her life: the imperial enthronement in 1990.
Michiko’s father-in-law, Emperor Hirohito, died in January 1989. Her husband, Akihito, immediately became emperor, but the couple’s enthronement ceremonies were not held until November 1990, more than a year later. Both Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wore traditional Japanese attire for the elaborate enthronement at the the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
For some aspects of the festivities, the imperial couple wore Western-style attire, including gala jewels for the empress. This official portrait of Empress Michiko was released on November 8, 1990, a few days before the enthronement. In the image, she wears a gorgeous gown with an ethereal embroidered cape, plus the insignia of the Order of the Precious Crown and major diamonds. Her impressive diadem, the Meiji Tiara, is reserved for the use of the Japanese empress. It was made in the nineteenth century during the reign of Emperor Meiji, and it was first worn by his consort, Empress Haruko.
Empress Michiko also wore the tiara during the enthronement celebrations themselves, including a motorcade parade through central Tokyo on November 12.
For the parade, Michiko wore another elegant gown, this time featuring a short capelet, with diamonds.
Here’s a closer view of Empress Michiko wearing the Meiji Tiara while riding in the motorcade alongside her husband.