Our week-long tribute to the jewels of Queen Sofia of Spain wraps up today with a look at a glittering gala appearance in Japan more than a decade ago.
In November 2008, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain embarked on a lengthy six-day state visit to Japan, their first trip to the nation since 1998. During the visit, they were the guests of honor at a state banquet hosted at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
For the dinner, Sofia wore a festive red evening gown and a beautiful floral wrap with fringe detailing. You’ll also spot the red and yellow sash of Japan’s Order of the Precious Crown beneath the shawl.
A visit to an imperial palace requires serious jewels, so Queen Sofia reached for some of the most important diamond and pearl pieces in her jewelry box.
She selected Queen Ena’s Fleur-de-Lis Tiara for the banquet, which the Spanish royals have nicknamed “La Buena,” or “the Good One.” (As we discussed recently, its first public appearance was sadly anything but good.) The tiara is part of the joyas de pasar collection which passes from monarch to monarch. So is the pearl necklace that Sofia wore for the dinner, as well as the pearl pendant (La Peregrina II, not to be confused with the original La Peregrina). Sofia finished off the look with pearl drop earrings and diamond and gold bracelets and rings.
Empress Michiko’s jewelry is certainly worth mentioning here as well. She went for a diamond theme, including the diamond honeysuckle tiara that once belonged to Emperor Akihito’s aunt, Princess Chichibu.