Last week, the Emperor of Japan celebrated his birthday with a traditional public appearance, and the ladies of the imperial family wore their usual uniform of pearls and brooches for the daytime occasion.
Emperor Naruhito was joined by his wife, Empress Masako, and their daughter, Princess Aiko, as he celebrated his 63rd birthday with a traditional balcony appearance at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The family was also joined by his brother and sister-in-law, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, and his niece, Princess Kako, for the public appearance.
Most of the ladies of the imperial family wear a strict “uniform” ensemble for both daytime and evening appearances. Daytime attire includes a light-colored dress, a matching hat, gloves and a fan, and jewels set with pearls and small diamonds. Interestingly, though, the Empress has chosen to put her own spin on the dress code, allowing her to stand out a bit among the crowd. She wore a blue velvet gown with lovely embroidery—and left her hats inside the palace—for this balcony appearance.
Masako did stick to the “diamonds and pearls” jewelry dress code, however. She wore a pair of pearl drop earrings with a modern diamond pendant section. The earrings have clip fasteners, as most of the imperial ladies do not have pierced ears.
She also pinned a diamond scroll brooch with a central pearl to the neckline of her gown. The scrolling design of the brooch neatly echoed the dress’s embroidered accents.
Princess Aiko, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s daughter, joined her parents on the balcony, wearing a light pink dress and matching hat.
She accessorized with diamond and pearl drop earrings, a single-stranded pearl necklace, and a small ribbon brooch.
And here’s a view of the crown princely family on the balcony as well. Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko were joined by their younger daughter, Princess Kako. (Their other children were not eligible to attend the event. Prince Hisahito is too young, and Mako Komuro is no longer a member of the imperial family.)
Crown Princess Kiko wore a yellow dress and hat with diamond and pearl jewels: pearl drop earrings, a single-stranded pearl necklace, and a modern brooch.
Princess Kako was a bit of a rebel in a teal-colored dress and hat, worn with pearl earrings, a single-stranded pearl necklace, and a diamond brooch with a twist design.