October is going to be a very busy month for the royals! Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan heading to South Africa (with Harry visiting Malawi, Angola and Botswana separately) and Prince William and Duchess Kate are planning a visit to Pakistan, and Prince Charles is now heading to Japan!
The Prince of Wales will travel to the Asian country from Oct. 22 to 23 on behalf of the Queen so he can attend the ceremony of enthronement for new Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Clarence House says. Charles is set to have an incredible time, since the ceremony will involve thousands of guests and will feature many banquets over the two days.
While there, Charles will also attend several other engagements to strengthen British-Japanese connections, according to Clarence House. This will be the second time the prince has attended a Japanese emperor’s enthronement – he was also there for that of Emperor Akihito in November 1990, and had Princess Diana with him. This will be Charles’s fifth time visiting Japan – he last did so in 2008.
Naruhito’s enthronement comes after his father Akihito abdicated this past May. He will be joined by his wife, Masako, and will ride an open-top limousine through Tokyo on the way to his coronation. After Akihito’s abdication, his son became Emperor in an accession ceremony in which he was presented with the Imperial sword and jewel.
Although Akihito was the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in more than 200 years, his move was also not a surprise. He started suggesting he would do it back in 2016, according to the Mirror.
“When I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duty as the symbol of the state with my whole being,” he said then, according to the publication.
As for Naruhito, his reign will be known as the Reiwa era, which means “beautiful harmony” in Japanese.
More details about Charles’s trip will be announced shortly, Clarence House says.