The Queen will welcome Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako to the UK for a state visit in the spring

By Heather Cichowski

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have accepted an invitation from the Queen to pay a state visit to the UK this spring!

The exciting news that the newly crowned emperor and his wife would be visiting the UK was shared on the Royal Family's social media channels.

"Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan have accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020," the statement read.

A few additional details on the Japanese royals' state visit were shared on the official royal website, including that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will be staying at Windsor Castle. Further information about the state visit will be "announced in due course."

MORE: Prince Charles, European royals attend Japanese Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony

Prince Charles, along with many other royals and world dignitaries, travelled to Japan to attend Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony in October. The event marked Naruhito officially declaring his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The Prince of Wales at the British Embassy prior to enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito on Oct. 22, 2019 in Tokyo. Photo: © Tim Rooke - Pool/Getty Images

Naruhito’s enthronement came after his father Akihito abdicated in May. The 85-year-old was the first emperor to abdicate in more than 200 years, but it was not a shocking announcement. Akihito made the decision saying "he felt unable to fulfil his role because of his age and declining health."

Queen Elizabeth II greets Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for the Sovereign Monarchs luncheon held in honour of her Diamond Jubilee at Windsor Castle on May 18, 2012. Photo: © DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Following the abdication ceremony on April 30, then-Crown Prince Naruhito, who is Akihito's eldest son, formally ascended the throne the following day. His reign is being called the Reiwa era, which means "beautiful harmony" in Japanese.

In the enthronement ceremony in October, European royals attended an elegant imperial banquet at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Attendees included Queen Letizia of Spain, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Prince Philip, Empress Nagako, Emperor Hirohito and the Queen pose at Buckingham Palace at the start of the Japanese royals' three-day visit to London on Oct. 5, 1971. Photo: © Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

According to the royal website, the Queen has previously hosted two state visits from Japan. In October 1971, Emperor Showa (Hirohito) and Empress Kojun (Nagako) paid a visit to the UK. In May 1998, Her Majesty welcomed Emperor Emeritus (Akihito) and Empress Emerita (Michiko).

In more recent times, Emperor Emeritus and his wife attended a luncheon for Sovereign Monarchs at Windsor Castle to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

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