King Charles Will Host Japan for State Visit Despite Reduction in Outings with Prince William Taking on Key Role

King Charles and Queen Camilla are preparing for hosting mode! Buckingham Palace announced on June 4 (local time) that the Emperor and Empress of Japan will pay a state visit to the U

Published Time: 04.06.2024 - 02:31:17 Modified Time: 04.06.2024 - 02:31:17

King Charles and Queen Camilla are preparing for hosting mode!

Buckingham Palace announced on June 4 (local time) that the Emperor and Empress of Japan will pay a state visit to the U.K. from June 25 to June 27. Emperor Naruhito, 64, and Empress Masako, 60, will be the guests of King Charles, 75, during the state visit to London, hosted by the monarch and his wife, 75.

The confirmation of dates for the incoming state visit, which was previously announced in late April as part of the King's return to public duties amid his cancer treatment, put an end to speculation if the event would go on as planned. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on May 22 that a general election would be held on July 4. Buckingham Palace said the royals would postpone outings "which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign," prompting King Charles and Prince William to cancel scheduled engagements.

Members of the British royal family are constitutionally non-political and usually leave the public space during campaigns to keep the public’s attention on the election and the pivotal issues it presents. It emerged last week that the palace was awaiting guidance from the Foreign Office about the Japanese state visit.

The Emperor and Empress of Japan are due to arrive in England on June 22 and conduct a series of private engagements.

The state visit will officially begin when Prince William takes on a key role: welcoming the couple at their hotel on June 25. The Prince of Wales, 41, will greet the couple on behalf of his father and travel with them to Horse Guards Parade in London for their ceremonial welcome.

Prince William similarly led the royal welcome with his wife, Kate Middleton, in November 2023 for the state visit of the President of South Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, and his wife, First Lady Kim Keon Hee. Princess Kate, 42, has stayed out of the public eye for most of this year after announcing in March that she has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy, and it's unclear if she will participate in the upcoming state visit. Although Kate usually helps host state visits, she was not included in the itinerary. (The Princess of Wales will not take the salute at the Trooping the Colour rehearsal on June 8, Kensington Palace confirmed, and her attendance at King Charles' birthday parade on June 15 remains unknown.)

King Charles and Queen Camilla will welcome Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako to Horse Guards Parade with military pageantry, and the two couples will travel by carriage along The Mall to Buckingham Palace with Prince William.

A lunch will be followed by viewing items from the Royal Collection r -

elating to Japan in the palace's Picture Gallery. The Japanese royals will later move to Westminster Abbey, where the Emperor will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior before he and his wife tour the ancient church.

That night, King Charles and Queen will reconvene with the Emperor and Empress of Japan for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace thrown in their honor. The diplomatic dinners call for a glamorous dress code, and royal women often slip on tiaras, meaning that Queen Camilla may pick a sparkling headpiece from the royal jewelry collection for the evening. Other members of the royal family are also expected to attend. 

The following day, Emperor Naruhito will pay a solo visit to the Francis Crick Institute, the nation's leading biomedical research center of that supports a partnership between the U.K. and Japan. Later on June 26, Prince Edward and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh will join the Emperor and Empress for a banquet at the Guildhall organized by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are among the working royals who have continued with a full schedule amid King Charles and Princess Kate's reduced duties when their cancer diagnoses were announced.

On June 27, the Japanese royals will bid farewell to King Charles and Queen Camilla as the state visit comes to a close. However, they will continue their time in the U.K. with a visit the Young V&A museum, which is highlighting the exhibit "Japan: Myths to Manga." Emperor Naruhito will then privately visit St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle to lay a wreath at Queen Elizabeth's grave in the King George VI Chapel. The emperor and his wife were among the 2,000 guests who attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022.

The Emperor will visit Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens later that day before he and Empress Masako tour the colleges they studied at Oxford on June 28, the day of their departure.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

State visits are an important part of the British royal family’s diplomatic duties, organized to strengthen relationships with other nations around the world.

Since his accession to the throne in Sept. 2022, King Charles has hosted two state visits: for President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa in Nov. 2022 and President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea in Nov. 2023. King Charles and Queen Camilla have also visited Germany, France and Kenya on outward state visits.

Related Articles

Follow Us