Queen Elizabeth II decided against giving an honor to Emperor Akihito on his official installation as Crown Prince because it was too soon after the war.

To top it off, Britain's senior representative in Tokyo then became furious when he learned his French counterpart was pressing Paris to offer the young royal a top ceremonial award, government files from 1952 have revealed.

French Ambassador Maurice Dejean told diplomats in Tokyo that Paris was going to give the prestigious Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor to then Crown Prince Akihito.

The head of Britain's Liaison Mission in Japan, Esler Dening, was angry when he heard of the plan and tried to get European nations to jointly fund a gift instead of bestowing an honor because he feared Britain's interests would be harmed if they were seen as less generous.