National

Emperor Naruhito hosts tea party to thank foreign royals for attending enthronement

AP

Emperor Naruhito hosted a tea party Wednesday at his residence for royals from other countries, thanking them for celebrating his enthronement at a palace ceremony the day before.

The emperor proclaimed his succession in a ritual-laden ceremony Tuesday at the Imperial Palace. He pledged to serve his constitutional role as a symbol of the state for his people, while staying close and standing by them.

The emperor and his wife, Empress Masako, greeted the royal guests with hugs or handshakes as they arrived at the tea party they hosted at the Akasaka Palace.

Guests included Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henri, Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Brunei’s King Hassanal Bolkiah and Prince Albert II of Monaco, as well as their spouses. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Danish Crown Prince Frederick and his wife, Mary, were also present.

Other members of the imperial family also joined the party, including Naruhito’s abdicated father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, and his wife, Empress Emeritus Michiko, palace officials said. The elder couple did not attend Tuesday’s ceremony as a clear message of their retirement.

Emperor Naruhito’s succession rituals are not finished yet. A parade originally planned for Tuesday afternoon has been rescheduled for next month due to a deadly typhoon that hit central and northern Japan. The emperor will also perform a highly religious and divisive harvest ritual in mid-November.

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