Japan’s imperial couple sent messages of condolence to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her husband Prince Philip last week, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.
Emperor Naruhito paid tribute to Prince Philip in remembering how kind he was to him while he was studying at the University of Oxford for two years from 1983, the agency said.
The emperor “fondly remembers how kindly (the prince) treated him on every occasion of their meeting during his study there, and regrets his passing,” Kenji Ikeda, vice grand steward of the agency, said during a news conference.
The emperor and his wife Empress Masako were scheduled to visit Britain around spring last year, but their trip was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ikeda did not provide any specific timeline as to when the Japanese couple may visit Britain.
Prince Philip died Friday morning at the age of 99. His funeral will be held Saturday, with only a limited number of members of the British royal family planning to attend due to the pandemic.
The queen’s consort had close exchanges with the Japanese imperial family, giving a tour of the library in Windsor Castle to Emperor Naruhito when he visited Britain as crown prince in 2001.
The emperor’s parents — former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko — also visited Britain as state guests in 1998.
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