Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will take place in London on Monday, with some 500 representatives from about 200 countries and territories, including the Japanese Emperor and Empress.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin is carried into Westminster Abbey during her state funeral on September 19, 2022 in London. (Getty/TBEN)
Emperor Naruhito visited Westminster Hall on Sunday evening to pay tribute to the Queen. Empress Masako did not accompany him because of her physical condition.
“I quietly bid farewell with sincere gratitude,” the emperor said through his assistant.
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako arrive in London on September 19, 2022 for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey. (WPA Pool/Getty/TBEN)
Prior to the visit, the Japanese Emperor, among other dignitaries, attended a reception hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace to express his condolences on the Queen’s death at the age of 96 on September 8.
At the event, Emperor Naruhito also expressed his condolences entrusted to him by former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko, according to a senior Imperial Household Agency official.
The emperor also had the opportunity to exchange words with royal families from Europe, including the Netherlands and the king and queen of Bhutan, the official said.
Arriving in London on Saturday, it marks the Japanese imperial couple’s first overseas trip since the emperor’s accession to the throne in May 2019 and a hiatus from the convention for an emperor, who usually does not appear at funerals at home or abroad.
The two royal families have shared a long-standing bond, with the queen’s 70-year reign overlapping that of three Japanese emperors.
Former Emperor Akihito, then Crown Prince, attended the Queen’s coronation in 1953 on behalf of Emperor Hirohito, known posthumously as Emperor Showa. The Queen later paid a British monarch’s first visit to Japan in 1975.
The British royal family invited Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako to visit Britain after he took the throne in May 2019 following his father’s abdication, but the plan was canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
After attending the funeral service, the Japanese imperial couple will return home on Tuesday, according to the Japanese government.
The funeral was preceded by a ten-day period of national mourning in Britain, with flags at half-mast and usual government activities suspended.
On September 18, 2022, flower bouquets and message cards will be posted near Buckingham Palace in London as people mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II on the eve of her funeral. (TBEN) ==TBEN
During that time, the Queen’s coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she died, to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. From there, the coffin was taken to London to be laid out in state.
The coffin was on display to the public four days before the state funeral so the public could pay their last respects
People joined a mile-long line through central London to pay their respects, with many waiting more than 12 hours to walk past the coffin.
After the funeral service, the Queen’s coffin will be carried in a procession to Windsor Castle, a royal residence west of London, where she will be buried.
People line up to pay their respects to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in London on September 18, 2022, the eve of her funeral. (TBEN) ==TBEN
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