Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako meet the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, 1971

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Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako of Japan had Tea with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at their home, the Château Le Bois, on the Bois du Boulogne in Paris on this day in 1971, during the Emperor and Empress’ extensive Tour of Europe, the first from a reigning Japanese Emperor outside Europe. The visit came the day after a visit from the Prince of Wales and the day before the start of the Japanese State Visit to Britain. From ‘World of Wallis‘:

The Duke and Duchess welcoming their Imperial guests at their home in the Bois de Boulogne where they took tea and reminisced about old times. The Duchess showed the Empress photographs of the Duke in traditional Japanese clothing which he had modeled during his 1922 visit to Japan. The Emperor invited David and Wallis to visit the imperial couple in Tokyo the following year. Both seemed taken aback by the frailty of the other. Time had passed and the two young men full of promise who had played golf together in a by-gone age of great Empires were now worn down by the baggage of their life choices.

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Emperor Hirohito and the Duke, when both Crown Princes, had become firm friends on the then Crown Prince Hirohito’s visit to the United Kingdom in 1920, and on the then Prince of Wales’ visit to Japan in 1922.


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