Princess Alexandra in Japan, 1961

The Japanese Imperial Family hosted Princess Alexandra of Kent on her 8-Day Official Visit to Japan on this day in 1961, during an extensive Tour of the Far East which included also visits to Hong Kong, Thailand, Burma, and Yemen. Princess Alexandra’s visit was the first by a member of the British Royal Family since 1930, and was followed by British State Visit to Japan in 1975, in return to the Japanese State Visit to Britain in 1971

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The visit began with an Audience with the Emperor and Empress followed by a visit to the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo, a Tour of the Imperial Duck Reserve in Saitama, Dinner with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, and a Performance at the Kabuki-za Theatre, but the highlight was a Banquet hosted by Emperor Hirohito (wearing the British Order of the Garter even though it had been revoked) and Empress Nagako (in the Meiji Scroll Tiara) in honour of Princess Alexandra (wearing the Kent Pearl Bandeau and Empress Frederick’s Pearl Brooch) at the Imperial Palace, which was also attended by Crown Prince Akihito, Crown Princess Michiko (in the Pearl Sunburst Tiara), and Princess Chichibu (in a Diamond Tiara).

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