Happy Birthday to Empress Michiko of Japan, who turns 89 today! The first Commoner to become the Empress of the world’s oldest Monarchy, who is now the Empress Emerita as the mother of the current Emperor, Empress Michiko possessed some lovely jewels, which included this Diamond Pendant!
A classic, small diamond cluster pendant, the provenance of the piece is unknown, but it appeared in the early 1970s, when the then Crown Princess Michiko began wearing her Diamond Necklace, from which this diamond pendant was suspended, later being worn from a Diamond Rivière.
Crown Princess Michiko began wearing the Diamond Pendant suspended from her Diamond Necklace as early as an Official Portrait in 1971, when it was paired with her Diamond Scroll Tiara, also being worn for an Official Dinner with King Hussein and Queen Alia of Jordan in 1976 and a State Dinner in Bulgaria in 1979, as well as the Spanish State Visit to Japan in 1980 and the Danish State Visit to Japan in 1981.
After being worn by the Crown Princess during a visit to Spain in 1985, the Diamond Necklace and Diamond Pendant were also paired with the Pearl Sunburst Tiara for a State Dinner during President Regan’s State Visit to Japan in 1986 as well as for the Prince and Princess of Wales’ visit to Japan in 1986.
After the Accession of Emperor Akihito in 1989, Empress Michiko inherited the three heirloom Diamond Rivières of the Japanese Imperial Family, but only ever wore one Diamond Rivière, usually wearing it with her Diamond Pendant and either the Meiji Scroll Tiara or the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara, like for the Japanese State Visit to Belgium in 1993, the Japanese State Banquet at the Royal Palace of Madrid in 1994, the Japanese State Visit to Denmark in 1998, the Norwegian State Visit to Japan in 2001, the Danish State Visit to Japan in 2004, and a Banquet at Uppsala Castle in 2007 as well as during the Spanish State Visit to Japan in 2008, in addition of various New Year’s Courts.
When Empress Michiko stopped wearing Tiaras, the Diamond Rivière and the Diamond Pendant became her primary jewels for a variety of gala occasions, including several New Years Courts as well as the Dutch and Spanish State Visits to Japan.
In 2019, Empress Michiko wore the Diamond Rivière with the Diamond Pendant for Emperor Akihito’s final New Year’s Reception at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, which is likely its last appearance for a while as it is unlikely that Empress Michiko will attend gala events in the future.