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What to expect: the Japanese State Visit to the UK

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan are about to begin their State Visit to the United Kingdom. It runs from 25 to 28 June although the Emperor and Empress are already here, carrying out private engagements.

There will be pomp and ceremony for this long awaited visit, although it has had to be scaled back due to the upcoming UK general election. However, the schedule is fairly busy. 

On the morning of June 25, The Prince of Wales will welcome the Japanese Imperial couple at their hotel and will accompany them to Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. There, King Charles and Queen Camilla will formally welcome them. 

In the afternoon, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will visit Westminster Abbey, and the Emperor will lay a memorial wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier prior to taking a tour with the Dean of Westminster. 

On the evening of the first day, The King and Queen, along with other members of the Royal Family, will host the Emperor and Empress for a State Banquet. 

By Muchlis Jr/BPMI Setpres, Public Domain, Wiki Commons

The morning of June 26 will see the couple visiting The Francis Crick Institute. The biomedical research centre maintains a renowned British-Japanese research partnership.

Later that day, the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation will host the Emperor and Empress, along with The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, at a banquet at the Guildhall. 

On the morning of the third and final day of the State Visit, June 27, the King and Queen and the Emperor and Empress will formally say farewell. The Japanese Imperial couple will then visit the Young V&A to see the Japan: Myths to Manga exhibition. 

In the afternoon, the couple will visit Windsor where the Emperor will lay a wreath on Queen Elizabeth II’s tomb. They will then tour the Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. The Gardens coordinates the Millenium Seed Bank, a collection of over 2.4 billion wild plant seeds. 

On June 28, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will conclude their trip to the UK by visiting Oxford University where both the Emperor and Empress studied. The Lord Chamberlain will then officially bid farewell to Their Majesties on behalf of The King. 

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