Japanese emperor and empress meet with Royals - after Emperor Naruhito studied his life's passion The Thames barrier

25 June 2024, 14:29 | Updated: 25 June 2024, 14:39

Japanese emperor and empress meet King Charles and Queen Camilla
Japanese emperor and empress meet King Charles and Queen Camilla. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

The Japanese emperor and empress met Charles and Camilla as part of their state visit to the UK - after reconnecting with one of their great passions in a visit to the Thames Flood Barrier.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako arrived at Stansted Airport on Saturday and have since had private engagements.

They visited the Thames Flood Barrier on Monday, with the river being one of the emperor's life-long passions.

As a student at Oxford University in the 1980s, his research focused on water transport on the River Thames in the 18th century.

He went on to write a memoir in the 90s called The Thames And I.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. Picture: Alamy

On Tuesday morning, the emperor and empress met with Prince William at their hotel before being escorted to the Horse Guards Parade.

The pair were officially greeted by the King and Queen at the Royal Pavilion before the Guard of Honour gave a royal salute and the Japanese national anthem was played.

Emperor Naruhito and Charles then inspected the Guard of Honour before heading back to Buckingham Palace for lunch.

Read more: Princess Anne ‘unable to recall exactly what happened’ after being ‘hit by horse’ as she faces several days in hospital

Read more: King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

King Charles and Queen Camilla greet Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako
King Charles and Queen Camilla greet Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. Picture: Alamy

The Japanese state visit to the UK is taking place between Tuesday and Thursday - ending exactly a week before the General Election.

A Palace spokesman said this week's programme had been "slightly adapted", adding: "As a general principle, it has of course been adapted as a result of the current pre-election period of sensitivity."

Missing events include Downing Street talks with the PM, a speech to the Palace of Westminster by the visiting head of state, and meetings with opposition leaders.

King Charles and Japan's Emperor Naruhito, followed by Queen Camilla and Empress Masako, arrive at Buckingham Palace
King Charles and Japan's Emperor Naruhito, followed by Queen Camilla and Empress Masako, arrive at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Alamy

Later on Tuesday, the guests will tour a Royal Collection exhibition in the Picture Gallery and then lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

In the evening, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will attend a lavish state banquet, where the King and the emperor will give speeches.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shakes hands with Emperor Naruhito
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shakes hands with Emperor Naruhito. Picture: Alamy
King Charles with Emperor Naruhito
King Charles with Emperor Naruhito. Picture: Alamy

However, Princess Anne will miss the state banquet while she recovers from minor head wounds and a concussion.

The Princess Royal is being treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol after she was injured in an "impact with a horse’s head or legs" while walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire.

Members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards
Members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. Picture: Getty
Home Secretary James Cleverly, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron ahead of the Ceremonial Welcome of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako
Home Secretary James Cleverly, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron ahead of the Ceremonial Welcome of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. Picture: Getty

Despite the injuries, she is said to be conscious and comfortable and is expected to make a ‘full and swift’ recovery.

She will remain in hospital for the rest of the week and will be kept under observation.

Princess Kate will not be in attendance either as she continues to have treatment for her cancer.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Sarah Justine Packwood, 54, and her husband, Brett Clibbery, 70.

Mystery as Brit woman and husband attempting to cross Atlantic found dead in lifeboat one month after going missing

Exclusive
Five days of big names: LBC announces guest host week

Five days of big names: LBC announces guest host week

Rachel Reeves

Rachel Reeves vows 'big bang' for pensions as government launches review in bid to boost investment and savings

Amanda Abbington has claimed Giovanni Pernice was 'cruel and abusive'.

Strictly's Amanda Abbington breaks silence over 'cruel' Giovanni Pernice - as first female pro under fire

Donald Trump spoke at a rally for the first time since he was shot in the ear

Donald Trump says he ‘took a bullet for democracy’ at first rally since assassination attempt

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Man charged with arson after bus set on fire in Leeds riots over children allegedly removed from local family

Craig Revel Horwood has said the recent allegations have come as a 'shock' to him

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood breaks silence after 'shock' of dancing show's abuse allegations

A series of Israeli strikes have been launched against the Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeidah in Yemen

Israel launches series of air strikes on Houthi-controlled city in Yemen day after group claim deadly attack on Tel Aviv

Jay Slater and his mum, Debbie Duncan

Jay Slater's GoFundMe page hits £70k after teen's mum appeals for funeral donations

Holidaymakers have been left stranded during global IT outage

'We're not being given any information': Furious holidaymaker stranded in Rhodes tells of travel hell after IT outage

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Further unrest in Leeds as hundreds take to streets to 'demand return of children' allegedly removed from local family

NHS England has warned of "continued disruption" to GP services into next week.

NHS warns of GP disruption after global IT outage as trains, planes and roads remain in chaos leaving Brits stranded

Planes, trains and roads have been hit by travel chaos following Friday's IT outage.

Holiday hell: Trains, planes and roads in chaos after global IT outage - with thousands of Brits stranded abroad

Graham Gomm

Prisoner who escaped custody at HMP Wormwood Scrubs during hospital trip is arrested following manhunt

Charles and Camilla attend the King's Parade outside Pomme d'Or Hotel, Liberation Square in St Helier, Jersey

Charles and Camilla 'rushed to safety by security' after suspect 'spotted on roof' just days after Trump rally shooting

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding