Prince Charles and Princess Diana attended the enthronement ceremony for Emperor Akihito in 1990

By Stephanie Petit
August 13, 2019 11:14 AM

Prince Charles is about to add another stamp to his royal passport!

The Queen’s eldest son and heir will visit Japan this fall to attend of the ceremony of enthronement (similar to a coronation for the British royals) for Emperor Naruhito, it was announced Monday.

“The visit will take place from 22nd to 23rd October and will include a day of engagements in Tokyo to celebrate British-Japanese connections. 🇬🇧 🇯🇵” Clarence House, the office of Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wrote on their Instagram page along with a collection of photos from previous visits to Japan.

Charles, 70, will travel without his wife for the short trip. The royal couple last visited the Asian country in 2008.

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This enthronement ceremony, during which the Emperor sits briefly on a tatami throne inside the Takamikura a 20 foot high pavilion, will have 2,500 invitees from Japan and abroad, including foreign royalty as well as heads of state, followed by a public parade through central Tokyo.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince Charles and Princess Diana attended in 1990, when Emperor Akihito took his position. They headed to the Imperial Palace for the enthronement ceremony and banquet, followed by a garden party the following day.

Their visit also included a stop at the Yokohama War Cemetery.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty
Prince Charles and Princess Diana
John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty
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KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty

Japan’s Emperor Akihito decided to abdicate, making way for his son to take the throne.

Akihito, 85, announced his plan to step down due to health reasons in December 2017, marking the country’s first abdication in 200 years. His son, formerly Crown Prince Naruhito, began his reign on May 1.

In April, Akihito traveled to the Ise Grand Shrine in Japan to perform the “Shinetsu no Gi” ritual, a sacred ceremony to confirm his resignation from the throne to religious gods and begin the succession process.

Emperor Akihito, dressed in a black suit and carrying a top hat and gloves, headed into the shrine in a formal procession. Palace officials held two of the “Sanshu no Jingi,” or three sacred treasures of Japan, as they walked inside – a sword and a jewel. According to the Associated Press, the third item, a mirror, is kept inside the shrine. The important items will be passed to Naruhito upon his succession.

Emperor Akihito, right, and Emperor Naruhito
Eugene Hoshiko/AP/REX/Shutterstock

RELATED: Why Women In Japan’s Imperial Family Must Give Up Their Royal Status to Marry Commoners

The Japanese imperial family is steeped in tradition, so much that women in the family who decide to marry commoners lose their royal status. The Emperor’s only daughter, Sayako Kuroda, formerly Princess Sayako, left the family in 2005.

Despite having eight empresses throughout their history, Japan currently does not allow women to have a place in the line of succession. Instead, the throne will be passed to the next closest male relative.

Nahurito only has one child, a daughter: Princess Aiko. So when Nahurito dies (or abdicates, though Akihito’s decision to do so is very rare), the throne will pass to his younger brother, Prince Fumihito — the father of Princess Mako. Fumihito has a son, Hisahito, who is set to inherit after him, but Hisahito is the only male of his generation in the family.

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