Spotlight Wedding: Crown Prince Naruhito & Crown Princess Masako

Yes, there are other Royal Houses beyond Europe. And in this case we are looking at the Crown Prince of Japan,  Prince Naruhrito and his wife the Crown Princess Masako. One thing we should note is that the Japanese have the oldest hereditary monarchy… yes it is even old that Britain’s. Prince Naruhrito is the  heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne. His father is  the current  Emperor of Japan and the Crown Prince is the nest in line for the throne.

Princess Masako was born  Masako Owada. Her father was a Japanese diplomat and she spent her high school years living in the United States where she also attended an American University. She met the Prince in  Tokyo in 1986.  Masako  was only the second commoner to marry into the imperial family. The first being Empress Michiko, who had trouble adapting to the strict protocol of being a royal member. The Empress suffered a nervous breakdown during her marriage.

Prince Naruhito proposed to Masako many times over six years,  before she finally “agreed” to his

"The Crown Prince and Crown Princess in traditional clothing on their wedding day"

request.  The couple officially announced their engagement in December 1992 and they were married the following year on June 9, 1993.   They had a traditional Japanese wedding,  was a modern twist.

The couple both participated in  traditional wedding rituals, such as bathing in  sacred water and wearing a waxed wig, that had 12 layers.  Both the Prince and the Princess wore silk kimonos.  Princess Masako’s  weighed about 30 lbs and cost over &100,000. The couple’s wedding was not a media spectacle if  you compare to Charles and Diana’s wedding.  It was a simple wedding ceremony that lasted about 18 minutes. After the wedding ceremony, the couple changed their outfits and had a procession in the streets of Tokyo.

Princess Masako has proved that it is not that glamorous  to be a princess. She had been rumored to have suffered a nervous breakdown  after suffering many miscarriages and  pressures to produce a male heir. She has not been seen in public events since 2002. The Crown Prince and Princess were invited to Prince William’s wedding but due to the recent disasters in Japan cancelled their appearance.

Below is a video of the couple’s wedding at the Imperial Palace, unfortunately the video is japanese.   Segments  from their wedding, including the procession after can all be found on youtube.

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