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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Royal Round- Up

A lot of thing  have been happening. Prince William has been attending to royal duty in Australia, while Kate has been handling last-minute wedding details in England.

Prince William in Queensland

The Prince  was spotted in  Australia earlier today.  He was in  north Queensland visiting towns that had been devastated by a cyclone last month.  The prince  braved the  intense Australian heat, flying overhead in a Blackhawk helicopter to survey the damage.  He is currently on royal duty touring areas of Australia and New Zealand that were effected by the flooding.  He was greeted by many well wishers, and even commented  that He might  have a honeymoon in Australia.

Meanwhile, the dress Kate wore during  a fashion show  at St. Andrew College  was sold at a recent auction.  The dress was original meant to be a skirt, but Kate  decided other wise, a caught the eye of Prince William. The dress was sold  to a retired investment banker who collects star memorabilia.

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Spotlight Wedding: Prince Charles & Lady Diana

This is a new feature I would like to introduce, we’ll use it as  a way to countdown to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  For  the next few weeks, we will be spotlighting some  of  Royal  weddings of the past.

Let’s start with: Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.

Their wedding was described as The Wedding of the century and a real fairytale. Of course, now we know that  their relationship was any thing but a fairytale.   Just like with  all the media attention  about Prince William and Kate Middleton, it was the same for Charles and Diana.  Their faces were on everything form specialty plates and mugs. collectible coins and of course, the day of their wedding was declared a national holiday.

Prince Charles knew Diana  in passing, but they didn’t become involved until about 1980.  To many people  it seemed like Diana was a perfect match for the prince. She was already a member of the Church of England, a must as being a catholic is a no-no if you want to be in the British royal family. They were engaged (in secret) a year later and married later the same year on July  29th, 1981.  Kate Middleton’s engagement ring is the same one that Charles gave to Diana.

The Wedding of  The Century.

That’s what the press dubbed it. Their wedding  was at  St. Paul’s Cathedral instead of the usual Westminster Abbey.   About  600, 000 people waited along the processional route for a glimpse of the prince and princess. Also the wedding was broadcasted throughout the British Commonwealth and was viewed by about 750 million people.

Diana wore a silk taffeta dress  designed by Elizabeth and David Emmanuel.  The dress was embroidered  with 10,000 pearls and accented with lace, it also had 25 foot train!  She was escorted by her father, John Spencer, the 8th Earl Spencer.  However, Charles wore a naval commander suit, a tradition carried by most of the men in the British Royal Family.

Charles and Diana’s entire wedding can be viewed on YouTube, below is  a video of the couple after the wedding ceremony.

 

 

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Wedding Blues

 

It seems  that a few people are not pleased with the upcoming royal wedding.   In the U.K. they  have been  “over saturated” with  royal wedding coverage  and while a few are looking forward to it, there are several people who are fed up with the media coverage. According to a report from ComRes survey dated 2010.  They surveyed about  1,006 British adults , about 31% of the participants said they “couldn’t care less” and 28% said that they were indifferent.

In other news the Royal Wedding media train is not stopping. BBC America has announced that they have several programs  leading up to their live coverage of the wedding on April 29th. The first is a documentary called: Prince William & Prince Harry: A Look into the Future.   The film is scheduled to air March 22 and is about the princes private lives.   Also included are two documentaries about the late Princess Diana. One is  titled Diana’s Dress and  the other is titled Princess Diana: her live in jewels. Both docs are scheduled to air in the month of April.

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Other Weddings That You Probably Won’t Hear About

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program…

With Prince William and Kate’s wedding just weeks  away,  There are a few other royals who are  quietly getting married.

Zara Phillips and fiance Mike Tindall

Zara Phillips, 29announced her engagement to  rugby player Mike Tindall in  December 2010 and they are scheduled to walk down the aisle in July 30th in Scotland,the same year as Prince William.  According to reports, Phillips’ wedding will be  more low-key (as she leads a very private life) then her cousin.  It will be a private ceremony Tindal and Phillips first met through her cousin Prince Harry  in 2003.    She does not bare the title of Princess. However Zara is still a member of the royal family, as her mother is  Princess Anne, Prince Williams’ paternal aunt .

Prince Albert and fiancée Charlene Wittstock

Prince Albert,  52, of Monaco has finally decide  after  years of enjoying his bachelorhood to settle down.  His fiancée is former South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock.   The couple had been together, since at least 2006.  Their wedding  ceremony is schedule for July 2, 2011 with a religious ceremony to take place the following day. This wedding is very important to the people of Monaco.

It is a long and complicated story, but the Prince has at least two illegitimate children, one with a woman from California and the other  from a former flight attendant from Tonga.  The government has long been concerned that Prince Albert will not produce a legitimate heir to the throne. Under a new law passed in 2002, the throne would pass on to his siblings and their descendents. Hopefully his new marriage will produce an heir.

Prince Rashid and fiancée

 

Prince Rashid bin El Hassan  30, is a member of the Jordanian royal family.  During the summer of 2010 he became engaged to Zenia Shaban and athlete also from Jordan, the date of their wedding has not been announced, however its been rumored to happen sometime this year. It is interesting to note  that  Prince Rashid is the son of Prince Hassan. Prince Hassan  is the brother to the late King Hussein, prior to the King’s death in 1999, Prince Hassan was the next in line to the throne. However  King Hussein  changed he order of succession to his oldest son Abdullah, the current King of Jordan.

 

Prince Georg and fiancée

Prince Georg of Prussia, 34, is also marrying his summer. He is the head of the House of Hohenzollern, which has a long history. He announced his engagement to Princess Sophie of  Isenburg earlier this year. Their wedding is scheduled to take place this summer, on August 27th, in Potsdam Germany. The date also coincides with the 950th celebration of the house of Hohenzollern.

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Wills & Kate Movie Update and More

Remember the Lifetime biopic about how William and Kate met? Well here is a picture of the  actors as Prince William and Kate Middleton.

 William & Kate will premeire on Lifetime on April 19 at 9 p.m. The film stars Nico Evers- Swindall and Camilla Luddington and is a fictional account of how the couple met.  The president of Lifetime Nancy Dubac spoke to Entertainment Weekly magazine about the movie:

“We want to tell the story of how their friendship came to be and how this blossomed into a romantic affair. I think the world is waiting to be charmed in the way we were charmed by Diana. We want to remind ourselves of the fantasy of being a princess and a Queen.”

 

In other news, Prince William and Kate Middleton have launched an official  wedding website.  The site has  pictures of Westminster Abbey where their wedding will be held in April. It also has information about the procession and the reception. The site also has links to the British Monarchy’s official Twitter, Flickr and Facebook page.

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Slow News Day: The King’s Speech

 

The 83rd Academy Awards are airing tonight on ABC, and  The King’s Speech  has the most nominations of the evening. That is 12 nominations including the major ones, such as Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress  and Best Director.

The film directed by  Tom Hooper, is  about King George VI* and his relationship with his speech therapist, who helped him, when he abruptly  ascended to the throne. The film stars Colin Firth as the King , Geoffrey Rush as the Speech Therapist, and  one of my favorite actress Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother. 

"A scene from the movie"

Queen Elizabeth was apparently very moved by this film as  she had a very strong bond with her father the late King, 

Here is the King when he was Prince Albert the Duke of York on his wedding day to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon in 1923.

* King George VI was actually the second in line for the throne, his brother Prince Edward chose to abdicate so that he could marry an American divorcee.
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