Emperor’s attendance at Queens Elizabeth II’s funeral planned in 1st overseas trip

A hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Sunday.

The government is making arrangements for the Emperor to visit Britain to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

According to government sources, the Empress may also attend the funeral if her health permits.

If the visit is realized, it would be the Emperor’s first trip abroad since his accession to the Imperial throne.

It is extremely unusual for an Emperor to attend a funeral in a foreign country. The only other occasion was in 1993 when the then Emperor, now the Emperor Emeritus, visited Belgium to attend the state funeral of King Baudouin, with whom he had a long-standing friendship.

In light of the Queen and the Imperial family interacting for nearly 70 years over three generations — the Emperor Showa, the Emperor Emeritus and the current Emperor — the government is also hurrying to coordinate other attendees.

The Emperor’s visit to Britain was originally planned as his first trip abroad since his accession to the throne after he was invited by the Queen. But it was postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The Imperial Household Agency said Saturday that the Emperor and Empress, as well as the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita, were observing a period of mourning from Friday the 9th through Sunday the 11th following the death of the Queen. The imperial couples are said to have been deeply saddened by the news of her passing.