Antique Japanese Incense Burner Features in King Charles’ Christmas Message

Courtesy of the Royal Collection Trust ©His Majesty King Charles III (2023)
The incense burner used at King Charles’ Christmas message

LONDON — An antique Japanese incense burner from the Edo period (1603-1867) has been used as a prop in the Christmas message by King Charles III of the United Kingdom, according to the Royal Household.

The Christmas message by the British monarch is pre-recorded at Buckingham Palace and will air from 3 p.m. on Christmas Day in Britain.

Britain’s King Charles poses for a photo during the recording of his Christmas message at Buckingham Palace in London on Dec. 7.

The Royal Household revealed Saturday that a pot placed beside the king, approximately 20 centimeters in diameter, is a potpourri bowl made in Japan. The main section of the bowl is a black lacquerware pot made of wood, with a decorative gilt metal lid and base. According to the Royal Household, it was manufactured sometime between the late 17th century and the 18th century and was part of a collection owned by George IV (1762-1830).

The announcement does not say why it was chosen for the occasion.

Incense burners are pots for lighting incense. In the West, they are often used as potpourri bowls.

The Christmas message is an annual tradition by the British Royal family that started in 1932. In the message, the British monarch talks to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth about important issues and other topics impacting the nation.