A Visit from Japan to Italy…and The Vatican!

  May 12, 2016 at 11:21 am by

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko of Japan are currently on a week-long official visit to Italy to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Japan and Italy.

The Imperial couple set off from Haneda airport on Tuesday and, upon their arrival the next day, were greeted by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Palazzo Chigi. For the occasion, Princess Kiko wore an elegant beige and black striped dress with pleated detailing and a pearl necklace.

Later, the formalities continued when the Prince and Princess met the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.  His Excellency became a widower in 2012 and was accompanied by his daughter, Laura. For this occasion, nothing less than formal Japanese attire would do for Princess Kiko, who looked serene in a cream silk kimono exquisitely embroidered with a delicate pattern in blue and gold thread.  President Mattarella was elected Italy’s 12th president last year.

For most people, a trip to Rome would not be complete without a visit to the Vatican and for Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko it was no exception. Today, Their Imperial Highnesses took part in a private visit to meet Pope Francis during which gifts were exchanged.

The prince and princess received a copy of the Pope’s encyclical Laudauto si’ (a Papal Letter in which the Pope pronounces his views associated with global issues), and a Peace Medal. In return His Holiness received a porcelain vase and a specially framed Imperial Family emblem.

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