Japan's royals gather for regal New Year's greeting

2015 is already off to a busy start for Japan’s royals. On Friday, the elegant family donned their finest attire for a New Year’s Greeting ceremony at the Imperial Palace in which Emperor Akihito stood with his wife Empress Michiko and other members of their family.

Emperor Akihito with his wife Empress Michiko address crowds gathered below


During the public affair, the Emperor addressed the thousands below. On Thursday's greeting inside the palace, he also spoke about the lives lost in Japan over the last year due to natural disasters. He wished, “It is my sincere hope that the new year will bring happiness to the people of our country and the people around the world.”

Members of the royal family waved from the veranda of the Imperial Palace


The family took to the veranda of the palace to greet revelers below. Standing in unison along with the Emperor and Empress were: Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Princess Tsuguko, Princess Hisako of Takamado and Princess Hanako of Hitachi , Prince Mikasa and Princess Tomohito of Mikasa and Prince Akishino with his wife Princess Kiko and their daughter Princess Kako.

Princess Kako (left) standing with Prince Mikasa and Princess Tomohito of Mikasa


This marks one of the first official duties for Princess Kako as an adult member of the royal family. The young princess turned 20 on December 29, which is the age of adulthood in Japan. In a recent customary pre-birthday press conference she said, “I should fulfill my duties and put value in every task I receive rather than focus on whether I am interested in it.”

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At 20, the women in the royal court are given a tiara


Kako, who will be starting university again in the spring, was also asked about the type of husband she would like adding, “My ideal type is someone with whom I can relax.”

Seems there will be no downtime for the Japanese royals this year.

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