Please take a look at the first black-and-white photo.
It was taken in June ’53, nearly 70 years ago. The young Queen Elizabeth of England is smiling and pointing to her horse on the racetrack. Standing next to her is the then 19-year-old Emperor Akihito. The British and Japanese royal families have long had a close relationship. Here are some photos of this little-known friendship.
On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she was resting. She was 96 years old and had been on the throne for 70 years and seven months, making her the world’s longest-serving living head of state.
The Queen was born in April 1927. Her father, King George VI, died in June 1952, and she ascended the throne at the age of 25. Aiming for an ‘open royal family,’ she proposed to curb the total amount of royal expenses and opened Buckingham Palace to the public. He served 15 prime ministers, including Churchill, who was Prime Minister during World War II.
In his personal life, he married his first love, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, in November 1947. They were happily married for 74 years until His Highness’ death in April of last year. The couple had four children, and Prince Charles will be the new king upon the Queen’s death.
Spectating horse races, defying the strength of anti-Japanese sentiment
As mentioned above, Queen Elizabeth has deepened her friendship with the Japanese royal family. It was in June of 1953 that the Highness visited the U.K. for the first time in the name of Emperor Showa. He was there to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London.
At the time, the shadow of World War II remained strong, and 70% of the British people were opposed to a visit to the U.K. by the emperor, who was the crown prince. There were many British soldiers who had been interned in Japan. However, the Queen deepened exchanges with the Emperor, including watching the Derby, which was held to commemorate her coronation.
In May 1975, the Queen and Her Royal Highness Prince Philip visited Japan and visited the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Ise Jingu Shrine. As a result of the close relationship between Japan and the U.K., the emperor sent his two children (Emperor Imagami and Prince Akishino) to study at the prestigious Oxford University,” said a source close to the Imperial Household.
In May 2012, the emperor visited the U.K. again.
In May 2012, the emperor visited the U.K. again “to attend an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. At the time, he had just undergone heart bypass surgery. Despite the fact that he was not in perfect health, it seems to have been his strong wish that his visit to the U.K. was realized. He was accompanied by a heart surgeon.
The Queen also took the Emperor’s intentions into consideration and offered him special hospitality. At the dinner party celebrating the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne, to which royalty from about 30 countries were invited, the Queen had the seat reserved for the Εmperor to her left. The Queen repeatedly thanked the Εmperor for his attendance, and they enjoyed a conversation for nearly an hour.
The passing of the great Queen, who led the United Kingdom during the turbulent years of the 20th and 21st centuries, has brought much condolence from Japan as well.
Photo： AP/Afro REX/Afro