This week marked the official enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in Japan, and it was quite fascinating. The Wikipedia page about Japanese enthronements is super interesting, and I recommend giving it a read. It’s an ancient ritual and as such involves a lot of things that make such rituals meaningful and dramatic across all cultures — secret bits, drums, specific fancy outfits, curtains, speeches, guns being fired, and yelling — and also a fair amount of ritual and tradition that are not universal, including sacred rice (I kept thinking, I am sure it is a huge honor to be the farmer who grows the sacred rice but also those farmers must have been very stressed about this rice). The Washington Post also has a good, short explainer about how this specific enthronement works. I also recommend The Court Jeweller’s coverage if you’re looking for Gem-Specific Intel — and I assume you are!

The whole enthronement ceremony is online, if you want to watch it. (I haven’t found one yet that has English subtitles or commentary, but if you read the Wiki article, you’ll get the gist.)

This is a shorter clip (with English explainers) that also gives you the gist. Prince Charles looks VERY wistful — I’m sure, in his shoes, you can’t help but think about eventually taking the throne yourself, and what your own monarchy will look like when you do.

(Also, not to be a huge gossip, and take this with a major grain of salt, but: Camilla did not come with him and there have been some sort of weird, low-key Blind Items that they are having Relationship Dramz [of his making], which would be A REAL THING to happen right now. Can you imagine? HOLD IT TOGETHER, Y’ALL. [She does hate flying.]) (In fairness, a few other Royal Spouses skipped — Princess Charlene didn’t come, which seems in character for her, and Mette-Marit of Norway stayed home, but she has serious health issues and I’m sure the travel would be exhausting for her.) (The US sent Transportation Secretary [and Mrs Mitch McConnell] Elaine Chao; we were going to send the Vice President but then did not for vague reasons.)

Much like the royal wedding of an heir, this sort of thing brings out the BIG GUNS of the other royal families, and it’s a multi-day event, with teas and banquets, and gowns, and TIARAS. There’s quite a lot to eyeball, so let’s not waste any more time.

[Photos: Shutterstock, DAVID MAREUIL/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock, Robin Utrecht/Shutterstock,  Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool/Getty Images, Koji Sasahara/Pool/Getty Images, Carl Court/Getty Images, Xinhua/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock ]