07 January 2016

Tiara Thursday: Princess Mako's Tiara

We've covered two of the tiaras in Japan's Akishino family (that would be the family of Fumihito, Prince Akishino, the second son of the Emperor and Empress): the Akishino Tiara worn by Princess Kiko, and Princess Kako's Tiara, worn by the younger of the two Akishino daughters. The third is worn by Princess Mako:
Princess Mako's Tiara
Princess Mako is the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Like all princesses born to the Japanese imperial family, she received a complete parure of jewelry when she turned 20 and officially came of age. Her parure includes a tiara, simple earrings, a matching necklace, a brooch, and bracelets. The set was newly made by Japanese jeweler Wako, and was first worn in October 2011, when Princess Mako made the official visit to the Emperor and Empress that is a standard part of the coming of age events in the imperial family.
L to R: Princess Kiko, Princess Mako, and Princess Kako, all in their respective tiaras
The parure is all in diamonds, in keeping with the imperial family's tradition of owning tiaras in white stones only (the senior members often wear white or light dresses for state occasions as well). While the sea of white tiaras and similar dresses present at a formal gathering of the imperial family might not be what your eyes are used to if you primarily follow other royal families, the way they do things is steeped in tradition and culture. It's a different set of circumstances to be respected on its own merits.
At her coming of age ceremony
Princess Mako has recently studied for her master's degree in Art Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Her official duties for Japan are increasing, and she can be seen wearing her parure at the annual New Year's reception, which she attends with the rest of the family.
The basic structure of Princess Mako's Tiara - a series of arches with elements contained within each opening - is reminiscent of the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, the Pearl Poire Tiara, and many of the pearl drop tiaras owned by others. But stopping short of placing swinging pearl pendants in each arch makes me appreciate the movement seen in other examples, and makes me wish she could have had some pearls thrown in for a little variety (while still playing within the imperial guidelines, of course). Nevertheless, this is a substantial tiara, and one that suits her and her position as the eldest grandchild of the Emperor and Empress.

Would you make some changes, or keep this one just as it is?

A note for commenters: Recent posts on the Japanese monarchy have resulted in some insulting comments. There is no need for derogatory remarks (referring to the women of the imperial family as "Stepford wives" or "robots", for example). Here's a link for the comment policy.

Photos: via Getty Images, Asahi Shimbun, ANN video screencaps