14 July 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Takamado Diamond and Pearl Tiara

Interesting business going down in Japan right now: Emperor Akihito has reportedly expressed a desire to abdicate in the coming years, according to news outlets citing government sources. The Imperial Household Agency, however, denied the reports, so conflicting information abounds. Akihito has been on the throne since 1989, is 82 years old, and has had health difficulties. There hasn’t been an abdication in Japan in around 200 years, so - if anything happens - it would be unprecedented in the modern era.

Anyway, it doesn't take much convincing to get me to put up a Japanese tiara for our Thursday evaluation.

Princess Takamado in Sweden for the wedding of Princess Madeleine, 2013, wearing the Takamado Diamond and Pearl Tiara
Not being a big follower of the Japanese imperial family and its many members, my first introduction to Hisako, Princess Takamado, came at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill in 2013. The smiling, chatty princess represented Japan wearing a tiara of diamonds and pearls in scroll motifs with single diamonds and pearls across the top. Those top stones give the tiara a firework-like touch, an extra dose of energy in a diadem that otherwise conforms to the purely white, often scrolling tiaras that make up the vault of the Japanese imperial family.
Prince and Princess Takamado during their wedding ceremonies
It’s the same tiara she wore during her wedding ceremonies in 1984, and it was likely made for her at that time. She was Hisako Tottori when she married Norihito, Prince Takamado, the first cousin of Emperor Akihito. The couple had three daughters and were the most widely traveled members of the imperial family before Norihito’s untimely death in 2002, when he collapsed while playing squash with the Canadian ambassador and subsequently died of heart failure.
Frankie Fouganthin/Wikimedia Commons via CC BY-SA 3.0
Princess Hisako has continued to be one of the most active and widely traveled members of the imperial family in the years since, which brings us back to Sweden and this tiara's international spotlight. As is usually the case with jewels presented to new members of the family and those coming of age, the Takamado Diamond and Pearl Tiara comes with a complete matching parure (set) of jewels: earrings, a brooch, a pair of matching bracelets, and a ring.
Tiara, bracelet, earrings, ring worn in Sweden, 2013
Frankie Fouganthin/Wikimedia Commons (cropped) via CC BY-SA 3.0
Princess Hisako has other tiaras at her disposal – on subsequent visits for Swedish royal events in 2015 and 2016, she wore two different tiaras – but this might be the one that suits her best.

Is this a standout for you, or just another in a row of nearly identical imperial tiaras?