Explained: Why Empress Masako wore a mask at the beginning of the state visit

UK MOD © Crown copyright 2024

Empress Masako was spotted wearing a white mask while riding in a carriage with Queen Camilla at the beginning of the Japanese state visit to the UK.

Many have questioned why the Empress was wearing a mask when no one else was. The answer is simple: Empress Masako is allergic to horses.

The Empress did not wear a mask when she and Emperor Naruhito were welcomed to the UK by the Prince of Wales or the Welcome Ceremony at Horse Guard’s Parade.

She also removed the mask once she was inside Buckingham Palace, safely away from the horses.

Empress Masako has battled health issues for years and remained out of the spotlight for years to recover from stress and an adjustment disorder that reportedly stems from the strict rules of the Imperial House and not being able to provide a male heir.

Women are not allowed in the Japanese line of succession or to ascend the throne.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have one daughter, Princess Aiko.

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About the Author

Brittani Barger
Brittani is from the United States and has been researching, writing and reporting on the royals for over a decade. Successfully gaining exclusives and interviews with royals across the globe, Brittani left her role as an editor for another news site to help bring you Royal News. She's been seen on BBC World, WION News and other news programs to discuss the royal families.

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