Inside Buckingham Palace state banquet: Royal Family shares behind-the-scenes clip showing preparations for the lavish event hosting Emperor and Empress of Japan


The Royal Family has shared a behind-the-scenes clip of staff setting up tonight’s lavish state banquet for the Emperor and Empress of Japan at Buckingham Palace.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, who arrived in the UK on Saturday, will enjoy dinner with King Charles and Queen Camilla in Buckingham Palace’s Ballroom this evening.

Since 1914, these special events have traditionally been held in this particular room, which is the largest of the State Rooms.

The Palace’s official X (formerly Twitter) account shared a video of staff preparing for the state banquet, showing them setting gold cutlery and preparing elegant place settings.

Employees dressed in vibrant red uniforms were filmed putting on their white gloves before plating canapés on silver platters.

Finishing touches are applied to tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace  ahead of tonight's state banquet

These included chunky cuts of salmon dressed with various green vegetables and miniature strawberry and cream tartlets.

Staff at the Palace also loaded golden plates with luxurious chocolates truffles and fruit jellies, for guests to nibble on.

The Royal Chef is responsible for planning the menu for a State Banquet, which traditionally consists of four courses.

There are two savoury courses, followed by pudding and dessert, which is usually fruit-based.

The Clerk of the Royal Cellars and the Yeoman of the Royal Cellars, in conjunction with the Head of Government Hospitality, then choose the wine once the final menu has been approved.

Last year, the King started putting his own stamp on the royal tableware used for state banquets.

Charles’s CIIIR cypher has been added to the small white China plates that guests will first see upon sitting down at their allocated space on the grand table.

Every time there is a State Banquet, the Monarch will likely use the Grand Service, a dining set made from silver coated in a thin layer of gold.

George IV first purchased the set in the early 1800s for £60,000 and used it at a banquet in 1811.

The staff at Buckingham Palace will have likely been preparing for this event for many weeks, as it takes eight people some three weeks to clean and polish the dining set.

Usually at Buckingham Palace, the table is arranged in a horseshoe shape, with the Monarch and their guests of honour seated at the top table.

The clip showed the grand room decorated with numerous candles in regal candelabra, along with colourful fresh flower arrangements in centrepieces, aptly demonstrating how Charles and Camilla are avid fans of plants.

Queen Camilla was seen wearing the white Anna Valentine dress and silver diamond brooch she wore for appearances earlier today ,as she was caught on camera looking at the table settings.

The King looked in high spirits as he was filmed laughing and smiling with employees ahead of the special occasion.  Both he and the emperor will give speeches at the banquet.

Mr Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer were both listed among the guests for the state banquet, which takes place just over a week before the General Election.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said the emperor and empress’s visit would not be a political one and it was hoped it would forge ‘friendly relations across generations’ between Japan’s imperial family and the British royal family.

Missing from the event will be Princess Anne, who is currently recuperating after suffering minor injuries to her head and a concussion when she was reportedly kicked by a horse on her Gatcombe Park estate.

The Princess Royal, a skilled horsewoman who competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, was walking on her Gloucestershire estate on Sunday evening when the incident happened.

After being given medical care at the scene, she was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol by road for tests, treatment and observation.

The 73-year-old will miss several engagements this week, including an overseas tour to Canada which was due to start this weekend.

The emperor and empress will spend seven days in the UK after arriving at Stansted Airport in Essex on Saturday to carry out private engagements before the official state visit.

On Thursday, they will bid farewell to the King and Queen and privately visit St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to lay a wreath on the tomb of the late Queen, before taking a private visit to Oxford on Friday.

The event marks King Charles’s first incoming state visit since his cancer diagnosis.

It previously had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The King was presented with Japan’s highest honour – the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum earlier today.

In return, the emperor was appointed to the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the highest order of chivalry in the UK.

Gifts were also exchanged, with Charles presenting the emperor with a bottle of artisanal, small batch release, single malt scotch whisky from the Japanese-owned Aberdeenshire distillery, Glen Garioch.

To accompany the whisky was a pair of silver and gold beakers by British goldsmith House of Benney, commissioned to feature both the Imperial Seal and the King’s cypher.

The Queen presented Empress Masako with a handmade bespoke fan incorporating both Japanese and British good luck symbols.

It featured the Empress’s crimson ‘Ramanas’ rose and the Queen’s cypher and was made with wood from the branch of a fallen British plane tree in St James’s Park, close to the Palace.

The guests also received a signed photograph of the King and Queen in a silver frame, and vice versa.

The empress presented Camilla with a Saga Nishiki brocade handbag.

Saga Nishiki is a Japanese traditional craft that was exhibited at the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London.

The King received a Wajima lacquerware Box from the emperor, who chose the gift in honour of those affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake which hit Japan at the start of the year.

A spokesperson for the Embassy of Japan in the UK said: ‘The Wajima lacquerware box presented to His Majesty The King was selected with His Majesty The Emperor’s thoughts on those affected by the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake.’

Wajima-nuro is a traditional lacquerware method which originated around Wajima. Wajima was one of the worst hit communities when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck on New Year’s Day 2024.

More than 200 people were killed and 49,000 homes were destroyed, leaving thousands homeless.


One thought on “Inside Buckingham Palace state banquet: Royal Family shares behind-the-scenes clip showing preparations for the lavish event hosting Emperor and Empress of Japan

  1. Ostentatious WASTE!! The vid and pics at the source page are an embarrassment. So gaudy and extravagant. Opulence on parade. Gold utensils to boot. Just loved how they pushed in the the “Emperor’s” chair. Do they also floss his teeth before bed? What a disgusting display of hierarchy. False hierarchy. And they allow it to be filmed. Shameless are they, assuring each other that they are better than all of us, as they dine is ultra luxury while many suffer and starve. Ain’t much time left for this type of injustice/imbalance/decadence/oppression.


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