Royal Weddings, A Lot of Really Bad Hats and Paying For Your Own Water
Well, everyone it seems is watching the royal wedding of HRH Prince William (newly created Duke of Cambridge) and HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. I was not crazy enough to get up at 2am to watch the festivities live. This is one of the reasons I have TiVo. The wedding is very lovely and exciting however I can’t get over the amount of really bad hats. Sure, there are some nice ones but so many horrid creations are invading my living room. I think the main issue I have is the wearers to be honest. Some of these hats might look better on someone younger, much younger. When you are 70, you really shouldn’t wear a sideways creation that looks like you had a bad collision with a stop sign. However what is even more exciting was the royal wedding of Japan’s Prince Arisugawa in 2004.
My, what a fine affair that was! 400 guests attended from titled families to film stars. The royal bride and groom were dressed in traditional Japanese court outfits then changed after the ceremony into a military uniform for the groom and an elaborate Western wedding gown for the bride.
At the reception, guests were then asked for fork over approx. $360 a head to cover the cost at a private club on the grounds of the Canadian Embassy. Souvenir photos with the happy couple were available for an additional $100. Guests were very put off by the price point for this shindig as well as the “unspectacular” food. Traditionally, lavish gifts are given to guests after the reception however these unhappy guests were given commemorative plates bearing the Arisugawa crest. Well I suppose it beats a chia pet.
Now before you start sending those scathing emails to the Japanese Embassy I would mention that a Nigerian Prince would have made a great addition to the guest list as well. Yes, six months later, Japanese police arrested three people for fraud. It seems that Shinya Kusanagi, a 43-year-old event planner, was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence for bilking these guests out of $135,000 not to mention fobbing those horrible plates off on them.
“Prince Arisugawa” was Yasuyuki Kitano, 42, a commoner who has made a habit of impersonating royalty for more than a decade. You see, the Arisugawa branch of the imperial family died out about 80 years ago.
Most guests were so embarrassed to have been taken in by these con men that they would not come forward. Now you would think having this soiree on the grounds of the Canadian Embassy would be a tip-off. However, the con men covered that base. On the invitations they said the location was “loved by Prince Takamado” – the late cousin of Emperor Akihito, who died of a heart attack playing squash in the embassy grounds in 2002.
Judge Takaaki Oshima told Kusanagi: “You knew that Kitano was not a royal and you organised the wedding party for the purpose of fraud. You took money from guests who came out of respect for the imperial family.” This fake “Prince” has also spoken to a peace group in Hiroshima in the past and volunteered to raise money for a children’s charity. This organization is run by the Amatakagahara Shinto Shrine. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. He also used the shrine’s name, as well as the imperial chrysanthemum symbol, to sell fake mineral water.
Ahh, aren’t royal weddings magical? I have much higher hopes for William and Kate.