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Princess Mako: Soon a commoner?

Princess Mako is an idol in her native Japan.
Photo: AFP / Getty Images

She returns home to Japan

The sweet life abroad is over. Since September last year, Princess Mako of Japan (21) studied art history in Edinburgh, Scotland. However, before she returns to the strict imperial house at the end of this summer, she will treat herself to a trip through Europe.

"I've had many opportunities to speak English and I think the experience will be very useful, " said Princess Mako of the Japan Times. The daughter of Prince Akishino (47) and Princess Kiko (46) also said that her stay in Scotland had been "very productive".

During her studies at the University of Edinburgh, she made a short flying visit to Paris, to take a closer look at the museums there. Now she wants to get to know Europe again before going back to Japan. This is called "cultural studies".

During her time abroad, Princess Mako, who is a real star in Japan, will have enjoyed quite a few freedoms that are rather uncommon at the Kaiserhof. The strict court protocol is notorious.

However, if the granddaughter of Emperor Akihito (79) should marry, she will be "released" from the imperial family. Like all female descendants of the Japanese royals, she also loses her title as a princess by marrying. She becomes a commoner.

Not necessarily a disadvantage. Because it opens up so many freedoms that would have to give up a princess. In Japan, one marries traditionally rather at a young age anyway. After completing her studies in Tokyo nothing would speak against it.

The same is true for Princess Aiko (11), the daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito (53) and his wife Masako (49). Since daughters are currently not considered in the Japanese succession, Aiko's life could take a very bourgeois course.

Rumor has it that Crown Princess Masako would not be averse to this idea. So her daughter would be spared a life in the golden cage ...