Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako of Akishino has arrived in the United Kingdom to study for a year at Leeds University.
The 22-year-old granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will be studying performing arts and psychology which will go toward her degree at her university in Japan, the Imperial Household Agency has said. She will stay in a student dormitory.
Classes begin for the semester on Monday, 25 September. Her year abroad will end in June 2018, and she will then return to International Christian University in Tokyo next autumn.
Her Imperial Highness flew on a commercial flight from Haneda Airport to London yesterday.
This is not the first time the Princess has studied abroad. In the summer of 2013, she undertook a month-long homestay in the United States. At the time, she was a freshman at Tokyo’s Gakushuin University. She transferred to International Christian University, where her older sister Princess Mako also attended, in 2015.
Princess Mako also studied abroad for a year in 2012 when she studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She also studied for her master’s degree at the University of Leicester in 2016. She recently announced her engagement to Kei Komuro, a commoner. As a result of the marriage in 2018, she will give up her title and leave the Japanese Imperial Family as is required by law.
Princess Kako is the second child of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko; she was born on 29 December 1994 at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Her younger brother, Prince Hisahito, is currently third in line to the Japanese throne after his uncle, the Crown Prince and his father. Once Emperor Akihito abdicates, expected next year, 11-year-old Hisahito will be second in line. Princess Kako is not in the line of succession as women are not allowed to reign in their own right.