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Japan’s Princess Aiko turns 19

Japan’s Princess Aiko is celebrating her 19th birthday today. She is the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

To celebrate, the Imperial Household Agency released a video of the teenage royal in the gardens of the Akasaka Estate in Tokyo alongside her dog, Yuri.

She is currently enrolled in online courses, due to the pandemic, at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. She did meet her professors and classmates in person in October for the first time, the Imperial Household Agency said. She is studying Japanese literature and taking language courses in English and Spanish.

The Emperor is an alumni of Gakushuin University, as is her grandfather, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and uncle, Crown Prince Akishino.

The Princess has one year left as a minor before she comes of age, and it is thought she will begin undertaking engagements on behalf of the Imperial Family once she reaches adulthood, which is 20 in Japan. The age of majority will be lowered to 18 in 2022.

She talks with her grandparents, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko frequently to learn about her future role and what will be expected of her as she becomes an adult.

Aiko also watched her uncle, the Crown Prince’s formal declaration as heir to the throne on television to learn more about the role of the Imperial Family, the heir and royal traditions.

Although she is the only child of the Emperor, she is not in the line of succession. Women are not allowed to reign in their own right in Japan or head their own branches of the family. They must renounce their titles and roles as part of the Imperial Family upon marriage to a commoner.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.