Just last month the Japanese royals celebrated the 82nd birthday of Emperor Akihito, and now they’ve had the pleasure of marking another joyous occasion as Princess Mako graduated from the University of Leicester. The 24-year-old royal, dubbed Japan’s Duchess of Cambridge, earned her masters degree in Art Museum and Gallery Studies on 21 January.
The granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and eldest daughter of Prince and Princess of Akishino went incognito for a year as she studied at the English university. She lived among students in a hall of residence, and even did a work placement at a local museum.
The princess maintained her low-key profile during her graduation ceremony, when she lined up on the stage with her peers and filed past dignitaries to shake hands with the chancellor of the university to then return to her seat. Her name was even called out without any royal title.
Mako, who enrolled at the university back in 2014, was one of 35 students in the program. As required by her course, she completed an eight-week placement at Coventry Museum and collections-based research at New Walk Museum in Leicester.
The Imperial House of Japan chose to reveal the royal’s identity back in September with a press conference at the university after Mako had completed her degree. At the time she said her year at the school “was a wonderful experience.”
She added, “I would like to express my sincere gratitude for having had the opportunity to pursue my studies in such a favourable environment. It has been a very fruitful year for me. I hope to apply what I have learned at postgraduate school in the future.”
In a video released by the university last year, Professor Simon Knell praised Mako, saying: “She’s been like any other student. She’s very polite, very enthusiastic, very generous and she’s been a delight to teach.”