This year marks the 20th wedding anniversary of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. However, the royal couple’s two decades of marriage is not the only event Japan is remembering this year. 2013 also marks the 400th year of Japan-Spain relationship, which began when a feudal lord Date Masamune came on a Mission to Spain.
Japan’s Crown Prince left for Spain on Monday after celebrating 20 years of marriage with Crown Princess Masako. He will be attending a series of events that commemorate the two kingdoms’ relationship, tracing back in 1613. He will be met by Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The Prince of Asturias will also be hosting a banquet for the big celebration. The crown princess was invited but opted to stay in Japan because of the busy schedule the prince will have in Spain. Prince Naruhito is expected to visit five cities in six days, an endeavour that is feared to provoke Princess Masako’s illness.
Although the couple has attended then Prince Willem-Alexander’s inauguration as the king of The Netherlands more than a month ago, the first overseas trip of Princess Masako in 11 years, the Crown Prince remains thoughtful of his wife’s health and welfare. But Prince Naruhito was content to state that Princess Masako is “getting better.” He also relayed the princess’ desire to “expand her activities slowly by taking time to do the things she can and continue to make efforts toward her recovery.”
According to someone close to the Imperial Household Agency, Japan’s heir apparent was delighted to take the trip to The Netherlands with Princess Masako, who was diagnosed with stress-induced illness in 2004. On a news conference, Prince Naruhito admitted, “It is true there were developments that were regarded as denying her a career and going against her personality.” Although Crown Princess Masako has shown gradual public appearance, the Prince and the Imperial Family remain cautious with the princess’ health.
[via Jiji Press]