If media reports are true, Japan’s Crown Princess Masako will be making her first overseas trip in seven years to accompany Crown Prince Naruhito and attend the coronation of Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands on April 30. The Princess was diagnosed with a stress-induced adjustment disorder in 2004 and has mostly stayed in the country since then.
The US-educated Harvard graduate Princess Masako reportedly struggled with integrating herself into the mostly isolated nature of the royal life when she married the Prince in 1993. She gave birth to their only child, Princess Aiko in 2001 and faced intense pressure to produce a male heir, since females are not allowed to ascend to the throne. This sparked a lively and ongoing debate whether or not to revise the Imperial Succession Law. The pressure on her slightly decreased when the crown prince’s younger brother, Prince Akishino produced a boy, Prince Hisahito who is now third in line to the crown. She has stayed out of the public eye since 2002 and her husband has been vocal in seeking understanding from the public on her condition.
Her last trip outside of the country was in 2006 when their family was invited by Netherland’s Queen Beatrix to spend a few weeks at a retreat in her country. If this trip pushes through, it will also be her first official visit abroad after 11 years, when she went to Australia and New Zealand in 2002 to accompany the prince. Just last December she issued a statement, thanking the Japanese people for their support and that she was still receiving treatment for her illness.
[ via Yahoo News ]