The Princess is Pregnant!

The big news in Japan is that Princess Kiko, wife of Prince Akishino, is pregnant. This complicates matters for the Crown Prince and Princess Masako and their only child, Princess Aiko. The government has been considering changing the law of succession which currently allows only male heirs to take the throne in order to allow Aiko to become Empress. Those who are against this change argue that if Princess Aiko marries a commoner, she’ll become a commoner too and the royal family will be just like everyone else. According to law, when a woman is married, her name is struck from her biological family’s registry and added to her husband’s registry. That’s what happened to the Emperor’s daughter when she married a couple of months ago. Now she is presumably an ordinary housewife. This could be circumvented, I think, if the Crown Prince and Princess were to adopt Princess Aiko’s commoner husband, just as sons-in-law are adopted in non-noble families with only girls. Some lawmaker said, “What if Princess Aiko gpes abroad and marries a foreigner with blond hair and blue eyes?” Well, that would be the end of the world, wouldn’t it?!

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4 thoughts on “The Princess is Pregnant!

  1. I feel sorry for whichever one ends up with the throne. If I were Princess Aiko’s mother, I’d be thrilled the other lady is pregnant and hope they’re stuck with the throne. I’ve always felt so bad for the little princess’s mother, with her infertility and depression, etc. Reminds me a bit of Princess Diana, marrying into a gilded cage, but in Japan it seems even worse, more restrictive.

    I realize I’m just gossipping. Can’t help it, royalty has that effect on me.

  2. Well, here in Spain they are going to change the constitution to allow Leonor to inherit the throne (as it stands now, she could be usurped by a future brother.) However, I’m not so sure the Spanish monarchy as an institution will survive that long. It was pretty crucial during the transition to democracy after Franco died, but seems to be outgrowing its usefulness…

    Anyway, it will be interesting t0o see how this all plays out in Japan.

  3. The family registry thing is the same in Korea. Once you get married, you belong to your husband’s family. I never thought of it in terms of the law of succession in Japan, though. It’s about time they changed the law, but then the whole idea of royalty is outdated anyway.

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