Congratulations are in order for Princess Aiko. The Japanese royal graduated from Gakushuin Girls' Senior High School in Tokyo on Sunday, March 22. To protect herself amid the coronavirus outbreak, the 18 year old, dressed in her school uniform, donned a face mask for the ceremony. The Princess’ parents, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, did not attend Aiko’s graduation due to the pandemic. Reflecting on high school, the Japanese Princess told reporters (via The Japan Times), “I’ve experienced a lot and had a very enjoyable and fulfilling school life.”
Unlike in previous years, according to the outlet, the high school’s graduation ceremony was held separately from the junior high school’s and no guests or younger students attended the ceremony. Aiko is set to attend Gakushuin University Faculty of Letters, where she will study at the Department of Japanese Language and Literature, which is where her father also studied.
Aiko’s father ascended the Chrysanthemum throne last year after his own father, Emperor Akihito, became the first Emperor in nearly 200 years to abdicate. At a celebration for his birthday in February, Emperor Naruhito addressed the novel coronavirus. Per the South China Morning Post, the 60-year-old monarch said, “I hope the spread of infections will stop as early as possible.”
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Japanese royals’ state visit to the UK was postponed. Buckingham Palace said, “After consultation with Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of Japan, Her Majesty The Queen has agreed that, in the current circumstances, the planned State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020 by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan should be postponed.” The visit will be rescheduled for a later date.