Princess Mako, who has been deemed Japan's Duchess of Cambridge, gave her family cause to celebrate as she graduated from the University of Leicester on Jan. 21. After recent festivities over Emperor Akihito's 82nd birthday, the 24-year-old student and her family have cause for another toast as the royal took home a master's degree in art museum and gallery studies.
The granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and eldest daughter of Prince and Princess of Akishino went incognito for a year when she studied in England. She lived among students in a residence hall and also did a work placement at a local museum.
The princess maintained her low 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 and then return to her seat. Her name was called out without any royal title.
Mako, who enrolled at the university 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 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."
"I would like to express my sincere gratitude for having had the opportunity to pursue my studies in such a favourable environment," she said. "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."