The Cabinet decided that Prince and Princess Akishino will attend the coronation of King Charles of England at Westminster Abbey in London on May 6.
The Royal Family has invited His Majesty the Emperor to attend the coronation, and Prince and Princess Akishino will attend in his place. There was some concern leading up to this decision, and it may till valid to this day.
What does this mean?
To put it simply, there have been calls within and outside the Imperial Household Agency that their Majesties the Emperor and Empress would be more suitable to attend the coronation ceremony than Prince and Princess Akishino. To begin with, although the invitation to the coronation ceremony is formally addressed to His Majesty the Emperor, it does not say, ‘We want someone to come. Whether it is the head of state or his/her deputy is decided by the respective countries that receive the invitation.
In this sense, there should be no problem with the Crown Prince Akishino attending the coronation ceremony accompanied by his wife Kiko, the heir to the throne.
However, the damage done to the Akishino family by the “Kei Komuro scandal” has been extremely severe, and there is a feeling of discomfort around the Imperial Household Agency that the Crown Prince Akishino will be attending the celebration as a representative of the nation. The Emperor is, by far, the best person to be associated with King Charles, and there is no one who can argue with that.
In fact, it was rumored that King Charles wanted people with closer ties to him to attend the ceremony, but as a result, it was decided that Prince and Princess Akishino would attend.
The Imperial Household Agency has made a reasonable explanation for the propriety of Mr. and Mrs. Akishino’s attendance, but the couple’s overseas visits have been virtually nonexistent due to the COVID-19 crisis, so one cannot deny the impression that they are attending the event on the spur of the moment.
On the other hand, what is the stance of Prince and Princess Akishino? However, it seems that Princess Kiko has a strong sense of affinity with the British Royal Family, and that she has often keep in touch with them occasionally. I think that the way she utilizes social networking services is one of her ways of doing so.
The fact that Kiko has had the opportunity to visit a country that has served as a model for the British royal family and experience its atmosphere firsthand is reportedly both uplifting and touching at the same time.
It seems that Prince Akishino has left such matters to Princess Kiko.
In any case, this is a unique and important time to unveil the royal family to the world.
PHOTO： Kyodo News