Royalty and statesmen




After complications in the pregnancy, Kiko was delighted to be taking her new baby home at last. "I am overjoyed by the birth," she said
Photo: © AFP
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Normally rather reserved in public, Kiko and her husband exchange an intimate glance. The former college sweethearts are already parents to two daughters
Photo: © AFP



As his mother Princess Kiko proudly showed him off to the world's cameras, Japan's youngest royal slept on, unaware of the jubilation his birth has inspired in the country. Living up to his name Hisahito - which means the serene one - the nine-day-old baby snoozed through his first photocall on the steps of Tokyo's Aiiku Hospital.

But there was no mistaking the delight of his father Akishino. Emperor Akihito's second son gazed tenderly at the little boy cradled in the arms of his wife.

Thousands of flag-waving well wishers had gathered around the area eager to catch a glimpse of the child, who may one day inherit the nation's ancient Chrysanthemum Throne. As the imperial family's first male heir in four decades the little one is third in the line of succession after his uncle Crown Prince Naruhito and his father.

Although Kiko is still recovering from the caesarean birth, the 40-year-old royal has taken on much of her son's care herself, including changing Hisahito's nappies most of the time. "I am very grateful to the people, friends and family who prayed for the baby's safe delivery," said the emotional mum. "I am overjoyed by the birth and happy that today we are able to return home."

Home will be Akishino and Kiko's official residence in the grounds of the Akasaka Estate, which the new arrival will share with his sisters, 14-year-old Mako and Kako, 11.

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