Princess Mako of Japan has been secretly studying at University of Leicester

by hellomagazine.com

Princess Mako of Japan has been secretly enjoying life as a student at the University of Leicester for the past year. The 23-year-old, who has been dubbed Japan's Duchess Kate, has been studying for a Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Studies and has just finished her course.

The royal's presence was virtually unknown to other students, apart from those from her home country who would have certainly recognised her as Mako is regularly seen in the public eye in Japan.

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However in the UK, Emperor Akihito's first-born granddaughter has lived the life of a normal university student, staying in halls of residence for her year-long course and walking freely around the campus.

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Princess Mako has completed her Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Studies

As required by her course, Mako also completed an eight-week placement at Coventry Museum and collections-based research at New Walk Museum in Leicester.

The Imperial House of Japan revealed Mako's presence in Leicester only after she had completed her studies, holding a press conference at the university. No questions were allowed to be directed at the princess, although one bold reporter from Japan did ask Mako how she had found the past year.

"It was a wonderful experience," responded Mako in Japanese, bowing politely.

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The princess was described as "very polite, very enthusiastic, and very generous" by her professor

In a video released by the university, Professor Simon Knell praises 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."

During the press conference reporters were allowed to take photos of the princess with her university professors. In the first room, Mako and Dr Sheila Watson, deputy head of the school of museum studies, were pictured wrapping wooden blocks. There were also some museum artefacts arranged behind them.

In the second room, the princess chatted to Professor Knell, who spoke about a piece of 21st century studio pottery.

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The 23-year-old royal is the first-born granddaughter of Emperor Akihito

In a statement released by the university, Dr Suzanne Macleod, head of the school of museum studies, said: "We have a strong connection to the cultural profession in Japan with many students graduating from our school to take up posts in museums and galleries there, and so it felt very natural that Mako should come and follow her interests with us. She has been a pleasure to teach, has worked incredibly hard and should be very proud of her achievements."

Mako, who is back in Japan awaiting her degree results, will return to the UK for her graduation ceremony in January 2016.

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