Princess Aiko, Queen Margrethe II and their Fate on the Throne

Princess Aiko and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark shared the same fate. They were born in a constitutional monarchy nation that prohibits females from succeeding the throne. Both are eldest daughter of a ruling sovereign. But one can learn from the fate of another to inspire a change of destiny.

Princess Aiko, the Princess Toshi

Born on December 1, 2003, Aiko (which means a person who loves others in Japanese) came into the world eight years after the marriage of her parents, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. 

By then, the crown princess, a Harvard graduate and a former diplomat, was living under pressure to produce a son. Because a birth of a daughter means a discontinuing succession to the Chrystanthemum throne on Naruhito's bloodline.

Her Imperial Highness, The Princess Toshi

When the child became a girl, just like other wives of European monarchs during the middle ages expected to produce a son, Princess Masako believed to have bore a deep wound on failing to provide the throne with an heir-apparent. 

It was a huge blow to her emotional state that she suffered a frequent bout of emotional stress. She was forced to withdraw from public life and remained secluded in the palace.

Princess Aiko is currently not in line to succeed her father on the throne

The crown princess did not become pregnant after the birth of Princess Aiko so in 2005, the Japanese parliament started discussing the possibility of changing the law of succession from agnatic primogeniture to male-preference primogeniture to allow Princess Aiko to succeed her father.

But on the following year, Naruhito's sister-in-law, Princess Kiko, the wife of his younger brother and heir-presumptive, Prince Fumihito, gave birth to a son. This circumstance halted the debate on changing the imperial household law of succession and ultimately lost the chance of granting Princess Aiko the right to the throne.

The Japanese imperial family
Empress Masako, Emperor Naruhito and Princess Aiko

On April 30 this year (2019), her grandfather, Emperor Akihito, who has been Japan's emperor since 1989, abdicated in favor of her father, reopening the debate again of changing the law of succession.

Less than six months later, the debate on constitutional amendment has not  yet reopened and the Japanese imperial agency has not heard discussing the issue of change.  

Princess Aiko, whose sad circumstance of being born a female depriving her of the throne, remained ineligible to take the Japanese imperial crown from her father.

Emperor Naruhito during his enthronement ceremony: October 22.
Behind him is his wife, Empress Masako, followed by his heir-presumptive,  Prince Fumihito 
and wife Princess Kiko

The future of the Chrysanthemum throne lies on Prince Fumihito's bloodline as of the moment because he has a son. And feared might never alter due to Japanese's patrilineal mindset.

On October 22, 2019, Emperor Naruhito was formally enthroned as Japan's 126th emperor in an unbroken line of succession since the 12th century. Beside him in the ceremony was his wife, Empress Masako, brother, Prince Fumihito and sister-in-law, Princess Kiko. No where to be seen in the official ceremonial portraits is his only child, Princess Aiko, just because she is not in line to succeed the throne.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Just like Princess Aiko, Margrethe, who was born on April 16, 1940 during the reign of her grandfather, King Christian X of Denmark, was not destined to become Denmark's female monarch. The country maintained Salic Law or agnatic primogeniture law of succession which prohibits a female nor its descendants from mounting the Danish throne.

Her Majesty, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Margrethe's father, the Crown Prince Frederick, has a younger brother named Prince Knud, who would be his successor under the Danish law of succession. Her father became King Frederick IX on April 20, 1947 and Margrethe's uncle Knud became the heir-presumptive. 

The princess has two younger siblings but all females, Princess Benedikte and Princess Anne Marie (who would marry Constantine of Greece in 1964 and became his Queen Consort in 1967).

Queen Margrethe II and her husband, Prince Henrik who died in 2018 from a lingering illness

The line of succession of the Danish throne seemed assured on the blood line of Prince Knud. He married Princess Caroline-Mathilde and have three children together, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Ingolf and Prince Christian. However, in 1953 when Princess Margrethe was 13 years old, the course of her destiny began to change.

Margrethe II's successor, Crown Prince Frederick with his wife, Crown Princess Mary

The Danish parliament passed the Danish Act of Succession of 1953 allowing the monarch's eldest daughter to succeed in case she has no brothers. 

This Act was known as the male-preference primogeniture law which had been the norm in most European kingdoms during that time. Following the passage of this law, Princess Margrethe became her father's heir-presumptive replacing her uncle.

In 1972, King Frederick IX died and Margrethe ascended the Danish throne as Queen Margrethe II and continue to reign until now. She and her husband, Prince Henrik have two sons, Frederick the crown prince and Prince Joachim.

Welcome to the modern world of royalty, Japan

Drawing from this inspiration, Japan may learn lessons from the modern world of royalty and may influence to change its Act of Succession to embrace the call of times.

Aiko, Princess Toshi

This is to allow Princess Aiko, just like Queen Margrethe II, to succeed, instead of her uncle. Japan has been one of the world's leaders of innovation and modernity, it's crazy to think that their succession law is still horribly ancient and still discriminating women to hold power.

Japan's view toward the monarchy is  very patrilineal. So as long as there's a male in the family, the line of succession is assured. A direct defiance to the cry of equality among gender. But still wishing the Princess Toshi (Princess Aiko's imperial title meaning a person who respects others) will take the throne someday.

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