Crown Princess misses trip on doctors’ advice

Doctors advised Crown Princess Masako against accompanying her husband to a royal wedding in Brunei, saying an overseas trip would put her under heavy strain as she recovers from a stress-induced illness, an Imperial Household Agency official said Wednesday.

“The doctors have decided it would put too great a burden on (the Crown Princess) to immediately go on a trip abroad and attend a major event at a time when they are trying to gradually increase her outings,” said Hideki Hayashida, the grand master of the Crown Prince’s Household.

Hayashida made the remarks after Crown Prince Naruhito left for Brunei earlier in the day without his wife to attend the wedding of Brunei’s Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah.

Though the Crown Princess had been in seclusion due to her ill health, it looked like she was recovering as she made her first public appearance since April on Saturday, leaving the Crown Prince’s palace to visit Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in Tokyo. But the doctors have said that it will be difficult for Crown Princess Masako to resume her official duties within the year.

Hayashida said she needs more time for the effects of her psychotherapy to take effect and to review the details of her duties so as not to burden her when she resumes her schedule.

The Crown Princess has had all her official duties suspended since last December, following a bout of shingles. The agency revealed in July that she is suffering from adjustment disorder attributed to the stress of her role and busy schedule.