Princess Diaries

Japan's crown prince Naruhito recently stunned the nation by confirming the country's worst-kept—though rarely discussed—secret: his wife, Crown Princess Masako, is utterly miserable.

During an extraordinarily blunt press conference in May, Naruhito indirectly blamed the Imperial Household Agency, the royal family's ultra-traditional official minders, for "negating her career and character." Last week the prince issued a written "clarification" in which he effectively apologized for his comments, but the furor has focused Japan's attention on its unhappy princess, a Harvard-educated former diplomat whose fairy-tale life has become a nightmare. "She is really just a doll in a doll case...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!