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...

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