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Saturday, 19 May, 2001, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Japanese prince visits UK
The Queen and Prince Naruhito
The Queen showed the prince around Windsor Castle
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito has arrived in the UK for a seven-day official visit.

The 41-year-old prince, whose visit follows a personal invitation from the Queen, is staying at Windsor Castle for the week.

Prince Naruhito's wife, Crown Princess Masako, who is pregnant, is not accompanying him on the week-long trip.

Following afternoon tea on Saturday, the Queen showed Naruhito, the son of Emperor Akihito, around the state apartments at Windsor as well as the magnificent St Georges Hall.

The Queen and Prince Naruhito
The prince will be staying in Windsor Castle for the week
The main reason for the Crown Prince's visit is to launch Japan 2001, a year-long programme of Japanese cultural events in Britain, of which he is joint-patron with the Prince of Wales.

It will begin with the weekend-long Matsuri carnival, a traditional Japanese festival.

The two princes will visit the festival on Sunday in Hyde Park, London.

On Sunday evening the heir to the Japanese throne will attend the Japan 2001 Philharmonia Concert, with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, at the Royal Festival Hall.

Student memories

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, will host a dinner for Prince Naruhito at Lancaster House on Monday after the Japanese heir has visited the Chelsea Flower Show, accompanied by Princess Alexandra.

The Crown Prince will on Tuesday travel to Oxford where he was a student at Merton College from 1983-85.

On Wednesday, he will visit Henley-on-Thames, where he will sign a copy of his thesis, held at the River and Rowing Museum.

Prince Naruhito will tour Kew Gardens on the final day of his visit on Thursday, to see the Japanese gardens created to commemorate the Japan 2001 festival.

The prince last visited Britain in 1991.

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See also:

15 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Japan crown princess pregnant
01 May 01 | Arts
Japan through the UK's eyes
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
Japanese princess suffers miscarriage
09 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Japan considers female succession
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