Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Naruhito reveals love of fish and chips and pubs


February 2, 2006
Share this:

These days, as heir to the Chrysanthemum throne, Crown Prince Naruhito inhabits a world far distant from his days as a graduate student at Oxford in the mid-Eighties. But the proletarian pursuits he was introduced to during his student days clearly made a deep impression on the Japanese royal.

Recalling his university sojourn in his memoirs, the Emperor's son reveals a love for vinegar-drenched fish and chips and pub crawls. He also recounts the humiliation he suffered after being barred from a nightclub for wearing the wrong sort of trousers.

Originally published 13 years ago, but only recently translated into English, The Thames And I chronicles what the prince describes as "the happiest time" of his life. The relatively anonymous 'Hiro', as he styled himself, was able to enjoy a period of unparalleled freedom in which he did his own laundry, made trips to the bank and took tea with the staff of his local photographic supplies store.

The Emperor-to-be also reveals he was keenly aware of the exceptional opportunity which living a semi-normal existence in Oxford offered. "It would be impossible in Japan to go to a place where hardly anyone would know who I was," he says, adding poignantly: "It is really important and precious to be able to go privately at one's own pace where one wants."

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Swapping the rarified atmosphere of the Japanese royal family for life as a student in Britain was an eye-opener for the Emperor's son, but he described that period as "the happiest time" of his lifePhoto: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
In May 2001 the crown prince revisted his old stomping ground, dropping by Oxford's Trout Inn with Professor Jessica Rawson, the warden of his former collegePhoto: © AFP

More Royalty

See more