Royal May 2015

A Princess is born

Special message from British Ambassador Tim Hitchens CMG LVO

RoyalI am delighted to send a message to readers of BCCJ ACUMEN on the happy occasion of the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

As happened during the Royal Wedding in 2011 and the birth of Prince George in 2013, we have been overwhelmed by kind messages from all over Japan: an expression of the great affection in which the Japanese people hold the British Royal Family. This warm feeling, I think, also reflects the deep and abiding relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan.

May I thank those Japanese friends who have taken the time to contact the British Embassy Tokyo and the British Consulate-General, Osaka to offer messages of congratulation. I will be passing those messages on to Kensington Palace.

But perhaps I should not be surprised by such a warm reaction. We were all touched by the large number of Japanese people, from all walks of life, who came out to welcome the duke when, for the first time, he visited Japan earlier this year.

The crowds who met him in their hundreds at sites across Tokyo, at Koriyama Station in Fukushima Prefecture, and in Ishinomaki and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, were generous and enthusiastic. Sadly the duchess, then expectant with Princess Charlotte, was unable to travel with her husband.

The duke’s visit to Japan was a symbolic one, making connections between the Royal and Imperial families, and guaranteeing the continuation of that relationship for several generations.

We tried to showcase not only the importance of UK–Japan cultural and commercial exchange, but also the way tradition and innovation fuse together productively in both modern Japan and modern Britain.

I know the duke and duchess would want me to thank all those who have been kind enough to congratulate them in welcoming Princess Charlotte into the world.

Speculation over whether the duke and duchess’s second child would be a boy or girl is over; but now, for the first time, this will not affect Princess Charlotte’s position as fourth in line to the throne as the line of succession is regulated not only through descent, but also by parliamentary statute.

The Succession to the Crown Act was amended in March, in keeping with the UK’s commitment to equality. The changes mean that the line of succession is no longer based on gender.

Similarly, in keeping with the times, news of the royal birth broke on the Royal Household’s social media channels before the traditional paper announcement was placed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace. Well-wishers in Japan can join others from around the world in sharing their personal messages of congratulations via these online channels.

Kensington Palace will be updating content on the duke and duchess’s official website (, Twitter @KensingtonRoyal and the British Monarchy Facebook page ( using #RoyalBaby.

We will also be sharing content on the British Embassy Tokyo’s Facebook page (, Twitter @UKinJapan and my Twitter @UKAmbTim.