It’s become the alma mater of countless artists, politicians and public personalities in its 113 year history.
But now the University of Leeds is set to welcome a proper royal princess into its student family.
Princess Kako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will study in the city from this September to June next year as an exchange student, the Imperial Household Agency has said.
And a University of Leeds spokesperson told the YEP: “We can confirm that Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako has applied to the University of Leeds and she will be studying with us for a short period from September this year.
“We look forward to her joining us.”
The 22-year-old princess is the second daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko. Her father is currently second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
The Japan Times reported that HIH has not yet decided what she will study but has shown interest in psychology and art.
Japan’s monarchy is the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world.
The imperial house recognizes 125 monarchs beginning with the legendary Emperor Jimmu and continuing up to the current emperor, Akihito. But there is historical evidence that Emperor Kinmei ascended the throne 1500 years ago.
Princess Kako is thought to be the first prominent royal to study in Leeds, and no others are listed in an independent online alumni archive.
However the University’s hallowed halls have attracted a number of international dignitaries over the years.
Nambaryn Enkhbayar, former President of Mongolia, was an exchange student in 1986.
Also gracing the halls at one time was Andrew Leung, current President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Senator Albert Shabangu, the Deputy Prime Minister of Swaziland, studied in the city in the 1980s. Other alumni include Simba Makoni, a Zimbabwean politician, and Abdullah Nasseef, a Saudi geologist and politician.