In an act of devotion straight out of a fairy tale, Japanese Princess Mako of Akishino is giving up her royal status to marry a ‘commoner’ – her university sweetheart Kei Komuro.
The besotted pair’s paths first crossed while they were both studying at Tokyo’s International Christian University. Speaking at a press conference, the young royal explained how she was first attracted to Kei’s ‘smile like the sun’.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) September 3, 2017
Kei proposed to Princess Mako back in 2013. After what must have been the most nerve-wracking ‘meet the parents’ dinner of all time, the couple have now formally announced their engagement after receiving approval from Mako’s grandfather, 83-year-old Emperor Akihito.
Princess Mako is the emperor’s eldest grandchild.
According to The Mainichi, the artistically inclined princess, who works as a museum researcher, gave the following comment on the proposal:
We share the view of wanting to date someone with the expectation of marriage, so I knew from the beginning that we would marry.
I had already made up my mind, so I immediately accepted on the spot.
The course of true love never does run smooth, and the upcoming marriage will not come without sacrifices.
Under Japanese law, female royals must give up their imperial status should they choose to marry a commoner. Somewhat frustratingly, this rule does not apply to male royals…
According to 25-year-old Mako:
I was aware since my childhood that I’ll leave a royal status once I marry.
While I worked to help the emperor and fulfil duties as a royal family member as much as I can, I’ve been cherishing my own life.
Kei, who works at a legal firm, has stated how he is thankful for the acceptance the imperial family has shown him. He also, rather poetically, described his betrothed as somebody who has quietly watched over him ‘like the moon’.
We congratulate Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino and Mr Kei Komuro on their engagement and wish them a happy future together. pic.twitter.com/lgZldROAR9
— BelgiumEmbassyJapan (@BelgiumEmbJapan) September 3, 2017
For Mako, a royal title is no match for the love shared between her and Kei, and the fondness between the pair is apparent:
I’ll be happy if I can make a warm and comfortable family full of smiles with Mr. Komuro.
The wedding is expected to be scheduled at some point next year.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.