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‘Princess’ Mako Of Japan Loses Royal Title After Marrying Commoner College Sweetheart

by : Hannah Smith on :
'Princess' Mako Of Japan Loses Royal Title After Marrying Commoner College SweetheartAlamy

Japan’s Princess Mako has officially given up her royal title after marrying her college sweetheart, following years of controversy over the pair’s engagement.

Mako, who is the eldest daughter of the heir to Japan’s imperial throne, married Kei Komuro – a commoner whom she met at university – at a Tokyo registry office earlier today, October 26. In doing so she also became the first female member of Japan’s royal family to forgo a royal wedding ceremony and turn down a payment traditionally offered to royal women who leave the family.

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Kei and Mako Komuro (Alamy)Alamy

At a press conference following the understated marriage, Mako – who will now be known as Mako Komuro – apologised for the controversy her decision had caused, but said ‘for me, Kei is irreplaceable – marriage was a necessary choice for us.’

Under Japanese law, female members of the imperial family have to give up their royal status if they marry a ‘commoner’, although the same does not apply to male members.

Since announcing their engagement in 2017, the couple has been met with criticism in some sections of Japanese society, with several of Mako’s family members publicly expressing their disapproval of the marriage.

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In photos taken outside Mako’s residence shortly before the wedding, the princess could be seen bowing to her parents, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, and hugging her younger sister Kiko.

According to the BBC, Komuro reiterated his love for his new wife, telling reporters at the press conference ‘I love Mako. We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love. I feel very sad that Mako has been in a bad condition, mentally and physically, because of the false accusations.’

Mako waving goodbye to her family (Alamy)Alamy
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The Imperial Household recently confirmed that Mako had been diagnosed with PTSD following the scrutiny surrounding her marriage, meaning the couple chose to issue written responses to questions from reporters following the conference.

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The pair is expected to move to New York, where Komuro works as a lawyer, with the couple’s story earning them the nickname of ‘Japan’s Harry and Meghan.’ Prior to Komuro returning to Japan for the wedding, The Guardian reports that the couple did not see each other for three years, and are expected to once again be separated as Mako applies for a US Visa.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, Japan, Now

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BBC
  1. BBC

    Japan's Princess Mako Finally Marries Commoner Boyfriend Kei Komuro