Princess Mako of Japan Gives Up Royal Status to Marry a Commoner

Princess Mako of Japan Gives Up Royal Status to Marry a Commoner

Princess Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, is expected to abdicate next year - Japan's first abdication in two centuries.

But women are not allowed to succeed Japan's throne, meaning Princess Mako will lose her royal status once she weds 25-year-old Mr Komuro, who is a commoner.

Japanese Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild, Princess Mako, said Sunday she is getting married to a university classmate who won her heart with bright smiles and sincerity.

Princess Mako said she was initially attracted by Kei Komuro's "bright smile like a sun".

Princess Mako and her father Prince Akishino during a royal visit to Hungary this year.




"I would like to have a family that is always calm and peaceful".

Princess Mako revealed that they talked for the first time at an event for students ahead of a study-abroad program in Shibuya, Tokyo about five years ago.

Komuro is now working in a law firm while studying business law at Hitotsubashi University. The marriage means the princess must give up her royal title, Reuters reported. However, the formal announcement of Princess Mako's engagement is expected to reignite discussion of the matter-if only to prevent the end of the imperial line.

The announcement had originally been planned for July but the couple made a decision to postpone it out of consideration for a southern region hit by heavy rains and flooding in the month.

The elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko is a popular figure in Japan, with Wikipedia describing her as "something of an internet idol since 2004" largely thanks to her fashion choices. Japan's Imperiale family was started with wartime emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) and Empress Nagako (1903-2000). Since then she has attended official events as a member of the royal family, visiting victims of the 2011 Tohoku natural disaster and tsunami. The princess said to journalists both she and Komuro have been courting from the beginning with future marriage in mind. Following his abdication which could be at the end of 2018 or early 2019, his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito will replace him. In this ceremony, Komuro's messenger will announce the wedding date.

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