Japan’s Princess Mako has renounced her royal status and married her university sweetheart, Kei Komuro.
The 30-year-old tied the knot with her “normal” husband on Tuesday morning after announcing her engagement in 2017.
Under Japanese law, female members of the royal family are forced to renounce their royal titles if they marry a “general” – although men are not required to do so.
Princess Mako decided to go ahead with the wedding despite this and the controversy that followed their engagement.
The princess, Emperor Naruhito’s niece, had registered her marriage without traditional rites and turned down a large payment of around 140 million yen (£900,000) to the royal women upon her departure from the family.
She is the first woman in Japan’s post-war history to do so.
Mako has now taken her husband’s surname and has become Mako Komuro – her family name being for the first time.
In Japan’s imperial family, only male members are given household names, while female members only have titles.
It is understood that the couple plans to move to the US after their wedding, where Mr. Komuro works as a lawyer.
He moved to New York in 2018 to attend law school, returning to Japan last month sporting a ponytail – which drew widespread criticism.
On Tuesday morning – at 10 a.m. local time – Mako left the palace wearing a light blue dress and holding a bouquet.
She bowed outside the residence of her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko and her sister Kako, before the sisters hugged each other.
However, the low-key ceremony sparked protests against their wedding as the princess called it a “necessary choice”.
“I am deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused and I am grateful to those who have continued to support me,” NHK reported.
“For me, Kei is irreplaceable – marriage was a necessary choice for us.”
The pair were supposed to wed in 2018, but it was postponed after Mr. Kumuro’s mother took a loan from her former partner and claimed not to pay it back.
Mr. Komuro met the princess when she sat behind him at a campus meeting at Tokyo’s International Christian University, where he had graduated, about 10 years ago.
‘Honest and strong mind’
Announcing their engagement in 2017, Mako said; “At first I was attracted by her bright smile like .
“He is an honest, strong mind, hardworking, and has a big heart.
“Having a family is still beyond my imagination, but I look forward to creating a family that is warm, comfortable and full of smiles.”
The Imperial Household Agency previously said excessive media coverage of the couple in the years after the princess was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Imperial House law only allowed male succession and required women to relinquish their royal status when they married a commoner, a practice that reduced the number of members of the royal family and heirs to the throne. Is.
After Naruhito, only Akishino and his son, Prince Hisahito, are in the line of succession.
A panel of government-appointed experts is discussing a stable succession to the Japanese monarchy, but conservatives still reject female succession or allow female members to head the royal family.
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