She refused his proposal of marriage twice, but, in 1992, finally accepted
|Page 2 of 2
"While Masako seems to have delivered a coup de foudre for the crown prince, the career-driven object of his affections was less enthusiastic about striking up a romance with the future emperor. Although Naruhito pursued the young beauty assiduously, she, apparently concerned about the implications of joining the royal family, politely turned down his marriage proposal not once, but twice.
Having rejected the first proposal Masako went on with her life, embarking upon a two-year course at Balliol College, Oxford, before returning home to become a speechwriter for the Japanese prime minister. Five years were to pass before the pair met again. When, a few weeks later, her royal beau proposed for a second time, Masako’s answer was once again no.
At the end of 1992 – and after lengthy discussions with both her parents and, according to some press report, the empress – Masako finally accepted. Later, perhaps foreseeing the issues that would arise, the princess said her future husband had assured her: "You might have fears and worries about joining the Imperial Household. But I will protect you my entire life."