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Japan’s Princess Mako gives up her royal status to marry commoner

7 September 2017
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In an act of pure love, Princess Mako officially announcedthis week that she would be abandoning the throne to marry a commoner! TheJapanese royal smiled as she proclaimed her engagement to fiancé law clerk KeiKomuro at the Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo on September 3. While EmperorAkihito's eldest granddaughter's choice to marry a non-royal costs her the status, the princess seems content in her decision.


Princess Mako announced her engagement to Kei Komouro Photo: Getty Images

Under Japanese law, female members of the Imperial family haveto relinquish their royal title if they choose to marry a commoner. "I wasaware since my childhood that I'll leave a royal status once I marry," Time wrote that the 25-year-old told reporters at the conference. "While Iworked to help the emperor and fulfil duties as a royal family member as muchas I can, I've been cherishing my own life."

RELATED: Find out why Princess Mako postponed her engagement announcement

Her husband-to-be, also 25, revealed to the press that he proposed back in December 2013, after dinner one evening. The private pair met as students at Tokyo'sInternational Christian University merely a year prior. "I wasfirst attracted to his bright smiles that seemed like the sun," theprincess happily said. "It would be nice to have a warm and comfortablehousehold with Mr. Komuro, so that we can make a family full of smiles."


The couple met five years ago while studying at the same university Photo: Getty Images

The announcement sets in motion a traditional act ofbetrothal called Nosai no Gi. This formal engagement ceremony will have Kei presenting several gifts to the palace to make his proclamation of love to the princess official. Princess Mako’s abdicationof royal status makes her the eighth member of the family to do so in order tomarry since World War II. Her Aunt Sayako, the only daughter of the currentemperor, followed a similar journey to marriage in 2005.

MORE: Princess Mako of Japan has been secretly studying at University of Leicester

The Emperor has expressed his desire to abdicate from the throne soon, and is expected to do so late next year. He will be succeeded by his oldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito. Next in line is Prince Akishino, Mako's father. The only other person left in the line of succession is Mako's younger brother, ten-year-old Prince Hisahito since all Akihito's other grandchildren are women.

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