World, Asia - Pacific

Japan's Princess Mako marries boyfriend, loses royal status

Mako Komuro exits imperial family by marrying university sweetheart, will forego lump-sum payment of $1.3M

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 26.10.2021
Japan's Princess Mako marries boyfriend, loses royal status Princess Mako, the elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and her husband Kei Komuro, a university friend of Princess Mako, poses during a press conference to announce their marriage registration at Grand Arc Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on October 26, 2021. ( SIPA Press/Nicolas Datiche/Pool - Anadolu Agency )

ISTANBUL

Princess Mako of Japan’s imperial family married her “commoner” boyfriend on Tuesday, losing her royal status.

Mako married her university sweetheart Kei Komuro, both 30, and Japan’s Imperial Household Agency submitted the legal paperwork in capital Tokyo to register their marriage, Kyodo News reported.

Niece of Emperor Naruhito, Princess Mako now became Mako Komuro under family registry with Komuro who called her marriage a “necessary choice” for her.

Mako is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito. Mako’s parents and younger sister saw her off when she left the family's residence in the Akasaka Estate in Tokyo.

The couple first met in 2012 and has been in a relationship since their schooling at the International Christian University in Tokyo. They were unofficially engaged in 2017 but the marriage was postponed due to a financial dispute involving Komuro’s mother.

Komuro has said he was “trying to settle a financial dispute involving his mother.”

Japan’s imperial agency had earlier this month announced a date for their marriage following which Komuro returned from New York where he works for a law firm.

The duo plan to settle down in the US after the former princess receives her passport.

Japan’s imperial family does not need travel documents for travel, however, if a female member decides to marry outside, she loses the status and has to formally apply for travel documents.

Soon after their restricted marriage ceremony was held, Mako and Komuro opted to only give opening remarks during a news conference and released answers to five selected questions.

The imperial agency had revealed that Mako has been “diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder caused by what is claimed to be mental abuse”, blaming the excessive media coverage around the princess and Komuro’s family in the past few years.

The wedding ceremony was held without the related ritual ceremonies, making Mako the first female member of the royal family to skip the traditions after World War II.

By marrying an outsider, Mako lost her royal status but is entitled to a lump-sum payment of about $1.3 million from the imperial family.

However, the princess has indicated she will not take the money, making her the first Japanese royal to forego such an offer.

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