Japan’s Princess Mako: Japanese princess who studied in Edinburgh gives up royal status to marry ‘commoner’

Japan’s Princess Mako, who once studied at the University of Edinburgh, has married her “commoner” boyfriend Kei Komuro – thus giving up her royal status.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 6:56 pm
Princess Mako, at right, hugs her sister, Princess Kako, watched by their parents, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, in Tokyo on Tuesday. Koki Sengoku / AP

The marriage took place without traditional wedding celebrations and the former royal, who spent a year studying art history in the Capital between 2012 and 2013, said their marriage “was a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts”.

She received her husband’s surname – the first time she has had a family name.

Most Japanese women must abandon their own family names upon marriage due to a law requiring only one surname per married couple.

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The couple's marriage document was submitted by a palace official on Tuesday morning and made official, the Imperial Household Agency said.

There was no wedding banquet or other marriage rituals for the couple.

The agency has acknowledged that many people have not welcomed their marriage.

“For me, Kei-san is a priceless person. For us, our marriage was a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts,” Mako, said in a televised news conference, using an honorific in speaking of her husband.

Mr Komuro responded: “I love Mako. I live only once and I want to spend it with someone I love.

“I hope to have a warm family with Mako-san, and I will continue to do everything to support her.”

Mako earlier declined a 140 million yen (£890,000) payment to which she was entitled for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said.

She is the first imperial family member since the Second World War to not receive the payment and chose to do so because of criticism of the marriage.

Mako, who turned 30 three days before the marriage, is a niece of Emperor Naruhito.

She and Mr Komuro, who were classmates at Tokyo's International Christian University, announced in September 2017 that they intended to marry the following year, but a financial dispute involving his mother surfaced two months later and the wedding was suspended.

On Tuesday morning, Mako left the palace wearing a pale blue dress and holding a bouquet.

She bowed outside the residence to her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, and her sister Kako, and then the sisters hugged each other.

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