Japan’s Former Princess Mako Starts New Life in New York City with Her Husband
The niece of Japan’s reigning Emperor Naruhito, and the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, gave up her official royal status—as required by Japanese law if a female member of the royal family marries a “commoner”—and married Komuro in a simple ceremony, foregoing the typical rituals, ceremonies and fanfare that usually accompany a royal wedding.
Mako also refused the one-off payment of about US$1.35 million, which is typically given to royal women who marry commoners and give up their titles to become ordinary citizens. She is the first female member of the imperial family to refuse the payment when marrying a commoner since World War II.
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The couple has made their move to New York City to start their life as a financially-independent married couple. Komuro previously studied in NYC and is currently working in a New York-based legal firm, while waiting to retake the bar exam next year. They will move into a one-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, according to NHK, and Mako is in the process of securing a visa to work in the US.
The couple got engaged four years ago and their engagement was mired in controversy, eventually leading to the former princess developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Following their marriage, Mako revealed at a press conference, “I have been scared, feeling sadness and pain whenever one-sided rumours turn into groundless stories.”
Komura has stood by the princess through the years, saying, “I love Mako. We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love.”
The couple met at Tokyo’s International Christian University a decade ago.