Japan’s Princess Mako Will Be Giving Up Her Royal Title to Marry a Commoner
Just like the quintessential fairytale trope of the commoner and the royal figure falling in love and riding off into the sunset, Japan’s Princess Mako is living up to that tale and causing quite an uproar with her decision to renounce her royal title and reject her hefty royal pay in order to marry her long-term commoner fiancé, Kei Komuro.
A trailblazer in her own right, the princess will be the first woman in the Imperial family to bypass traditional marriage ceremonies in the country’s post-war history, such as the Nosai no Gi—which requires the groom to send a messenger to the princess’ Imperial household and present his gifts—and the Kokki no Gi—where Komuro’s messenger will announce the date of their wedding.
According to a Japanese government source, she is also expected to reject the 150 million yen (S$1.8 million) payout—that comes from taxpayers—which is typically given to female royals who are leaving the imperial household. It is currently pending the government’s approval, despite the fiscal issues faced by her fiancé’s family, which caused negative publicity and led to the postponement of their wedding.
The dispute occurred between his mother and her former fiancé—in which the man claimed that Komura’s mother owes him 4 million yen ($36,500) after allegedly using it to pay for her son’s fees at Tokyo’s International Christian University.
Seeking a fresh start after the wedding, Princess Mako is looking to live out her new life in the United States of America with her husband as a commoner. Her royal status will be revoked upon marriage according to current Imperial custom, where the newlywed couple would be able to enjoy the peace and quiet away from the lens of the Japanese media and public. The princess is reported to be excited to start a new life together with Komuro—who is currently living in the US and will be working at a local law firm after earning his Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University’s School of Law.
Princess Mako is the daughter of Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino, who is next in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, and sister to Prince Hisahito, currently the only other eligible male heir. According to tradition, Japan’s imperial throne can only be inherited by male members of the family, and the children of female royals who marry commoners are not included, The Straits Times reports.
She is expected to marry Komura by year end, according to reports, but no official confirmation has been made.