They say that love conquers all. That seems to be the case for Japan’s Princess Mako of Akishino, daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, who has officially chosen love over her title.
In the Japanese imperial family, only men are in the line of succession. If a female marries a commoner she forfeits her status by default.
Mako met Kei Komuro while attending Tokyo’s International Christian University, and the two were engaged in 2017, the New York Post reported.
Plans for a 2018 wedding were postponed after rumors started to swirl and the couple faced backlash over their intended union.
There was a scandal involving a mysterious sum of money given to Komuro’s mother, and many saw Mako’s choice of husband as a slap in the face of tradition. Komuro even raised some eyebrows in Japan when he wore his hair in a ponytail.
All the drama allegedly led to a stress disorder for Mako.
The two, both 30, finally tied the knot on Tuesday by filing a legal document and held neither a lavish ceremony nor a reception. They plan to live in New York, where Komuro works for a law firm.
The former princess and Komuro spoke to the media after officially becoming husband and wife. Mako expressed frustration with their critics’ meddling ways.
“I felt fearful, pained and sad that incorrect information was taken as truth, and that these baseless stories spread,” she said, according to NPR.
Many are pointing out that the couple’s exodus from royalty to a new life in the U.S. mirrors that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who also chose to forfeit status and buck tradition.
Mako also turned down a $1.23 million “consolation prize” that is offered to royal women who marry commoners and forfeit their title and position.
“For me, Kei-san is a priceless person,” Mako said, according to the Post. “For us, our marriage was a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts.”
Komuro added that he wanted to “have a warm family with Mako-san” and said, “I live only once and I want to spend it with someone I love.”
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