Japan’s Princess Mako Marries Commoner Boyfriend Kei Komuro, Gives Up Royal Status

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Tokyo: Japan’s Princess Mako married her commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro on Tuesday. The Imperial Household Agency submitted legal paperwork to register the couple’s marriage on their behalf, four years since their relationship was made public.

Princess Mako, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, became Mako Komuro under a family registry with Komuro.

She has to relinquish her royal status as the Imperial House Law stipulates that a female imperial member must abandon her title if she marries a commoner. The agency will officially register her departure on the record of imperial lineage on Wednesday.

She also skipped the usual rites of a royal wedding and turned down a payment offered to royal females upon their departure from the family. She is the first female member of the royal family to skip both.

The newlyweds, both 30, were initially scheduled to hold a press conference at a Tokyo hotel from 2 p.m., but they opted to only give opening remarks and to distribute written answers to five selected questions submitted in advance by the media.

The decision was made as the princess, who has been suffering from a mental health condition following a string of media reports about the financial dispute, “feels a strong sense of anxiety” imagining having to answer questions verbally, the agency said in a sudden announcement on Monday night.

The couple are expected to move to the US – where Mr Komuro works as a lawyer – after marriage. The move has drawn inevitable comparisons to British royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, earning them the nickname “Japan’s Harry and Meghan”.

Komuro has come under intense scrutiny since his relationship to Mako was announced. He was most recently criticised for sporting ponytail when he recently returned to Japan.

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