Japan’s Princess Mako has married her non-royal college sweetheart Kei Komuro formally giving up her royal status.
Ms Mako skipped the usual rites associated with a royal wedding, and turned down a traditional payment of about $1.3m (£940,000) given to a female member of the imperial family upon their departure from the household becoming the first female member of the royal family to decline both.
The former princess, who is now known as Mako Komuro, is the first child of the current emperor’s younger brother, Prince Akishino, and his wife, Princess Kiko. Born on 23 October 1991, she initially followed royal tradition and attended the elite Gakushuin school, where members of the imperial family usually study.
But she broke with custom by leaving the institution for her university studies. Ms Mako attended Tokyo’s International Christian University, where she studied art and cultural heritage, and spent a year at the University of Edinburgh. Later, she earned a master’s degree at the University of Leicester, an experience she said was “wonderful”.
People close to Ms Mako described her as an independent and friendly woman who had pursued a career while performing imperial duties, a profile by Japan’s Kyodo news agency said.
She first met Mr Komuro, who was also born in 1991, at a meeting of students planning to go abroad in 2012. His humble origins meant that tabloids spent a long time digging dirt on his family. Amid the scandal in 2018, he moved to New York to study law at Fordham University, and the couple reportedly kept in touch through the internet.
He only came back to Japan last September, a return that was not without controversy. Mr Komuro was dressed casually and sporting a ponytail, which for many was another proof that he was not fit to marry the then-princess.
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