The Japanese princess who studied at the University of Leicester loses the royal title
A Japanese princess who studied at the University of Leicester left her royal life to marry.
Princess Mako earned a graduate degree in Museum Studies from 2014 to 2015, spent a year in the city, then returned to attend her graduation ceremony.
Despite being the great-granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and niece of current Emperor Naruhito, Mako could not inherit the imperial title because she is a woman.
And the fact that her new husband, Kei Komuro, is a commoner rather than a king, means that Mako is no longer considered royal at all.
The couple decided against holding a traditional wedding and said their marriage – which was three years late and some people opposed in Japan – “was a necessary choice to live while we cherish our hearts”.
The Imperial Palace Agency said the couple’s marriage certificate was submitted by a palace official on Tuesday morning and was officially announced.
There was no wedding banquet or other wedding rites for the couple.
Speaking at a televised press conference, Mako said, “For me, Kei-san is an invaluable person. For us, our marriage has been a necessary choice to live with the cherished in our hearts.”
“I love Mako,” said Mr. Komuro. “I only live once and I want to spend it with someone I love.”
“I hope to have a warm family with Mako-san, and I will continue to do my best to support her.”
Palace officials said Mako had earlier refused to pay the 140 million yen (£890,000) she was owed to leave the imperial family.
She is the first member of the imperial family since World War II who has not received the payment and has chosen to decline it due to criticism of the marriage.
Mako, who turned 30 three days before marriage, studied at the same time as Mr. Komuro at Tokyo International Christian University.
They announced in September 2017 that they intended to marry the following year, but a financial dispute with his mother arose two months later and the wedding was put on hold.
Mako left the palace, on Tuesday morning, wearing a pale blue dress and carrying a bouquet of flowers.
She bowed outside the house to her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, and her sister Kaku, then the two sisters hugged each other.
Mako is recovering from what palace doctors described earlier this month as a form of stress disorder that she developed after witnessing negative media coverage about their marriage, particularly the attacks on Mr. Komuro.
Mako said in a written answer to a question, “We were terrified, afraid and sad…as false information was taken as fact and baseless stories spread.”
Agencies have reported that the couple will move to New York together to start a new life.
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