Princess Mako, fiance all smiles as engagement is finally official
Princess Mako, fiance all smiles as engagement is finally official
Japanese princess gives up her royal status to marry a piano-loving commoner she fell for because of his 'bright smiles like the sun'
04 September, 2017, 00:41
The decision means the princess will have to give up her royal title when they tie the knot.
"First I was attracted by his bright smile", Princess Mako said of her fiancee during a press conference.
A Japanese princess has confirmed she will marry her "commoner" boyfriend, thereby relinquishing her status as a member of the royal family.
Women can't ascend to the throne in Japan, nor can they retain their royal status if they marry a commoner.
Komuro, 25, added that he is also thankful to Mako's parents, Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko, as well as many others for warmly allowing their courtship over the years.
"Together with Mr. Komuro, I would like to make a warm and peaceful family that is full of smiles", she added.
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Both met in 2012 when they were students at International Christian University in Tokyo and said they had been dating for about five years. Plans for the engagement were formally announced on Sunday by Japan's Imperial Household Agency, setting off what is likely to be a year-long process before the couple marries.
Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, has expressed a desire to abdicate and is expected to do so in late 2018.
The Princess will be the first to lose royal status since 2014, when the emperor's daughter, Princess Noriko married.
Princess Mako's engagement is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, after which an official date will be set. Her 10-year old brother, Prince Hisahito, the current Emperor's only grandson, will become second in line. She and Komuro reportedly exchanged emails and had phone conversations before she came back to Japan in September 2015. As she is a female, she will lose royal status as the law does not apply to royal males.
Princess Mako opens a high school sign language speech competition in Tokyo.
The princess works as a researcher at a Tokyo museum, while Komuro, a resident of Yokohama city, south of the capital, is a legal assistant and undertaking a Master's degree in business law.
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