The Japanese government has announced that Princess Mako who is the niece of Emperor Naruhito is going to marry her boyfriend before the end of the year and will ditch Japan to start a new life in the Big Apple.
Princess Mako is engaged to Kei Komuro and a government spokesperson made the announcement. It was also announced that there would be none of the ceremonies and rituals that members of the Japanese Imperial family usually take part in, according to Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.
This is because the public are against the newly engaged couple’s relationship and because of COVID-19 concerns, still according to Asahi.
The 29-year-old princess is set to register the marriage in Japan but will then withdraw herself from the country’s Imperial register and move to the USA, where her fiance Komuro currently lives.
Traditionally in Japanese society, female members of the Imperial family usually conduct two ceremonies before they are married. These are the Nosai-no-Gi ceremony and the Choken-no-Gi ritual, which consists of the bride-to-be thanking the Emperor and the Empress before the wedding ceremony.
It will be the first time in the Imperial family’s history since the end of World War II that a member will leave without conducting these rituals.
Princess Mako’s fiance Komuro has been living in New York City since 2018 and this July he took the New York State Bar exam. It is believed that he will then work for a local law firm.
Under current Japanese law, Princess Mako is obliged to have her name taken off the imperial register because she is marrying a commoner.
Members of the Imperial family also receive a cash payment when they marry which is paid for by the taxpayer. It is believed that Princess Mako will receive about JPY 152.5 million (GBP 1 million), according to Asahi.
The newspaper also said that princess might decline accepting payment due to the public’s negative perception of the couple.
The couple first announced their intention to get married back in 2017 but in early 2018, Japanese media published reports about Komuro’s family and alleged financial difficulties, and this reportedly turned the public against the couple.