Search icon


26th Oct 2021

Japan’s Princess finally marries commoner boyfriend amid huge controversy

Danny Jones

She has given up her royal status for love

Japan‘s Princess Mako has married her long-term boyfriend and college sweetheart, Kei Komuro, having to give up her royal status in the process.

In Japanese law, female members of the royal family must forfeit their imperial status upon marrying a so-called “commoner”; this tradition does not apply to male members.

As reported by the BBC, Mako opted to not have a royal wedding and also turned down the severance payment offered to royal females upon their departure from the family. She is the first female member of Imperial House to decline both.

The decision has been met with mass criticism across Japan, with protests taking place along Tokyo streets and in local parks. The consensus is that as well as not following royal conventions, Komuro is somehow how unsuitable to marry the niece of Emperor Naruhito and the eldest grandchild of the previous Emperor, Akihito, who stepped down in 2019.

People have cited everything from his financial situation to his choice of hairstyle, having previously been spotted donning a ponytail, as reasons why their marriage is unconventional and should not go ahead.

There has been so much backlash and excessive media coverage of their relations over the years, that the princess is said to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) had earlier said.

Following the modest ceremony, Princess Mako held a press conference and even issued an apology to the Japanese people: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused and I am grateful for those […] who have continued to support me. For me, Kei is irreplaceable – marriage was a necessary choice for us.”

Komuro himself added that he loved Ms Mako and wanted to spend his life with her. Like Prince Harry and Meghan, who they have often been compared to, the couple plan to move to America for work and to build their life, with the groom hoping to pursue a legal career in New York.

Related links