Who are Japan's Princess Mako and 'commoner' husband? Inside their love story

After several years of delay, the Japanese princess Mako has finally married the “common” friend Kei Komuro and given up her royal status. Here is the love story of the couple described as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of Japan

Japan’s Princess Mako and Kei Komuro tied the knot in a quiet ceremony on Tuesday (

Image: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag)

Princess Mako married her college lover, Kei Komuro, in a silent ceremony with no traditional wedding receptions on Tuesday.

Mako, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, has given up the royal title under Japanese law requiring that female members of the imperial family lose their status upon marriage to a “citizen” as she and her “irreplaceable” husband plan to move to New Moving to York to begin her new life.

Speaking at a press conference with her new husband, Mako said her marriage to Komuro was inevitable despite the three-year delay and widespread opposition, calling it “a decision necessary to live while we cherish our hearts.”

When did Princess Mako Kei meet Komuro?

The couple, both 30 years old, first met in 2012 while studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

Japan’s Princess Mako and “ordinary” friend Kei Komuro have finally married after a three-year delay
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Image:

JIJI PRESS / AFP via Getty Images)

Mako and Komuro, described as Japanese Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, got engaged in 2017 and planned to get married the following year, but two months later a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and the wedding was suspended.

While the palace has denied the delay was related, Crown Prince Fumihito said the financial problems needed to be resolved before the couple got married.

Komuro, who studied law in New York in 2018, only returned to Japan last month and has been criticized for marrying the princess.

Despite resistance, the two finally tied the knot with Mako and said: “For me, Kei-san is a priceless person.”

Komuro replied, “I love Mako. I only live once and want to spend it with someone I love,” added that he hopes to have a warm family with her.

Why did Princess Mako give up her royal title?

Makos loses her royal status due to the Imperial House Law, which only allows male succession.

This means that only male royals have household names, while female members of the imperial family only have titles and leave when they marry commoners.

Princess Mako is the first female member of the imperial family to renounce traditional pay and rites
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Image:

Getty Images)

She will now take her husband’s last name under Japanese law, which requires most women to give up their family name when they marry.

Princess Mako will reportedly waive a traditional payment of up to 150 million yen (£ 0.97 million) normally made to a member of the royal family when they leave the household.

As the first member since World War II to not receive payment, Mako waived payment over criticism of their marriage.

She is also expected to skip the usual rites related to a royal family wedding, making her the first female member of the royal family to skip both payment and rites.

The couple, who will be relocating to New York, are grappling with negative media coverage, particularly Mako, who suffers from traumatic stress disorder. She said the “false” reporting of her new husband caused her “great fear, stress and sadness”.

Although the couple were “horrified, scared, and saddened” by the stories circulated, they thanked everyone who supported them.

During the conference they said, “There will be different kinds of difficulties when we start our new life, but we will go together as we did in the past.”

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