Princess Mako of Akishino officially announced her engagement to Kei Komuro, after it was approved by the Japanese emperor, Akihito. In May 2017, it was announced that she was expected to marry Komuro, but at the time, the emperor had not approved of it. After he approved it, then it was officially announced.
Both Princess Mako and Kei Komuro are aged 25. The engagement also means that she will lose her title as a Japanese Princess. Under a Japanese law, which is also extremely controversial, female imperial family members forfeit their status upon marriage to a ‘commoner’, while male imperial family members retain the title.
So when a girl marries a commoner, she loses her status, and when a boy marries a commoner, he gets to keep his status.
The formal announcement was made on Sunday, September 3, by Japan’s Imperial Household Agency.
Princess Mako is not in line for the throne, due to a 1947 succession law stating that only men from her family’s lineage can become emperor. Her grandfather, Akihito, is the current emperor. Her uncle, Naruhito, is Crown Prince and first in line. Her father, Prince Fumihito, is second in line. And her younger brother, Prince Hisahito, is third in line.
Princess Mako will be the eighth female member of the family to marry a commoner since the 1947 Imperial Household Law, but it will not occur until her marriage, which is planned for 2018. She will no longer be Princess Mako of Akishino, and instead she will be Mrs. Kei Komuro.
Princess Mako currently works as a researcher at the University of Tokyo museum, and is pursuing a doctorate. Kei Komuro is a law firm employee. They both met five years earlier while studying at the same university.
Princess Mako, while a press conference, said she was first attracted to Kei Komuro’s “smile like the sun”. Kei Komuro described her as “someone who watched over him like the moon”.
So congratulations to the couple, Princess Mako and Kei Komuro.