Princess Mako Set To Marry Commoner Fiancée Despite Controversies
Japan’s princess, Mako is set to marry her fiancé of five years on 26th October, the royal family announced on Friday.
Princess Mako, the niece of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, met her fiancé Kei Komuro, a commoner, in Tokyo’s International Christian University. They announced their engagement in 2017, and have come under intense scrutiny and public disapproval since then.
Their marriage is not fully supported by the public because of a financial dispute involving her future mother-in-law, the palace announced Friday.
The controversy involving Mako fiancé Kei Komuro’s mother is an embarrassment for the imperial family and led to public rebuke that delayed their marriage for more than three years.
Komuro, 29, returned to Japan last week from New York, where he was studying to become a lawyer. His hair, tied in a ponytail, was considered a bold statement for someone marrying a princess in the tradition-bound family and only added to the criticism.
The Imperial Household Agency said, the couple will register their marriage on 26th October, and will have a news conference together. They are expected to start a new life together in New York later this year.
There will be no wedding banquet and other rituals for the couple “because their marriage is not celebrated by many people,” the agency said.
Palace officials disclosed that Mako who turns 30 three days before the wedding has also declined the 150 million yen ($1.35 million) she is entitled to, for leaving the imperial family.
She would be the first female imperial family member since World War II to not receive the payment when marrying a commoner.
She was recently diagnosed with a mental condition that palace doctors described as a form of traumatic stress disorder, according to the agency.
She and Komuro were classmates at Tokyo’s International Christian University when they announced in September 2017 their intent to marry the following year, but the financial dispute surfaced two months later and the wedding was suspended.
The dispute involved whether the money his mother received from her former fiancé and spent on Komuro’s education in Japan was a loan or a gift.
Komuro left for New York in 2018 to study law, and this is the first time he has returned since then.
The Imperial House Law allows only male succession.
Female members of the royal family must renounce their royal status when they marry a commoner — a practice that has resulted in a decline in the size of the royal family and a shortage of successors to the throne.
The couple will live a normal life just like former royals Harry and Meghan.