Princess Ayako of Japan has relinquished her royal status after marrying a commoner on Monday.

The princess, 28, married Kei Moriya, 32, at a traditional ceremony at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

After the wedding, the princess said: “I’m filled with joy to get married and to have so many people visit us at the Meiji Shrine and congratulate us.”

In Japan, female members of the imperial family who marry commoners are expected to leave the fold and give up their status.

Ayako is the third daughter of the emperor’s cousin, late Prince Takamado.

Moriya, her husband who works for a major shipping company, said he will help Ayako adjust to life as a commoner.

“I want us to work together, hand in hand, to create a family filled with smiles,” he said.

Ayako and Moriya met through their mothers who are friends.

Moriya said he was attracted to her gentle spirit, adding that “I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her”.

Despite leaving the royal family, Ayako said she hopes to continue to help emperor Akihito as a former member of the imperial family.

Emperor Akihito was the first crown prince to marry a commoner, who became empress Michiko.



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