Japan’s Princess Mako has given up her royal status to marry Kei Komuro, her college boyfriend.
According to the Imperial Household Agency, which runs the family’s lives, the marriage document for Mako and Kei was submitted by a palace official to a local office registry on Tuesday, making the union official.
Mako skipped the usual rites of a royal wedding and also turned down a payment offered to royal females upon their departure from the family — becoming the first female member of the royal family to decline both.
Under Japanese law, female imperial family members forfeit their status upon marriage to a “commoner”.
After their marriage, the couple is expected to move to the United States where Kei works as a lawyer.
The duo’s move has attracted heated criticism, with a protest ensuing in Japan on Tuesday against the couple’s marriage.
It also prompted commentaries that likened the pair to the well-publicised revolt of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry within the British royal family.
Speaking with journalists, Mako apologised for any trouble brought to the people by her marriage.
“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,” the princess was quoted as saying.
In turn, Komuro was quoted to have said: “I love Mako. We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love. I feel sad that Mako has been in a bad condition, mentally and physically, because of the false accusations.”
The lovebirds had earlier planned on getting married in 2018.
It was, however, gathered that their union had — over the years — been plagued by controversy and widespread disapproval.
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