Here’s a real-life love story about a Japanese princess who has decided to give up her royal status to marry a commoner who once worked promoting tourism on a beach. 25-year-old Princess Mako is the eldest granddaughter of 83-year-old Emperor Akihito, but she must become a commoner after she marries.
Mako plans to marry Kei Komuro, who now works at a law office in Tokyo, but they first met at a restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya about five years ago at a party to talk about studying abroad. They both went on to graduate from International Christian University, while Mako also has a master’s degree from the University of Leicester and has been working as a researcher at a museum. The couple have been dating several times a month and sources say that Mako’s parents approve of the union.
However, the news that Mako will step down from being royalty in order to marry for love could spark a crisis among the Japanese royal family. As it stands, only men are allowed to become emperor while women have to give up their royal association when they marry, and with Akihito himself stepping down due to his old age there could soon be a crisis in the Japanese royal family..
As it stands there are just four heirs to the throne – Akihito’s two middle-aged sons, Akihito’s octogenarian brother, and Prince Hisahito, the ten-year-old son of Akihito’s younger son. Akihito’s other three grandchildren are female – Mako, her younger sister, Kako, and Crown Prince Naruhito’s daughter, Aiko.
This has caused concerns that the young Prince could be the last one left in the imperial family when the daughters marry and the older generation of men die. However, there are no plans to change how the succession works…
Photo Credit: Reuters / Getty / AP