A Japanese princess is set to make a million-dollar (£730,000) payment to give up her royal status in order to marry a college classmate. Princess Mako’s marriage has been delayed for years because of controversy over her fiance.
The 29-year-old granddaughter of then-Emperor Akihito announced her engagement to college classmate Kei Komuro back in 2017.
However, the wedding was put off after reports of a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance.
In the midst of public criticism over her fiance, it has now been reported that the government is set to agree that the princess forego the payment, worth up to 150 million yen ($1.35 million), for royals giving up their status to marry commoners. Anticipating the wedding, Komuro was recently tracked down in New York by a Japanese broadcaster .
He was shown sporting a ponytail, a detail that has caused an uproar among some Japanese users of Twitter. Media have said the couple – who met while studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo– plan to live in the United States. Mr Komuro is said to be an accomplished cook, skiier and violinist and once worked as a ‘Prince of the Sea’ to promote beaches of Shonan in Kanagawa prefecture.
Under Japan’s males-only royal succession law, female members of the imperial family lose their status on marrying commoners.
Officials of the Imperial Household Agency were not immediately available to comment.
In Japan, she is rarely out of the public eye – but for a year she disguised herself as a regular student at the University of Leicester. Keen not to stick out, Princess Mako lived in halls of residence with other students while studying for a Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Studies back in 2015.
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