Japan’s Princess Mako is giving up her royal status for love. The Imperial Household said that plans for Emperor Akihito’s 25-year-old granddaughter to become engaged to graduate student Kei Komuro are currently underway, according to CNN. With an engagement, Mako will lose her title. Japan's centuries-old law requires a princess to leave the imperial family if she marries a commoner.
VER GALERÍA The Princess will give up her royal status when she marries Kei Photo: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images
While Kei is a commoner he does hold a “royal title.” The 25-year-old, who works at a law firm, starred as the “Prince of the Sea” in a beach tourism campaign for the city of Fujisawa. Mako and her “prince” met about five years ago at a study-abroad event held at a restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya district while they were both students at the International Christian University, NHK TV reported. Japan’s national broadcaster also noted that Kei has already met the Princess’ parents, Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko of Akishino, and they approve.
A formal announcement of the pair’s engagement could come as early as next month according to Japanese media. On Wednesday following the news of the couple’s imminent engagement, Kei declined to comment telling reporters, "When the right time comes, I'd like to talk about it.”
VER GALERÍA Kei has already met Mako's family (Mako, left, pictured with her parents and siblings, Prince Hisahito and Princess Kako) Photo: ISSEI KATO/AFP/Getty Images
Though Mako, who graduated last year with a masters degree in Art Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of Leicester, will lose her title by marrying Kei, it will not affect the royal family’s line of succession since women cannot succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Article 1 of the Imperial House Law states: “The Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by a male offspring in the male line belonging to the Imperial Lineage.” Mako’s uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito, is first in line to succeed Emperor Akihito followed by her father and ten-year-old brother, Prince Hisahito.