Japanese princess announces engagement to commoner, forfeits royalty

Princess Mako is the eldest granddaughter of Japan's Emperor Akihito.

Princess Mako and her fiance, Kei Mekuro became known earlier in May of this year and we reported the story herewhen it appeared that the couple would go on with their romance despite the conditions attached to such move.

Under Japanese cultural norms, whenever a princess marries someone who isn’t royalty, she is stripped of her status and becomes a commoner like her husband.

The Princess, 25 has now decided to let go of that so as to marry her ex-classmate, a commoner she met during her time at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

At an announcement made on September 3, she said she was first attracted to Kei Komuro's "smile like the sun".

"I've been aware since my childhood that I would lose royal status once I married,"  she said.

"While I've worked to help the emperor and fulfil duties as a royal family member as much as I can, I've been cherishing my own life."

In the televised conference, the groom-to-be, also 25, described the princess as someone who quietly watched over him "like the moon".

Princess Mako, 25, is the eldest child of Prince Fumihito, the emperor's second son.

An official of the Imperial Household Agency said their wedding will take place after the summer of 2018.

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