Japanese Princess gives up royal status to marry

Внучка императора Японии выходит замуж за простолюдина

Princess Mako and Mr Komuro, both 25, first met while studying at Tokyo's International Christian University.

Princess Mako shared she likes his smiles which seemed "like the sun".

They happened to sit nearby at a briefing session on the university's student exchange program, and subsequently began dating.

Referring to the princess's achievement in fostering momentum for the Japanese tennis circle, Watanabe said, "It's regrettable that she leaves the imperial household at this time, but I wish her happiness for many years to come".

The couple maintained a long-distance relationship as Mako studied in Britain and Komuro in the US for one year.

It is official! Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, will be tying the knot with her former classmate, Kei Komuro, from her university.

Women can't ascend to the throne in Japan, nor can they retain their royal status if they marry a commoner.

Sunday was picked for the announcement as about two months have passed since the disaster and in light of the schedules of the Emperor, the Empress and the parents of Princess Mako, as well as the impact on Komuro's work.

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"He is a honest, strong-minded, hard worker, and he has a big heart". However, news of the engagement - and Mako giving up her royal status - didn't make headlines until earlier this year. They announcement was originally planned for July, but they chose to postpone it following the heavy rains and flooding in northern Kyushu that month.

Mako is a part-time researcher at the University of Tokyo's University Museum.

Her fiance-to-be, a resident of Yokohama, works at a law firm in Tokyo.

While the couple have officially announced their relationship, their engagement will become official only after a traditional rite of betrothal called Nosai no Gi takes place, Japan Times reports.

On Sunday evening, Princess Mako and Komuro were slated to have a dinner with Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko and Komuro's mother at the residence of the young princess' parents in the Akasaka estate.

In early June, Japan's parliament enacted a one-time change in the law which will allow the 83-year old Akihito to abdicate in favor of his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito, 5, for Japan's Chrysanthem Throne.

Prince Hisahito is now third in line to the throne after his uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito, and his father Prince Akishino.

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