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Princess Mako bows out of Japan's royal family as she marries commoner - and APOLOGISES for 'trouble' their engagement caused while condemning press coverage that left her with PTSD

  Princess Mako of Japan has given up her royal title to marry her commoner boyfriend in a move that has sharply divided public opinion.  Ma...

 Princess Mako of Japan has given up her royal title to marry her commoner boyfriend in a move that has sharply divided public opinion. 

Mako, 30, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and niece of reigning Emperor Naruhito, tied the knot with university sweetheart Kei Komuro, a commoner, in Tokyo on Tuesday after an eight-year engagement.

Japan's strict laws of succession forbid women from ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne and force them to give up their titles if they marry commoners. 

The low-key ceremony, which was met with protests, was held behind closed doors without any of the pomp and pageantry of other Japanese royal weddings, which traditionally include a reception and banquet. Her aunt and uncle, the reigning Emperor and his wife, also enjoyed a parade through the streets of Tokyo on their wedding day.

Mako's nuptials were a far more solitary affair. The princess, simply dressed in a blue frock with a bunch of white flowers, bade farewell to her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and mother Crown Princess Kiko, with a bow outside their residence at Akasaka Estate early Tuesday, before sharing a hug with sister Princess Kako, 26.  

She then went alone by car to marry Komuro at a registry office, away from cameras and a public who are divided over the relationship. Afterwards, the newlyweds held a press conference in a somberly-decorated hotel function room which they paid for, in which they apologised for any distress that their union has caused.  

Reading out a prepared statement, Mako defended her decision to marry, describing Kei as 'irreplaceable' and saying 'our marriage is a necessary step for us to be able to protect our hearts.' She also criticised news reports written during their engagement which she accused of spreading false information and 'one-sided rumours' that had left her 'feeling sadness and pain.' The royal household previously revealed she is suffering PTSD. 

The newlyweds then bowed for the cameras before departing to start their new life, which is likely to be based in the US where Komuro is working for a law firm. 

The decision has led to comparisons with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who also turned their backs on royal duties to live privately in the US.   


Mako, 30, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and niece of reigning Emperor Naruhito, tied the knot with university sweetheart Kei Komuro, a commoner, in Tokyo on Tuesday after an eight-year engagement. They have been engaged since 2013 and were due to marry three years ago, but the wedding was delayed following a financial scandal involving his mother

Mako, 30, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and niece of reigning Emperor Naruhito, tied the knot with university sweetheart Kei Komuro, a commoner, in Tokyo on Tuesday after an eight-year engagement. They have been engaged since 2013 and were due to marry three years ago, but the wedding was delayed following a financial scandal involving his mother

Japan's Princess Mako (left) has given up her royal title in order to marry commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro (right) in a ceremony stripped of all pomp and glamour in Tokyo

Japan's Princess Mako (left) has given up her royal title in order to marry commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro (right) in a ceremony stripped of all pomp and glamour in Tokyo

At the press conference, the couple read out prepared statements in which they apologised for any distress their marriage has caused - but defended their decision to go ahead with the ceremony

At the press conference, the couple read out prepared statements in which they apologised for any distress their marriage has caused - but defended their decision to go ahead with the ceremony

Mako shares a hug with her sister, Princess Kako of Akishino, as she departs from their residence at the Akasaka Estate in Tokyo on her way to the wedding ceremony. She waved goodbye to her parents, pictured left

Mako shares a hug with her sister, Princess Kako of Akishino, as she departs from their residence at the Akasaka Estate in Tokyo on her way to the wedding ceremony. She waved goodbye to her parents, pictured left 

High profile: Princess Mako of Japan, right, donned a traditional Jūnihitoe as she took part in a procession through Tokyo's Imperial Palace to mark her uncle's formal ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 2019

High profile: Princess Mako of Japan, right, donned a traditional Jūnihitoe as she took part in a procession through Tokyo's Imperial Palace to mark her uncle's formal ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 2019

Protesters hold banners during a march against the marriage between Japan's Princess Mako and her fiance Kei Komuro

Protesters hold banners during a march against the marriage between Japan's Princess Mako and her fiance Kei Komuro

The low-key service is a far cry from the pomp and ceremony that surrounded the wedding of the then-Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako in June 1993. Pictured, a motorcade through central Tokyo

The low-key service is a far cry from the pomp and ceremony that surrounded the wedding of the then-Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako in June 1993. Pictured, a motorcade through central Tokyo

There were also no official portraits, like these ones taken of then-Crown Prince Prince Naruhito and his wife Crown Princess Masako with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko after their wedding at the Imperial Palace June 9, 1993 in Tokyo

There were also no official portraits, like these ones taken of then-Crown Prince Prince Naruhito and his wife Crown Princess Masako with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko after their wedding at the Imperial Palace June 9, 1993 in Tokyo

Traditional dress: Emperor Naruhito, then Crown Prince, wearing a sokutai and holding a shaku. The photo was taken prior to their wedding ceremony in Tokyo in 1993

Traditional dress: Emperor Naruhito, then Crown Prince, wearing a sokutai and holding a shaku. The photo was taken prior to their wedding ceremony in Tokyo in 1993

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and his wife Crown Princess Masako bow to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a ceremony to greet them at their wedding at the Imperial Palace in June 1993

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and his wife Crown Princess Masako bow to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a ceremony to greet them at their wedding at the Imperial Palace in June 1993


Formerly the Princess of Akishino, Mako, who previously held a high profile position within the royal family, has now taken her husband's name and will go by Mako Komuro - the first time in her life that she has had a surname.

In his pre-prepared statement, Kei apologised for any distress caused but said that he loved Mako and would support her throughout their life together.

'I love Mako. We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love,' he said. 'I feel very sad that Mako has been in a bad condition, mentally and physically, because of the false accusations.'

The couple did not answer questions to make the experience easier for Mako, but did issue a page of written responses to five pre-selected questions.  

One asked about Mako's condition, to which she responded: 'Not good'. 

Mako and Komuro met at Tokyo's International Christian University in 2013 and became engaged in secret, before announcing their intention to marry in September 2017. 

But the wedding was delayed following a financial scandal involving an unpaid debt allegedly owed by Kei's mother and suggestions he was marrying for money.   

The dispute involves whether money his mother received from her former fiancé was a loan or a gift. Mako´s father asked Komuro to clarify, and he wrote a statement defending himself, but it is still unclear if the dispute has been fully resolved.

In the wake of the scandal, he moved to the US to study law and recently graduated from Fordham University in New York, where he now works for a law firm. 

He returned to Tokyo last month before it was announced that the pair would finally wed.

As part of the announcement, the royal household said Mako would forgo all traditional ceremonies and surrender a £1million payment she was entitled to according to Japanese tradition.

She is the first imperial family member since World War II to not receive the payment while marrying a commoner and chose to do so because of the criticism over her marrying a man some consider unfit for the princess. 

The pair are now expected to move to the US to start a new life together. 

'There will be different kinds of difficulties as we start our new life, but we'll walk together as we have done so in the past,' Mako said, thanking everyone who supported the couple.

Mako, apparently referring to mental health issues, noted 'many people have difficulty and hurt feelings while trying to protect their hearts'. 

She said: 'I sincerely hope that our society will be a place where more people can live and protect their hearts with the help of warm help and support from others.' 


Princess Mako shares a few final words with her family before the arrival of a car which took her to get married to university sweetheart Kei Komuro in a simple ceremony carried out in Tokyo

Princess Mako shares a few final words with her family before the arrival of a car which took her to get married to university sweetheart Kei Komuro in a simple ceremony carried out in Tokyo

Princess Mako (in the car) waves goodbye to her father Crown Prince Akishino, mother Crown Princess Kiko, and sister Princess Kako as she leaves their royal residence on her way to get married

Princess Mako (in the car) waves goodbye to her father Crown Prince Akishino, mother Crown Princess Kiko, and sister Princess Kako as she leaves their royal residence on her way to get married 

Mako waved goodbye to her family in front of the cameras early Tuesday before going alone to marry Kei in a registry office, ahead of an afternoon press conference the couple gave together

Mako waved goodbye to her family in front of the cameras early Tuesday before going alone to marry Kei in a registry office, ahead of an afternoon press conference the couple gave together

Mako was forced to give up her royal title due to Japanese traditions around marrying commoners, and voluntarily skipped royal wedding traditions and ceremonies along with a £1million payment to which she was entitled

Mako was forced to give up her royal title due to Japanese traditions around marrying commoners, and voluntarily skipped royal wedding traditions and ceremonies along with a £1million payment to which she was entitled

Mako and Kei arrive at the press conference
Mako and Kei arrive at the press conference

Mako and Kei got married in a registry office on Tuesday before holding a press conference in a hotel function room which they paid for, where they bowed for waiting cameras

Kei (left) and Mako (right) met at university and got engaged in secret in 2013 before announcing their betrothal to the country in 2017, sparking a ream of negative press coverage that left Mako suffering PTSD

Kei (left) and Mako (right) met at university and got engaged in secret in 2013 before announcing their betrothal to the country in 2017, sparking a ream of negative press coverage that left Mako suffering PTSD

Princess Mako
Kei Komuro

Mako - who will now go by her husband's surname, Komuro - and Kei gave statements after the wedding, apologising for any distress their union has caused the country but defending their decision to wed

Kei and Mako present themselves to the press as newlyweds, marking the first time in four years that they have been pictured together after news of their engagement was revealed

Kei and Mako present themselves to the press as newlyweds, marking the first time in four years that they have been pictured together after news of their engagement was revealed

Kei said during the press conference that Mako 'has been in a bad condition' amid a maelstrom of criticism about their marriage, and that it has left him feeling 'very bad'

Kei said during the press conference that Mako 'has been in a bad condition' amid a maelstrom of criticism about their marriage, and that it has left him feeling 'very bad'

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