Princess Mako of Japan to Wed ... and Become a Commoner

The 25-year-old will marry former classmate Kei Komuro
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 16, 2017 9:45 AM CDT
Passers-by in Tokyo Tuesday watch a TV news reporting that Princess Mako, the granddaughter of Japan's emperor, is getting married to Kei Komuro.   (Hitoshi Takano)
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(Newser) – Princess Mako, the granddaughter of Japan's emperor, is getting married to an ocean lover who can ski, play the violin, and cook. The news comes via public broadcaster NHK TV and has been confirmed by the Imperial Household Agency, reports the Japan Times. Kei Komuro, the man who won the princess's heart, was a fellow student at International Christian University in Tokyo, where Mako, 25, also graduated. They reportedly met at a restaurant in Tokyo's Shibuya about five years ago at a party to talk about studying abroad. Komuro is currently a graduate student. Women can't succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne in Japan, the AP reports, and once she marries, Mako will no longer be a princess and will become a commoner.

Mako's father and her younger brother are in line to succeed Emperor Akihito, but after her uncle Crown Prince Naruhito, who is first in line. The Times notes Mako is the first of Akihito's four grandchildren to become engaged. The process building up to the wedding, said to likely take place next year, is expected to be full of ritual, as Japanese nuptials, especially royal ones, tend to be. First there will be an announcement, the equivalent of an engagement, and then a date for the wedding will be picked and the couple will make a formal report to the emperor and empress. NHK says Mako has already introduced Komuro to her parents, and they approve. (Read more Emperor Akihito stories.)

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