Japan’s Princess Mako, the niece of the emperor, married college sweetheart Kei Komuro on Tuesday(October 26), giving up her royal title and saying she was determined to build a happy life with her “irreplaceable” husband after a tumultuous engagement.
Mako wearing a pastel dress and pearls, said goodbye to her parents, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and her 26-year-old sister, Princess Kako, at the entrance to their imperial home. Though all wore masks in line with Japan’s coronavirus protocol, her mother could be seen blinking rapidly, as if to fight off tears.
Mako bowed formally to her parents, but her sister grabbed her shoulders and the two shared a long embrace.
Mako and Komuro were married in the morning after an official from the Imperial Household Agency (IHA), which runs the family’s lives, submitted paperwork to a local office registering their marriage.
Japan initially cheered the couple’s engagement announcement four years ago, but things turned sour soon after, when the tabloids reported on a money scandal involving Komuro’s mother, prompting the press to turn on him and the marriage to be postponed. Komuro left Japan for law studies in New York in 2018 only to return in September 2021.
The couple will not hold any ceremonies or events for their marriage and they will live in New York after Mako applies for the first passport of her life.