Japanese Princess Is Now a Commoner

Princess Ayako does it all for love
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 29, 2018 11:21 AM CDT
Japanese Princess Is Now a Commoner
Japanese Princess Ayako, right, dressed in traditional ceremonial robe, and groom Kei Moriya, left, speak to the reporters after their wedding ceremony at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.   (Kyodo News via AP)

Princess Ayako of Japan on Monday wed Kei Moriya at Tokyo's Meiji Shrine—and became Princess Ayako no more. Per imperial law, in choosing not to marry a royal, the 28-year-old had to give up her royal status. She'll be given a parting sum of $950,000 from the Japanese government, CNN reports. Ayako is the daughter of the emperor's cousin, and Moriya, 32, works for major shipping company Nippon Yusen. She bid farewell to Emperor Akihito last week. After emerging from the shrine, she said, "I will leave the imperial family today, but I will remain unchanged in my support for his majesty and her majesty."

The AP describes their wedding as a "ritual-filled ceremony" that involved sharing a cup of sake. She wore a Heian-era style hairdo, which is swept back into a ponytail, and a traditional robe splashed with red and green patterns, while Moriya wore coattails. She later changed into a red Japanese robe. "I am filled with happiness," she told reporters after the ceremony. Ayako and Moriya met because their mothers were friends and they hit it off immediately. Moriya said he had been attracted to her gentle spirit. "And I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her," he said. (The eldest granddaughter of the emperor is set to marry a commoner in 2020, and it's been a bit of a bumpy ride.)

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