Princess Mako Will Still Marry a Commoner, but With a Hitch

Japanese princess will forgo $1.35M payment to give up royal status
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2021 9:50 AM CDT
That $1M for Princess Giving Up Royal Status? Not So Fast
Kei Komuro, fiance of Japan's Princess Mako, arrives at Narita International Airport in Narita, Japan, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

It's been a bumpy road for Japan's Princess Mako and her fiance, college sweetheart Kei Komuro, as they've prepared for their wedding over the past three-plus years, with controversy swirling over the finances of Komuro's family. At least the couple, both 29, could console themselves with $1.35 million to start them off in their new life—the amount Princess Mako would be given to renounce her royal status, a requirement for marrying a commoner like Komuro. Their marital wallet just got a little thinner, however: Local media reports that the princess plans to turn down the payment, and the government will agree to her decision, per CNN.

Kyodo News reports that Komuro arrived in Japan on Monday from his home in the US, his first time back to Japan in three years. Sources tell the news agency that after Komuro quarantines for two weeks under COVID protocols, the couple will hold a presser together. They reportedly plan to announce a wedding date in October, with it likely taking place before the end of the year, per the Japan Times.

The couple—who announced their plans to marry in 2017 and who sources say will make their new home in the US, where Komuro works for a law firm—have had a series of setbacks during their engagement, including media reports over a financial issue involving Komuro's family. Apparently, his mother and an ex-lover are in a dispute over about $36,000 that was used to pay for Komuro's education, and the royal family wants it all cleared up before the wedding.

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The Times notes that under the Imperial Household Law of 1947, royals who decide to wed commoners must leave the royal family, as well as give up their titles and any right to receive an allowance from the government. Princess Mako and Komuro's wedding is expected to be held without the usual pomp and rituals. The paper details much more about the "not-so-fairy tale" of their path to the wedding aisle. (More Princess Mako stories.)

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