Most of us commoners don’t give it a second thought when we meet our one true love at University, but Princess Mako tells a different story. The eldest granddaughter of Japanese Emperor Akihito plans to give up her royal status to marry Kei Komuro, a commoner. Princess Mako met Komuro five years ago when they both attended International Christian University in Tokyo, (The Telegraph, 2017.)
Although the betrothal is still unofficial, the media has already gotten to know Komuro and his likes and hobbies. The Imperial Household Agency has not yet commented nor given an official announcement. As Princess Mako gives up her status, she will take on new rights as a citizen that can vote, pay taxes, and she will have to learn simple tasks such as shopping at the market, (BBC, 2017.)
With Princess Mako’s wedding plans and Emperor Akihito’s plans to step down, the imperial family is shrinking. Due to their somewhat outdated law that enforces male succession only, there are only four possible heirs to the throne. Princess Mako is not the first women royalty from the imperial family to abdicate her status. In 2005, her aunt Princess Sayako married a commoner. Rumors of changing legislation are surfacing, however, it most likely will not focus on the male-succession law, rather it will focus on the abdication laws, (BBC, 2017.)
Princess Mako and her lover Komuro’s plans to wed seem to be igniting something within the imperial family that is challenging ancient laws and norms. The pair, both 25, have the approval of her parents and the on looking support and love of most Japanese citizens.