Japan's Princess Ayako Ditched Her Royal Title to Marry a Commoner

30 October, 2018, 13:38 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Japan Royal Wedding

During a press conference at the time, Princess Ayako recalled meeting her future husband.

Japan's princess Ayako on Monday married a commoner in a ritual-filled ceremony Monday at Tokyo's Meiji Shrine, meaning she will lose her royal status.

Princess Ayako's wedding took place in the serene confines of Meiji Jingu, a shrine surrounded by forests in central Tokyo which is dedicated to the spirit of the bride's great grandfather Emperor Meiji.

But if you were thinking that (no longer) Princess Ayako and her new hubby are going to end up scrimping and saving to get by, you'd be completely wrong - although she won't benefit from the royal allowance any more, she will get a lump sum of $950,000 (106.75 million yen/£740,000) from the Japanese government for living expenses.

The 28-year-old princess is the youngest daughter of Norihito, Prince Takamado, who died in 2002, and Hisako, Princess Takamado.

"I am filled with happiness", Ayako told reporters after the ceremony. 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".

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According to the Imperial Household Agency, a staff member will register the couple's marriage at the Minato Ward Office in the afternoon, and the princess will officially become a private citizen.

Akihito has said he will abdicate.

Princess Ayako bid farewell to Emperor Akihito last week, appearing before him wearing a tiara and a pale Western-style gown. "I want her to create a bright family that can make everyone smile".

The 85-year old will hand over power to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, on May 1. "I hope they will make a wonderful couple", said Yasuyuki Goto, 33, a friend of Moriya.

After signing her marriage papers, Princess Ayako became Ayako Moriya under Japan's Imperial Succession Law.

Akihitio's abdication and the forthcoming marriage of his granddaughter Princess Mako reignited debate about the role women play in Japan's monarchy and whether imperial law should change to allow women to inherit the throne.

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