Princess Mako to leave Japan's royal family and marry commoner

She rejected a payment of more than $1 million traditionally given to help start life outside the royal family

Japanese Princess Mako will marry a commoner this month, renouncing her royal status, the palace announced on Friday.

Her fiance, New York-based lawyer Kei Komuro, arrived back in Japan on Monday. He is self isolating in Yokohama City, near Tokyo, as part of coronavirus precautions.

The couple will submit the registration of their marriage with a municipality on October 26, the date considered the luckiest on the Japanese calendar, the Imperial Household Agency said. None of the usual traditional ceremonies for Imperial family members' weddings will be held.

Princess Mako, who turns 30 three days before the wedding, is a niece of Emperor Naruhito. She and Mr Komuro, 29, were classmates at Tokyo’s International Christian University.

Imperial House Law allows only male succession. Female members of the royal family must renounce their royal status when they marry a commoner – a practice that has resulted in a decline in the size of the royal family and a shortage of successors to the throne.

Princess Mako also declined the 150 million yen ($1.35 million) she is entitled to on leaving the imperial family, palace officials said. She will become the first female imperial family member since the Second World War to not receive the payment when marrying a commoner.

Updated: October 1st 2021, 9:52 AM