Princess Mako to lose royal status by marrying commoner

News Hour:

A member of Japan’s royal family, Princess Mako, is to surrender her royal status by marrying a commoner.

The 25-year-old eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito will become engaged to law firm worker Kei Komuro, also 25, whom she met while studying together.

Japan’s imperial law requires a princess to leave the royal family after marrying a commoner.

The move is expected to reignite debate on royal succession, with the emperor also possibly abdicating soon, reports BBC.

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro met in 2012 at a restaurant, when they were both studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

What happens now?

The Imperial Household told local media that plans were under way for the princess’s engagement.

According to the Associated Press news agency a public announcement will be made, and then a wedding date will be set. AP said the couple would also make a formal report to the emperor and empress.

The engagement will only be official after a ceremonial exchange of gifts, local media said.

Asked about their engagement plans, Mr Komuro on Wednesday was quoted as saying: “Now is not the time for me to comment, but I want to speak at the right time.”

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