Public controversy and a wedding delay steered Japan’s Princess Mako’s plans possibly to wed and move to America. Although there has been no official confirmation, the word is in the air, sweeping over social media.
Mako, daughter of Japan’s crown prince and niece of Emperor Naruhito, sister to Prince Hisahito, 14, currently the only eligible male heir to the throne besides his father as Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne can be only succeeded by male members of the family, and the offsprings of female royals who marry commoners are not included; has persisted through numerous interruptions in her plans to marry sweetheart Kei Komuro.
Japan’s imperial succession rules mean that 29-year-old Mako will lose her title following her marriage to a commoner.
Last year, Crown Prince Akishino voiced that he supported his daughter’s marriage, but that she needed to win the public’s “understanding”. But she has seemingly decided to skirt the issue by marrying without the usual ritual ceremonies that folow a royal wedding, and forsaking a lump sum payment given to female royals who marry commoners. The size of the payment is unknown, though reports put it at 137 million yen ($1.2 million) or more.
The pair’s decision to wed without some traditional ceremonies and reject a payout that usually goes to female royals marrying out of the royal family, is under scrutiny.
Allegations have been made that Komuro’s mother borrowed money from a former fiance and failed to repay it. And with a tabloid reporting on the claims, an uproar befell the young couple in a country where the royal family is held to stringent standards. Consequently Komuro moving to the US for law school was widely seen as a bid to defuse the negative attention.