She’s giving it all up in the name of love. Japanese Princess Ayako is the latest member of the royal family to give up her royal title in favor of a love marriage, according to The Japan Times.
Princess Ayako, who is the daughter of the late Prince Takamado, was seventh in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne before she opted to throw caution to the wind by announcing her plans to marry Kei Moriya, a commoner who works for Japanese shipping fim NKY Line and is a board member of a Tokyo nonprofit that benefits children.
According to The Japan Times, Princess Ayako, 27, first met Moriya, 23, through his mother, who was also on the board of the nonprofit, after Princess Ayako’s mom, Princess Takamado, introduced them to each other with hopes that Princess Ayako would learn more about philanthropy by working with the organization.
Princess Ayako then began dating and fell in love; they will officially become engaged on August 12 in a traditional Japanese court ceremony known as “Nosai no gi,” and then marry at the famed Meiji Jingu Shrine in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on October 29. Marrying Moriya means that Princess Ayako will no longer be considered royalty.
Not that Princess Ayako’s decision is without precedence. Just last year, her second cousin, Princess Mako, married a legal assistant and her college classmate, Kei Komuro, effectively giving up her own royal status. And even before that. Princess Mako’s aunt, Princess Sayako (the Emperor’s only daughter) also married a commoner.
It’s important to note here, though, that even if the princesses are forfeiting their titles, they would not have had a chance to take over the throne anyway, due to a longstanding history within the nation that prohibits women from taking the throne or passing their royal status down to their children. At present, there are only five male members of the royal family remaining, so the flight from royalty is noteworthy, to say the least.