Thursday, December 9

Princess Mako is reunited after three years with the man for whom she has rejected a million euros | People

Princess Mako, in the sanctuary of the Three Palaces, in Tokyo, last Tuesday, in one of the acts prior to the link.
Princess Mako, in the sanctuary of the Three Palaces, in Tokyo, last Tuesday, in one of the acts prior to the link.KYODO (Reuters)

Once upon a time there was a princess who had no aspiration to be rescued by a prince charming. Mako de Akishino has spent four years dealing with the incessant media bombardment and opposition from the most traditionalist sectors for having been carried away by a true love that, in her case, has a name and surname and does not boast of a royal title. The eldest niece of Emperor Naruhito will marry Kei Komuro, her college boyfriend, on October 26, and will become the first Japanese princess in modern times to break with tradition: there will be no Shinto ceremony and she will renounce the extra dowry of one million euros for women of the imperial family who leave the institution after marrying a common citizen. Once the union is formalized, the couple will leave the country to settle in New York in search of a new life.

A lot has happened since that public appearance of two smiling young people who announced with enthusiasm and complicity their future marriage, back in September 2017. Princess Mako, who this Saturday celebrates her 30th birthday, met nine years ago who is her fiance today, when both were studying at the International Catholic University of Tokyo. Komuro proposed to her in 2013, four years before it was no longer a secret. But the wedding, originally scheduled for November 4, 2018, was postponed to 2020 in anticipation “that the couple could make the relevant preparations.”

The real reason for the delay was that the groom’s mother, Kayo, owed about 30,000 euros to her ex-partner; she claimed it was a gift and he a loan. The scandal and the fact that blue blood does not flow through the veins of the princess’s fiancĂ© made headlines that contributed to spurring some disdain from a very conservative part of the Japanese people and that, as confirmed earlier this month by the House Agency Imperial, have caused Mako herself to suffer from PTSD. In August 2018, Komuro moved to New York to study at Fordham University School of Law, where he has resided ever since.

But the long wait for the couple seems, this time, to come to an end. The Japanese version of the Enrique-Meghan tandem met again on Monday for the first time in three years and only one week after getting married. The meeting took place in Akasaka, the family residence of Crown Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko. Dressed in a suit and tie, Komuro made an appearance without a trace of the ponytail with which he landed in Japan at the end of September, a hairstyle that, unsurprisingly, did not go unnoticed in the most frivolous forums of social networks. As reported by the newspaper Japan Times, more than 60 journalists and photographers, as well as hundreds of onlookers, flocked to attend a highly publicized appointment that had been postponed because the boyfriend had to serve quarantine.

According to the local newspaper Asahi ShimbunDuring the three-and-a-half-hour meeting, Komuro, 30, told his future in-laws how his life is in Manhattan, where the couple will move in December, when he will also learn the result of the official exam to practice law in the territory U.S. In the pages of the newspaper, in addition, it is added that he probably also clarified the resolution of his mother’s financial problems.

One day before the meeting, Mako attended, for the last time as a member of the royal family, the ritual Kannamesai, which consists of making an offering for the new rice crop at the Kashikodokoro shrine, located in the Imperial Palace. On Tuesday, she returned to visit alone this temple dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, as well as two others located in the same palace complex, where she worshiped her ancestors, and prayed to the deities of heaven and earth.

The Imperial Household Agency has notified that the princess plans, as tradition dictates, to formally inform her uncle, Emperor Naruhito, and his wife, Empress Masako, of her marriage plans this Friday and, on Monday, to meet with his grandparents, the emperors emeritus Akihito and Michiko.

The big day, however, will be exempt from all the pomp that surrounds such royal events: it will be the first civil wedding of a member of the imperial family since the end of World War II. Several media outlets in the country point out that Fumihito, who publicly blessed the controversial union during his 55th birthday, considers that a traditional ceremony under the Shinto rite has no place if a segment of society opposes the link. Despite the fact that the eldest daughter of the crown prince cannot access the Chrysanthemum Throne because she is a woman, the most conservative factions do not accept that she leaves the genealogical tree of the Yamato dynasty to marry someone who, in this ancient slang that resists go out of style, is labeled a commoner.

Once the couple legalizes the marriage in the Tokyo civil registry on October 26, Mako will lose his royal status and leave Akasaka’s residence, where he will also say goodbye to his imperial jewels. The princess will have to get rid, among other jewels, of the tiara carved exclusively with diamonds that she received a decade ago, when she reached the age of majority (until this year, in Japan she was 20 years old; now, 18), and that has since shown at annual New Years receptions and other official functions. Made by the national firm Wako, it presents a floral design and is reminiscent of the lilies that her mother brought to her wedding.

Mako will go down in the history books, in addition, as the only woman in the imperial family who has renounced the amount of 152.5 million yen (almost 1.2 million euros) that corresponds to her for leaving the institution after marrying with a person outside of royalty. The couple are expected to hold a press conference at a hotel in the capital the day after the ceremony, the first in nearly four years.

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