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Japan’s Princess Mako gives up royal title to marry "irreplaceable" college sweetheart

CA, 27 Oct 2021
Japan's Princess Mako, the niece of the emperor, married college sweetheart Kei Komuro on Tuesday, giving up her royal title and saying she was determined to build a happy life with her "irreplaceable" husband after a tumultuous engagement.

In an unusually frank joint news conference with her new husband, Mako said "incorrect" news reports about Komuro had caused her great sadness, stress and fear. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) earlier this year after a four year engagement plagued by money scandals and intense media scrutiny.

The two, 30, were married in the morning after an official from the Imperial Household Agency (IHA), which runs the family's lives, submitted paperwork to a local office registering their marriage.

The couple broke with tradition by foregoing the rituals and ceremonies usual to royal weddings, including a reception, while Mako also refused the one-off payment of about $1.3 million typically made to royal women who leave the imperial family after marriage.

Japan initially cheered the couple's engagement announcement four years ago, but things turned sour soon after, when the tabloids reported on a money scandal involving Komuro's mother, prompting the press to turn on him and the marriage to be postponed. Komuro left Japan for law studies in New York in 2018 only to return in September 2021.

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