It sounds like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren't the only royals who can break from tradition! Princess Mako of Japan announced in 2017 that she was engaged to her non-royal fiancé, Kei Komuro. Per CNN, the wedding has been on hold while a dispute over finances was settled, but it appears that all are ready to move forward.
Read on for everything we know about the upcoming royal wedding, how Princess Mako met her fiancé, and what her net worth is.
Princess Mako met her fiancé while attending Tokyo's International Christian University.
Mako is the niece of Japan's current emperor and will be married on Oct. 26, 2021. The Wall Street Journal reports that Princess Mako, 29, has been engaged to aspiring lawyer Kei Komuro, also 29, since 2017. The pair met at Tokyo's International Christian University, although Kei has since graduated from Fordham University's law school and sat the bar exam in the United States.
Mako and Kei's wedding was initially postponed due to a financial dispute between Kei's mother and her ex-boyfriend, who helped pay for Kei's college education. Earlier in 2021, Kei released a 28-page statement explaining his mother believed the financial assistance was a gift.
Like many who have married into royal families, Kei has been scrutinized by the Japanese press for everything from his family history and father's suicide to the ponytail he wore returning to Japan from his job in New York City. Kei is employed by Lowenstein Sandler LLP. He graduated from Fordham Law last year.
In response to the public scrutiny her impending marriage is facing, Mako has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. WSJ reports that Mako has been aware of the negativity surrounding her decision for some time now, and in a November 2021 statement provided by the palace, she said, "Marriage, for us, is a necessary choice to keep on living as we protect and value our own souls."
Upon her marriage, Mako will change her name to Mako Komuro, and she will obtain the rights afforded to regular Japanese citizens such as the right to vote. Post-marriage, Mako and Kei plan to move to New York.
What is Princess Mako's net worth?
Princess Mako's father is Crown Prince Akishino and the first in line to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne occupied by his older brother, Emperor Naruhito. Traditionally, Japan's imperial law indicates that only male heirs are allowed to inherit the throne, and marrying a commoner means Mako will be foregoing her royal status altogether. Currently, her net worth stands at an estimated $1.5 million.
Akishino had reservations about his eldest child marrying Kei per WSJ, saying he didn't believe the Japanese people were ready to celebrate the union. He has, however, since amended to say that he wouldn't stand in Mako's way if her mind was made up. Female heirs who marry commoners are typically afforded a parting gift of 150 million yen ($1.35 million) to adjust to non-royal life.
However, statements from the Japanese government indicate Mako will be declining the money and other traditional ceremonies. Isao Tokoro, an emeritus professor at Kyoto Sangyo University and expert on imperial family history, said that by rejecting the money and the formalities, “It is a kind of declaration of severing ties,” Mr. Tokoro said. “It will be viewed as practically equivalent to eloping.”