Princess Mako of Japan will leave royal family to marry university boyfriend

Princess Mako the elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko will forsake her royalty to marry fiancé Kei Komuro a commoner she met at International Christian University in Tokyo

Princess Mako is set to lose royal status according to law in Japan's monarchy which underlines male-dominated nature.

During a press conference on Sunday, Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito, announced she will Wednesday her former university classmate Kei Komuro.

The two met during their freshman year and became close in 2012 when they took part in an orientation session for study overseas programs. The couple started dating even before they went overseas and continued their communication after.

Komuro said they kept in touch even though they were physically far from each other.

Princess Mako became engaged to Kei Komuro, a lawyer, in December 2013.

The decision means the princess will have to give up her royal title when they tie the knot. Since then she has attended official events as a member of the royal family, visiting victims of the 2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami.

'First I was attracted by his bright smiles like the sun, ' Mako said, smiling shyly.

Over time the princess learnt that he is a 'sincere, strong-minded, hard worker'.

"I would like to have a family that is always calm and peaceful". "While I worked to help the emperor and fulfill duties as a royal family member as much as I can, I've been cherishing my own life".

Mako graduated from ICU in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Art and Cultural Heritage.

At a press conference held at the Akasaka Imperial estate in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Sunday afternoon, Princess Mako and Komuro spoke about how their romance started and how they feel now.

She also knows sign language and works with the deaf community alongside her mother. He is said to be very photogenic and once won a tourism promotion contest to win the honour of "Prince of the Sea".

Her fiancé, Kei Komuro, is a 25-year-old law firm employee.

The official announcement was made in a news conference on Sunday by the Imperial Household Agency. This is called the traditional rite of betrothal called Nosai no Gi.

Princess Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, has expressed a desire to abdicate and is expected to do so in late 2018.

Bodyguards from the Imperial Guard are supposed to accompany Princess Mako when she goes out.

Mako, 25, is the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino, Akihito's second son.

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