Princess Mako of Japan is officially sacrificing her royal status to marry a commoner. The eldest granddaughter of Japanese emperor Akihito held a press conference on the Akasaka Estate in Toyko on Sunday to confirm the news about her engagement.
“First I was attracted by his bright smile,” Mako said of her fiancé, law clerk Kei Komuro, during the press conference, according to The Telegraph.
The 25-year-old princess met 25-year-old Komuro five years ago, when the two were students at the International Christian University in Tokyo. Komuro proposed to Princess Mako a year later after dinner one evening in December 2013, but the news about the princess's decision to leave the throne didn't make headlines until earlier this year.
Princess Mako said she announced the news to her parents, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, as someone she wanted to “share her future with.”
Emperor Akihito is expected to abdicate in late 2018 and will be succeeded by his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito. Princess Mako's father is currently second in line for the Chrysanthemum Throne. The only family member left in the line of royal succession is Princess Mako's younger brother, 10-year-old Hisahito of Akishin. Akihito's three other grandchildren are all women.
Princess Mako isn't the only woman in the royal family to give up the royal title for romance. Mako's aunt, Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akhito, similarly renounced her title in 2005 when she married a town planner, Yoshiki Kuroda.
Princess Mako and Komuro are set to tie the knot in 2018.