Princess Mako Gave Up Her Title And Over A Million Dollars For Love!
Scandals in the royal family are the topic that often hits the headlines. Although we have got used to the fact that the most talked about events in the court of Elizabeth II, controversies do not avoid other royal families as well. In recent days the public's gaze has been directed at members of the Japanese emperor's family. The Emperor's niece, Princess Mako, caused a huge stir when she announced that she was going to marry a man "from the people", which is tantamount to leaving the court and losing her title. But the scandal didn't end there. The 30-year-old also declared that she has no intention of accepting the more than $1 million salary that is traditionally paid to members of the royal family who lack status. Such an unprecedented decision has never happened before in the history of postwar Japan. Why does a member of the royal family reject her privileges? Who is her chosen one? Is it possible that the imperial court nearly decided not to allow the marriage of a princess and a commoner? Read on to find out about a scandal that recently swept over a nation.
The Japanese Imperial Family
The current reigning ruler of Japan is Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in May 2019. His brother is Prince Akishino, father of three children - son Hisahito and daughters Kako and Mako. Akishino is the likely heir to the throne because the current emperor has no son. But as it turns out, titles of nobility aren't all that important to members of his immediate family. Mako, the emperor's niece, has decided to leave the court and give up being a princess. This is not the first person among the ruler's relatives who have made such a shocking decision. In 2005, the ruler's sister, Sayako Kuroda, stopped being a princess after marrying a city official. She began working as a normal commoner and thus made history in Japan as the first woman of the imperial family to have a profession and earn her own money. In 2017, history came made a circle. Princess Mako decided to marry a man of the people. However, the wedding was called off. Why? Read more…
Princess Mako has relinquished her title
Princess Mako was extremely popular in Japan even before the news of her wedding came out. Young people, especially girls, had her as their idol and closely followed everything related to the princess. Mako began studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo, and there she met Kei Kumoro at lectures. The man comes "from the people" and no "blue blood" flows in his veins, but that did not stop love. The couple fell in love with each other, and in 2017 there was an engagement. This involved a decision to get married, and its announcement caused quite a stir in Japan. According to local tradition, the princess marrying a commoner means she will cease to be a member of the imperial family, which didn't stop Mako from setting a date for the ceremony in 2018.
Princess Mako's wedding canceled
The princess also announced that she was forgoing all traditional rituals during the ceremony. This fueled the atmosphere of scandal, but the climax was yet to come. The wedding was eventually canceled, with the official reason given as being that the decision to marry was made too quickly. The princess released a statement saying that she and her fiancé needed to plan everything calmly and think about what their life together would look like. She explained that the decision to marry was made public too early and asked for forgiveness due to her immaturity in the matter. However, she did not reveal whether the wedding would be postponed to another date.
Controversy over Princess Mako's wedding
The Japanese media found completely different reasons for the cancellation of the ceremony. They wrote that the imperial court pressured the princess not to get married, all because of the controversy surrounding her fiancé's family. Shortly after the engagement was announced, rumors surfaced about Kei Kumoro's mother's serious financial problems. The woman was said to have taken out a loan from her former partner of 4 million yen, or over $35,000, and then never repaid it. It was suggested that Kumoro wanted to take an aristocrat as his wife to help him pay off the family debt.
Did Princess Mako's wedding take place after all?
The criticism and numerous rumors swirling around the princess' wedding have led to a public statement from her father. Prince Akishino said in November 2020 that he agreed with the ceremony and approved of his daughter's choice. Quoting the constitution, he said that marriage should be based on mutual consent of both parties, and since Mako and Kei want to be together then he, as a parent, should respect their decision. In the end, the couple did get married on 26 October 2021, 3 days after Mako’s 30th birthday. But there was no big party or royal celebration as the couple merely went to register their marriage in Tokyo after which they held a press conference.
Princess Mako gives up more than $1 million
The fact that Japanese law strips a princess of her title after marrying someone "of the people" was widely discussed back in 2017 when news of the planned ceremony first broke. Mako, as the future wife of a man not from the royal family, will become an ordinary subject and will have to take a job to support her family. However, with the loss of status comes a certain privilege. According to prevailing tradition, the government grants female members of the imperial family compensation of 150 million yen, or about $1.3 million, upon leaving the court. The money is paid so that the woman can lead a decent life at the right level. Princess Mako has decided to give up this salary! How is this possible? Read on…
Why Did She Give Up The Money?
The decision to reject more than $1 million has caused quite a stir throughout Japan. This is the first case of this kind since the war, so there was much consternation in the government. There is not even a law governing the case of refusal to accept compensation, but according to the Japan Times, the princess' decision will be respected. Although Princess Mako herself has not revealed the reasons why she has given up the money, it is said to be due to a financial scandal involving her fiancé's family. At the same time, her future husband has announced plans to repay his mother's debts.
What Happened To Princess Mako After The Wedding?
After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds had planned to leave Japan and so they did. They moved to the United States, specifically in New York, where the princess' fiancé had already moved to study and start working as a lawyer. At the beginning of July, Kei Komuro passed the New York State Bar Examination and then came to Japan to prepare for his wedding to Mako. The princess has received an education worthy of a member of the royal family and has graduated in museology from the University of Leicester. So she will probably seek a position in her profession and enjoy life away from the royal court.
Japan wants to change the law
For centuries, Japan has had a law that strips women of their imperial title if they marry someone "from the people”. But the royal family continues to shrink, reducing the pool of potential heirs, and some lawmakers want to change the prevailing rules. In March 2021, the government discussed such changes for the first time. Plans were suggested to include former members of the royal family as heirs and to include female heirs as well. No concrete decisions have been made, however, and only time will tell whether the government will actually decide to revolutionize Japan's centuries-old law.
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