Japanese Princess Gives Up Her Royal Status To Marry A Commoner
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Japan's Princess Ayako has renounced her royal status after marrying a commoner, having wed in a ceremony at Tokyo's Meiji Shrine on Monday.
The 28-year-old, who is the daughter of Emperor Akihito's late cousin, married 32-year-old Kei Moriya, who works for major shipping firm Nippon Yusen KK.
"I am filled with happiness," she told reporters after the ceremony.
The MailOnline reports that Moriya said he hoped to help Ayako adjust to a commoner's life, explaining: "I want us to work together, hand in hand, to create a family filled with smiles."
According to Japan's imperial law, female members of the royal family must forfeit their title, status and allowance if they decide to marry someone who doesn't have royal ties.
The same rule doesn't apply to the male family members.
But if you were thinking that (no longer) Princess Ayako and her new hubby are going to end up scrimping and saving to get by, you'd be completely wrong - although she won't benefit from the royal allowance any more, she will get a lump sum of $950,000 (106.75 million yen/£740,000) from the Japanese government for living expenses.
There were around 1,000 well-wishers that turned out for the wedding, but the ceremony itself was a private affair which was attended by only close family members.
According to CNN, following final prayers, the couple emerged from the shrine as husband and wife. Moriya said he thought his new wife looked 'beautiful' as they took questions from reporters.
Ayako said she is 'awed' by how 'blessed' she feels, before explaining that growing up she was taught that her duty was to support the emperor and empress, adding: "I will leave the imperial family today, but I will remain unchanged in my support for his majesty and her majesty."
The venue of the ceremony is of huge symbolic importance to the royal family. It was opened in 1920 and is dedicated to the deified souls of Ayako's great-great grandfather, Emperor Meiji, and his wife, Empress Shoken.
Ayako said: "I am very happy that we held the wedding at this Meiji Shrine where my great grandfather Meiji Emperor is worshipped. I feel so happy."
Answering questions about how they met, the pair explained how their mothers were friends which led to the hitting it off.
Ayako said: "It didn't feel as though we had met for the first time," to which Moriya added: "And I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her."
Oh you guys.