Japanese Princess Turns Down $1.3M Royal Pay-Out To Marry Former Classmate
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Princess Mako of Japan has reportedly rejected a $1.3 million (£950,000) pay-out so she can marry a 'commoner' she met at university.
The 29-year-old is the niece of Emperor Naruhito and is engaged to her former classmate.
They're expected to announce their wedding date next month, as reported by Japanese broadcaster NHK.
However, she'll have to relinquish her royal title if she wants to marry Kei Komuro, 29.
The pair met while studying at Tokyo's International Christian University.
They announced their engagement in 2017, but the following year they said they had second thoughts about marrying so soon, CNN reports.
Four years on, they are still yet to tie the knot.
According to Japanese law, a princess must leave the royal family after marrying a 'commoner', but is given a substantial wedding sum of ¥150 million (£1 million) 'to preserve the dignity of a person who was once a member of the imperial family'.
However, due to financial complications, the princess won't take the large sum of cash because she doesn't want to keep waiting.
The government is set to agree that the princess forego the payment amid public criticism over her fiancé, NHK and others have said.
It will be the first time in Japanese post-war history that the payment has not been made.
The government has reportedly been in discussions about the matter as no other member of the royal family has refused the payment and there is no legal provision for such an occurrence, the Japan Times reports.
The Daily Mail reports that, in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency in November 2020, Princess Mako said: "For us, a marriage is a necessary choice to live and honour our hearts.
"We are irreplaceable to each other, and we can lean on each other in happy times and in unhappy times.
"It is difficult to tell anything concrete regarding our future plans and others at the moment."
The couple are reportedly planning to live in the US following the wedding.