After her cousin Princess Mako, 26, gave up her royal title last year so she could marry her fiancé, Kei Komuro, in 2020, Japan’s Princess Ayako chose to follow her heart and give up her title as well. According to an official announcement Princess Ayako, 27, is doing her and is set to get engaged to her boyfriend, 32-year-old commoner Kei Moriya, in August and will marry him in October.
Even though Prince Harry and Prince William both married commoners and remained in the British royal family, that’s not always de rigueur across the globe. In Princess Ayako’s case, she’ll have to leave the Japanese royal family as soon as she gets married.
Moriya works for a Japanese shipping company, and he and Princess Ayako met through their parents last year. Funny enough, Princess Ayako’s mom introduced them to inspire her to advocate for human rights, but obviously that didn’t go exactly as planned and they fell in love.
When Princess Ayako gets married in October, she’ll be the second princess to leave the family in the last two years – the other was her cousin Princess Mako. Princess Ayako’s older sister, Princess Noriko, also left the royal family in 2014 when she married a commoner. After Princess Ayako and Moriya get married, the Japanese royal family will only consist of 17 members. (If any princes are looking for a princess, HMU.)
That said, Japanese legislators are reportedly working on changing the laws that mandate the male-only order of succession and force women who marry commoners to leave the family.
But even though having to leave her family – not to mention a royal family – to marry the person she loves probably isn’t ideal, Princess Ayako is kind of living her best life right now. Major props and the best of luck to her!