Japanese Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, is giving up her royal status to marry a former college classmate, Japanese media reported, heating up debate on the ever-shrinking royal family.
The Imperial Household told CNN plans are underway for the 25-year-old princess to become engaged to Kei Komuro, also 25, a law firm worker. The couple met five years ago as students at the International Christian University in Tokyo.
Japan’s imperial law states a princess who leaves the imperial family upon marriage will be a commoner.The last to do so was Princess Mako’s aunt, Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akhito, who married town planner Yoshiki Kuroda in 2005.
The news has reignited concerns about the shrinking size of the imperial family, which currently has 19 members, 14 of whom are female. Imperial law only allows the throne to be passed to male heirs, of which there are only three: Crown Prince Naruhito, his brother Crown Prince Akishino, and Akishino’s son, Prince Hisahito, the CNN reported.
Six unmarried princesses, other than Princess mako, will lose their royal status if they marry commoners. This has raised concerns that the imperial family will not have enough members to continue carrying out its public duties.
Source: Deccan Chronicle