Japan's Princess Ayako forfeits royal status to marry commoner

Princess Ayako of Japan, the youngest daughter of Emperor Akihito's late cousin, gave up her royal status to marry a commoner Monday in a traditional ceremony in Tokyo, the Japan Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

The princess, 28, married 32-year-old Kei Moriya at the Meiji Shrine, the newspaper reported. Moriya works for Nippon Yusen, a shipping company, Reuters reported.

The princess lost her royal status after the marriage was legally registered, the Times reported. Under Japan's succession law, women in the royal family forfeit their titles, allowance and status if they marry a commoner.

The princess arrived at the shrine in traditional clothing -- a kimono robe and hakama pants -- with her hair tied in the osuberakashi ancient style for noblewomen, the newspaper reported. Moriya wore a suit.

The couple exchanged rings during the Shinto ceremony, which was attended by about 30 people including family members.

“I’m very happy that many people were able to celebrate (our marriage),” the princess told reporters following the ceremony. “We want to make efforts to become a couple like my mother and father.”

The princess’ father “would have rejoiced in my marriage,” she told reporters.

It was the first marriage involving an Imperial family member since October 2014, when the princess' older sister, Noriko, 30, married Kunimaro Senge, 45, the Times reported.

Princess Ayako became Ayako Moriya after signing her marriage papers, Reuters reported.

About the Author