Japanese Princess Ayako’s forthcoming engagement to a shipping firm employee has been announced by Imperial Household Agency, meaning that she will be the second princess in as many years to give up her royal title.
Japan’s Princess Ayako has chosen to follow her heart and give up her royal title. According to an official announcement reported in the Japanese Times, Princess Ayako, 27, is set to get engaged to her boyfriend, 32-year-old commoner Kei Moriya, in August and will marry him in October.
This after her cousin Princess Mako, 26, gave up her royal title last year so that she could marry her fiancé, Kei Komuro, in 2020.
Even though British royals, 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. Interestingly, 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 the Japanese 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.
The Imperial family now has only one unmarried male — 11-year-old Prince Hisahito, the only grandson of Emperor Akihito — raising concerns over the sustainability of the male-only succession tradition in what is believed to be the world’s oldest monarchy, the Japanese Times reports.