In a shocking revelation, Japan's Princess Ayako announced her engagement to a commoner – a move that will cost her the royal status.
Last week, the 27-year-old princess presented her 32-year-old fiance Kei Moriya to the world. The couple announced that their wedding will take on October 29 at the Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo.
Princess Ayako, daughter of a late cousin to Emperor Akihito, is the second royal princess to marry a commoner in the span of two-years following Princess Mako's decision to marry her college classmate Kei Komuro in 2020.
Princess Ayako met her fiance in December last year after their mothers introduced them and they instantly hit it off.
“I don't know what my mother's intentions were in introducing him to me, but as the two of us went to various places together and shared our time and memories, we became naturally drawn to each other.
“I think we were able to come this far thanks to the wonderful ties started by our mothers,” the princess told the Express.
Moriya, a commoner and graduate of Keio University in Tokyo, works with shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K., also known as NYK Line.
In the Royal family, women lose their royal status after marrying. However, men form the royal lineage have no such restriction.
However, But as few of Emperor Akihito's children and grandchildren are male, there is a shortage of heirs to the throne.
The Japanese monarchy has an unbroken 2,600-year-long line of male succession.