By Lori Perkins
America is about to get another princess, although Princess Mako had to give up her title when she married her civilian husband in a civil ceremony in Tokyo today.
The marriage came after years of controversy over a financial dispute involving her husband’s mother resulting in the couple forgoing traditional ceremonies associated with a royal marriage. Following controversy over their engagement, Princess Mako turned down a 152.5 million yen ($1.3 million) dowry traditionally awarded to women in the royal family when they marry, making her the first to do so since WWII. She is now officially no longer considered a member of the royal family and is considered a commoner.
The couple met at Fordham University and were engaged for four years. Princess Mako is the niece of Emperor Naruhito.
According to Kyodo News, "The departure of Princess Mako from the Japanese royal family following her marriage to commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro casts a dark shadow over discussions on imperial succession and the dwindling number of eligible heirs."
There were 67 members of Japan’s royal family immediately after WWII. According to the Japan Financial Times, Japan's imperial household now consists of just 12 women and five men. There are only three heirs to the throne, which include a 15-year-old boy. Japan is one of a handful of modern monarchies that limits succession to males — Saudi Arabia and Morocco are among them. In the past two decades, several top political officials have considered changing the rules, to no avail, despite overwhelming public support for female succession.
Princess Mako told friends that the scandal and controversy left her with PTSD.
Let’s hope Megan and Prince Harry show them the American ropes.