Princess Ayako marries commoner

Princess Ayako weds in Tokyo

Japan's Princess Ayako marries commoner, loses royal status

The daughter of the late Prince Takamodo, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, married Kei Moriya at Tokyo's Meiji Shrine on Monday morning.

The 28-year-old princess and the 32-year-old employee at shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K. will tie the knot in a traditional ceremony at Tokyo's Meiji Shrine, almost a year after their first encounter.

Princess Ayako of the Japanese imperial family has given up her royal title after marrying a commoner Kei Moriya.

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Speaking to the Sunday Times newspaper, the source said: "If you have one private office trying to manage both, things get hard ". In a clip from the documentary Queen of the World , the 37-year-old was tearfully reunited with her incredible wedding ensemble.

She also said her late father Prince Takamado, who died in 2002, "would have rejoiced at my marriage" if he were alive, adding that the top hat Moriya was holding had been her father's. As he is not a member of the imperial family, the princess forfeited her title today to become plain Mrs Moriya. From now on, she will be known as Mrs Kei Moriya.

The shrine where the ceremony took place is of huge symbolic importance. It was opened in 1920 and is dedicated to the deified souls of Ayako's great-great grandfather, Emperor Meiji, and his wife, Empress Shoken.

Hanako Takeda, a 27-year-old friend of the princess from her school days, said she was "overwhelmed" with a flood of memories when she saw the couple walking together as bride and groom.

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"How happy I am that many people have celebrated [our marriage]".

Her split from the royal family comes at a time when women's roles in Japan's monarchy are being called into question. The country's much-loved Emperor Akihitio announced that he will abdicate on April 30, 2019, passing the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son Crown Prince Naruhito.

"It is a sensible option and necessary in terms of managing risk but the elite conservatives that govern have resisted strongly despite robust public support for female succession", said Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan and author of upcoming book Japan.

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While members of the Japanese imperial family have been able to choose who they marry for three generations, according to Al Jazeera, women who marry commoners must renounce their royal status while male members who do the same are allowed to stay in the family.

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