First, some background: Princess Mako – seen in these photos – is the eldest granddaughter of Japan’s current monarch, Emperor Akihito. Princess Mako is the daughter of of Prince Akishino and Princess Akishino. She is 26 years old, and will turn 27 in October. She is well-educated and a very popular royal figure in Japan. Last September, Mako announced her engaged to a “commoner” named Kei Komuro. They met at college and had been together for about five years before their engagement. Their engagement made headlines locally and internationally because it was that odd twist of a fairytale: a princess choosing love over duty, because the way the Japanese monarchy works, if a princess marries a commoner, she has to renounce her title and leave the Imperial family. Well, as you can imagine, Mako has some second thoughts. She and Kei have now postponed their wedding!
Japan’s Princess Mako and her commoner fiance Kei Komuro have postponed their highly anticipated engagement and wedding until at least 2020, saying they were not yet ready for marriage. The wedding, which had been set for November, was to be a momentous occasion for the country and the Japanese royal family, led by Emperor Akihito, who plans to abdicate in April 2019.
But the couple said they were now having second thoughts about marrying so soon. “It is because of our immaturity and we just regret it,” the couple said in a statement Tuesday.
Excitement swept the country when the Imperial Household announced last year that plans were underway for the princess to marry a commoner she’d met five years previously at International Christian University in Tokyo. Before his introduction as the royal fiance, Komuro was better known as the “Prince of the Sea,” after appearing in a beach tourism campaign for the city of Fujisawa, south of the capital.
In the statement, Mako, 26, said they had “rushed various things” and needed more time to plan their future together. Komuro also is 26.
“I wish to think about marriage more deeply and concretely and give sufficient time to prepare our marriage and for after the marriage,” Mako said. The couple had planned to become formally engaged in a traditional ceremony on March 4, ahead of their wedding on November 4. Imperial Household sources told CNN the postponement was due to “lack of preparation.”
Princess Mako “came to recognize the lack of time to make sufficient preparations,” the household said.
I don’t understand the different explanations being given. If she’s having second thoughts and believes that she’s too “immature” to go through with it at this moment, so be it and I think she’s actually rather brave to admit that. But then why are royal sources claiming that it’s down to insufficient preparations? If they wedding had gone through, they would have had more than a year to plan the damn thing. I’m going more with Mako’s explanation, that it was more about immaturity and really wanting to spend some more time thinking about what this decision will mean for the rest of her life. Kei is likely the only serious boyfriend she’s ever had, and it’s possible – perhaps? – that she’s thinking, “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t settle for the first guy who asks?” What do I know though?
Photos courtesy of Getty.