Princess Mako & Kei Komuro will rent a one-bedroom apartment in New York

Embed from Getty Images

I am really rooting for Princess Mako and Kei Komuro. Mako seems like a sweetheart and Kei seems like a very modern man. They had to wait ten years and countless melodramas before they could get married this week in Tokyo. Their wedding was not some glamorous affair – they simply went to some registrar’s office and had a very simple civil ceremony. Mako’s parents didn’t even go to it. Neither did her sister. No one is saying whether or not Kei’s family was there. It definitely feels like these two are all alone in the world, without much familial support in either direction. And now their grand adventure begins: they will move to New York shortly. And they will live in a one-bedroom apartment!

Princess Mako and her new husband are going to leave Japan and reportedly live together in a one-bedroom New York City apartment after she gave up her royal title and left her family’s imperial estate in Tokyo.

The couple are planning to move into an apartment together in Tokyo before moving to the U.S. and living in New York City where Komuro works as a lawyer at the New-Jersey based law firm Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

Mako, who previously lived in the imperial residence of Akasaka Estate in Tokyo, and her new husband are planning to rent a one-bedroom apartment which they would finance themselves, reports Japanese broadcaster NHK. The cost of rent for a single bedroom apartments in New York’s most sought after neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in lower Manhattan, ranges from $3,000 (£2,200) to $11,000 (£8,000) per month.

Mako declined the offer of 140million yen (£890,000) payment to which she was entitled for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said, and is expected to find a job in New York. She is the first imperial family member since the Second World War to not receive the payment and chose to do so because of criticism of the marriage.

Mako and Komuro’s ceremony, which was met with protests, was held behind closed doors on Tuesday without any of the pomp and pageantry of other Japanese royal weddings, which traditionally include a reception and banquet. Her aunt and uncle, the reigning Emperor and his wife, also enjoyed a parade through the streets of Tokyo on their wedding day. Mako’s nuptials were a far more solitary affair. The princess, simply dressed in a blue frock with a bunch of white flowers, bade farewell to her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and mother Crown Princess Kiko, with a bow outside their residence at Akasaka Estate early Tuesday, before sharing a hug with sister Princess Kako, 26.

[From The Daily Mail]

I’m glad that she plans to look for a job too! I wonder if they’re going to put off starting a family for a year or two, just so they can get used to their new life together in New York. If I was in her place, it would have been hard to say no to that money, just as a nest egg and emergency fund to set up my new life. But maybe she – correctly – believed that if she took the money, her family and the Japanese people would still feel some ownership of her and her life. So she’s leaving Tokyo with little more than some suitcases full of clothes, I would imagine. My guess is that they’ll both be fine with moving into a one-bedroom apartment too. There will probably be some culture shock in general, but then they’ll begin to enjoy the grand adventure.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

44 Responses to “Princess Mako & Kei Komuro will rent a one-bedroom apartment in New York”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Snuffles says:

    Good luck girl! I also expect them to take a year or two to get settled in NY and their new life. Have fun decorating your new apartment and making it your own!

    I suspect both of them already know people in New York who will help them adjust.

  2. Murphy says:

    Even though she won’t be living in a huge palace anymore, she has an exciting new life full of possibilities in front of her, I’m really happy for her.
    I hope they would let her sister visit her but that may not be a great idea for them since she’d probably be like “wow this is awesome, I want out too!”

  3. Commonwealthy sounded witty at first says:

    I hope the media leaves them alone. They don’t seem to be seeking public profiles, so there isn’t legitimate public interest in their lives. For example, this article added nothing to my enjoyment of celebrity gossip. Until Mako and Kei indicate they want my eyeballs, I don’t want their news.

    Also, good for her turning down that golden parachute so she can be truly free. Same energy as H&M paying back Frogmore. Remember how much they were bludgeoned over the head with renovation costs??? Madness.

  4. lanne says:

    Declining the money is the freedom tax, just like Meghan and Harry paid the 3 million used to update Frogmore Cottage to bring the wiring and the structure up to code was a freedom tax. Both couples cut the cord neatly, so that the institution has no more financial tie to them. It won’t make a difference–the Japanese ratchets will still behave as if she’s subject to royal strictures even though she isn’t. But at least she’ll be in another country, able to live her own life on her own terms. I definitely hope their paths cross with the Sussexes!!

  5. CE says:

    A one-bedroom in Manhattan can certainly be luxe. I for one couldn’t afford what I’m sure they’ll end up in. Good luck to them

  6. LidiaJara says:

    She’s going to be just fine without the nest egg. I read she wants to work for a museum or gallery? A former princess is going to be a very sought-after employee. Remembering all the new money / old money snobbery in NYC when old money means like 150 years 😂 So happy for her and their new life!

  7. tatannelise says:

    They are just the cutest. I am rooting for them on all levels!

  8. Tanya Nguyen says:

    She should have taken the money. She is entitled to that money and it was her just due. After everything that both of them have had to put up with for the last couple years, I would have taken that money with no regrets. That could have been a down payment on a house. A man in her situation would have taken the money.

    • Snuffles says:

      She might have a little nest egg if her own. Didn’t she have an art museum job in Japan recently? She could have been saving every penny of her salary while living in the imperial household on their dime. They’ve been planning on getting married for years. I could see her saving for the day she made a break for her freedom. I mean, it’s not millions like Harry, but she probably has enough to get herself off the ground.

      ETA: She was working for the University of Tokyo’s museum since 2016 as a project researcher.

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      @tanya That was my thought. Because while everyone is polishing up the grand adventure of renting a one bedroom apartment, the truth is, $1 million to get a not-even-luxe home in New York would have given them much needed help. Maintenance costs range from $1,400-$5,000 per month. And gallery work doesn’t pay squat, and lawyering is no longer a pot of gold.

      If they are going this bare, I hope that they are allowed to be anonymous here. Because honestly, people like that usually require some kind of security.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Sometimes it’s worth giving up what’s due of it means a clean break from a toxic situation, which this is more and more sounding like. For better or worse, American culture is very individualistic, and for two people seeking happiness when they’re being told to sacrifice it for a family and community that frankly hasn’t earned it, that might be a good influence.

      • LillyfromLillooet says:

        I mean fine? As long as they don’t end up being kidnapped by the Yakuza?

      • Veronica S. says:

        I don’t see much reason for the yakuza to go after them. Most criminal organizations aren’t stupid enough to kidnap public figures with high level connections, even if they’re only semi-public. That’s a great way to bring scrutiny into your illicit business that you don’t want. There’s simply no financial incentive to invite that much attention to yourself when your whole model is built on working in the shadows.

        There are literally millions of people in New York surviving every day without big money behind them. They already have a leg up on most in that their education has been paid for and the fact that they have networking and connections behind them. They may not be living in the biggest luxury condominium available, but they’ll probably have enough to live comfortably.

    • Deering24 says:

      There were probably a ton of hidden strings with that money. Best to make a clean break.

    • Ella says:

      I think this is partly a difference between American and Japanese values. It’s not about getting money she’s entitled to, it’s about making it on her own. She’s chosen to be independent and, as much as is within her power, beyond reproach. I think refusing the money was admirable and I don’t necessarily agree that a man in her position would have taken it.

  9. February-Pisces says:

    I’m all for another princess making a bid for freedom. The fairytale is dead, freedom and independence is the new dream. I don’t know much about their story, I feel like it must be pretty dramatic . Good luck to them, I wish them all the best in their new life.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    Her sister put out a statement of support after she left. So she has some family support. Even if her parents had approved of her husband she would have to give her title and leave the Royal Household. That’s the rule for Japanese princesses who marry commoners.

    • Malificent says:

      I’m guessing that both families may be personally supportive. But they would have to maintain a distance from the marriage for media reasons. I’m sure her parents got orders from the IHA to not look too approving. And his mom’s “scandalous” single motherhood and unfortunate choice in ex-boyfriends would just feed the media sharks if it was known that she went to the city hall with them for the wedding.

  11. Krista says:

    Don’t all Japanese princesses get a tiara/necklace set for a specific birthday? I wonder if it’s hers or just on loan? If it’s hers she could sell it if they are truly strapped for cash, I guess?

    • Liz says:

      The sets belong to the Imperial Household, not the princesses. “Hers” went back into a vault, alongside the set that had been worn by her aunt, the Emperor’s sister Princess Nori (now known as Sakayo Kuroda).

    • fireweaver says:

      Unfortunately the parure gets sent back to the royal vault where it will either get recycled for the diamonds or given to a princess in the next generation or two to use(if there are any more princesses!)

    • P says:

      They do get a jewelry set, that includes a tiara, but once she marries, she has to give it up.

    • Feeshalori says:

      Too bad she couldn’t take the parure and sell it, that would have helped with their new apartment.

  12. ARHUS says:

    He is very handsome, can’t say I blame her! Hope it all works out well for them.

  13. DuchessL says:

    I want to send them my best wishes!! Hope they’re happy forever. I dont know them at all, but i love them already. Fck that money, leave fresh and new!!! I hope to see her working in a top museum guiding a Japanese expo!

  14. Theothermia says:

    I love this rebel Royal wedding

  15. Still in my robe says:

    I hope if they choose to have a family, that they have boys, lots and lots of boys…

    • Snuffles says:

      I don’t. The imperial household might come after them eventually.

      • Mel says:

        They can’t make them do anything they don’t want to. Those children will be American citizens, raised in NYC, they will know to say NO ESPECIALLY if they don’t ever see or hear from the family.

  16. Gil says:

    In Japan when you get married you just fill out and application at the city hall. If your application is granted you get your marriage license delivered to your home the next week. So “technically” they are not married yet. It’s nothing like America where you get a judge that tells you “you might kiss the bride”. It’s just papel work. Because of the COVID restrictions I think only the interested parts can go to do that paperwork.

  17. Athena says:

    A lot of young people are now renting in sections of Brooklyn which the Japanese media may not be aware of.
    I would like to think that privately her family is offering some financial support and once they’re here her mom and siblings can secretly come over for a wedding reception.

    Harry was right, a lot of these Royals are trapped. For a life of luxury they have no freedom and have to answer to people who thinks they own them, and none of this by choice but an accident of birth.

  18. Theothermia says:

    I think this post and the previous post about them is missing the “royals” tag.

    Please include! I wanna follow royal stories but avoid the Baldwin story.

    I love this coverage I’m so happy for them.

  19. MarJo says:

    Good for her. And I hope Japanese tabloids will never find the address.

  20. AmelieOriginal says:

    Lord, this whole story has been blown out of proportion just because Kei’s mother’s ex-fiance (boyfriend?) caused a fuss over a loan that Kei’s mother owed him? And some of that money may have been used to finance Kei’s studies? Not a great story but also not that scandalous all things considered, basically a dispute over money and who owed who. And Kei said he was going to repay/had repaid the ex-fiance. And the IHA can’t tolerate any kind of controversy so poor Mako was denied any kind of wedding celebration and her family wasn’t allowed to attend the simple civil ceremony due to appearances. Sure, she’s the older sister of the future emperor but… this whole thing is just so stupid. I’m glad they stuck to their guns, they can live in privacy in NYC and do whatever they want.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      Honestly, that’s more the excuse to bitch about the working class dude marrying an Imperial Princess. What was expected was for her to marry some dude from either one of the old noble families or from one of the collateral branches of the Imperial Family that got cut off after WWII, or at the VERY least some guy from a very old money family.

      Much like with Harry, they don’t really care what the spouse IS so much as what the spouse IS NOT.

  21. Lila says:

    Good for them! The comments she made about the media showed she’s got the internal fortitude to do this on her own. I hope they have the space to live their lives together how they would like. They’ve certainly earned it.

  22. Ange says:

    I often wonder how these super privileged types go once they’re on their own. Managing a household (even a small one) must be like some weird new adventure.

  23. HannahB says:

    Coming in sooo late to this, but I am disgusted that the man who was engaged to Kei’s mother, after he brought this (true or untrue) financial issue to the attention of the Japanese tabloids, was deliberately not named.

    Kei’s mother was shamed and slandered (to the extent that she was forced to quit her job for her own safety), while her son was striving to put in place a foundation for himself and Princess Maku. In this sense, the parallels berween H&M and them is so very clear.

    Protect, or elevate, the sh*t-stirrer, and go after the other parties with everything you have. I feel so much for this couple, and for Kei’s mother. I wish them all health and happiness away from the misogyny of Japanese society.

  24. Bread and Circuses says:

    I very much get the feeling this is a Harry and Meghan situation — “That’s it, we’re out, and we’re making extra certain we owe you nothing, so lose our number.”

  25. JaneBee87 says:

    I seriously hope H&M invite them for a double date next time they’re in NY. Even better, they team up for an Archewell event/campaign. It is so satisfying to see these couples overcoming the odds and independently thriving despite toxic family backgrounds.