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How & Why Japan’s Princess Ayako Forfeited Her Royal Title

Japan’s Princess Ayako gives up royal title after marrying out of the royal family - Reuters

Japan’s Princess Ayako married early on Monday, and lost her royal title and privileges in doing so.

In a small ceremony attended only by close family and friends, Japan’s Princess Ayako and her groom Kei Moriya married at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Monday.

Dressed in a light-yellow uchiki kimono embroidered with pink flower and green leaves, 28-year-old Princess Ayako entered the shrine dedicated to the deified souls of her great-great grandfather Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, only to come out a commoner.

She is the youngest child of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamodo, first cousin to Emperor Akihito and seventh in line to throne before passing away in 2002.

While male members of the Japanese royal family keep their titles regardless of whom they marry, the law isn’t the same for female members.

If a female member of the royal family chooses to marry a person without royal or aristocratic blood, she will have to forfeit her title, as well as status and allowance.

Princess Ayako’s husband, Kei Moriya, is a 32-year-old employee of Nippon Yusen KK, one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in the world. Nonetheless, he is not of a royal bloodline.

However, she will not move into her new home empty handed. Although she won’t be a princess or a royal, she will receive a one-time sum of $950,000 from the Japanese government for living expenses.

According to Japanese Imperial Law, female members of the royal family cannot ascend to the throne, a position that can only be held by male members. On April 30, 2019, the much-loved current Emperor of Japan, Akihito, plans to abdicate the throne in favor of his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

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