Japan's Princess Mako married her college boyfriend on Tuesday, giving up her royal title.
Under Japanese law, female imperial family members forfeit their status upon marriage to a "commoner" although male members do not.
Mako also skipped the usual rites of a royal wedding and turned down a payment offered to royal females upon their departure from the family. She is the first female member of the royal family to decline both, according to a BBC report.
In a news conference with new husband and commoner Kei Komuro, Mako said her marriage to Komuro had been inevitable despite the strong opposition to it.
Japan's Princess Mako married her college sweetheart, giving up her royal title and saying she was determined to build a happy life with her husband after a tumultuous engagement https://t.co/nQoFa8znKb pic.twitter.com/VUvVaYLPYd
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 26, 2021
"Kei is irreplaceable for me. For us, marriage is a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts," Mako said at a news conference.
Mako – now known as Mako Komuro – was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) earlier this year after an engagement plagued by a money scandal, intense media scrutiny and a three-year separation from her fiancé.
She said "incorrect" reporting on her new husband had caused her "great fear, stress and sadness".
"The flow of arbitrary criticism of Kei's actions, as well as one-sided speculation that ignored my feelings, made falsehoods somehow seem like reality and turn into an unprovoked story that spread," she added.
The two announced their engagement in 2017 at a news conference that was widely welcomed in Japan. But the situation soon took a nasty turn as local tabloids reported on a money scandal involving Komuro's mother, triggering a wave of criticism in the media.
The marriage was postponed, and he left Japan to study law in New York in 2018, keeping in touch with Mako through the Internet. They were reunited again this month.