Princess Ayako of Japan is no longer a royal after she got married to a commoner.
The 28-year old who renounced her royal status to wed a commoner, tied the knot on Monday morning October 29th in a Shinto ceremony at Tokyo’s historic Meiji Shrine. Her groom, Kei Moriya, 32, is a shipping executive.
A small group of about 30 family members attended the wedding ceremony, according to news reports.
Ayako, who is the daughter of the emperor’s cousin, spoke to reporters following the ceremony to express her joy.
How happy I am that so many people have celebrated (our marriage). We want to make efforts to become a couple like my mother and father.
Marrying a commoner means Ayako is no longer royalty. Women who marry into the imperial family become members of the family, but those who marry commoners, like Ayako, must leave.
With a diminishing royal line, however, changes have been brought to the protocol. To accommodate this need, on Friday, in a first of its kind historical change, Ayako’s mother, Princess Hisako, 65, announced her daughter would continue to retain patronage over two institutions.
Moriya said he hoped to help Ayako adjust to a commoner’s life, telling reporters:
I want us to work together, hand in hand, to create a family filled with smiles.
Ayako bid farewell to Emperor Akihito last week. She said Monday she hoped to continue to help the emperor and empress as a former member of the imperial family.