Royals Who Gave Up Their Titles to Marry Commoners
Royals Who Gave Up Their Titles to Marry Commoners
Princess Ayako weds in Tokyo
30 October, 2018, 21:57
Princess Ayako of Takamado, the youngest daughter of Emperor Akihito's cousin Norihito, Prince Takamado, has married commoner Kei Moriya today in a ceremony at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.
Ayako and groom Kei Moriya were shown on Monday's national news walking slowly before guests at the capital's Meiji Shrine.
During the ceremony, which started around 11:30 a.m., Seitaro Nakajima, chief priest of Meiji Jingu, offered Shinto prayers, and the bride and groom exchanged wedding rings, shared a cup of sake and made wedding vows.
The bride, who wore her hair moulded into a heart-shape, wore a pale yellow kimono with red and green details with a purple ohakama - a traditional pair of Japanese clothing. She later changed into a red Japanese robe (right).
"I am filled with happiness", Ayako told reporters after the ceremony.
Despite a looming succession crisis as the Imperial family shrinks in size, laws continue to dictate that female members are unable to inherit the throne or maintain their royal status after marrying a commoner, unlike their male counterparts. Mr Moriya said he hoped to help Ayako adjust to a commoner's life.
Ayako bid farewell to Emperor Akihito last week. She added that her late father, who died in 2002, "would have rejoiced at my marriage", and added that the top hat Moriya was holding had been her father's.
Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate next year after the Japanese parliament passed legislation in 2017 to allow him to step down as a monarch.
But their love was strong enough for Ayako to eventually agree to marry Kei, offering this sweet anecdote about their first meeting, per The Japan Times: Their conversation was "so lively that it didn't feel like we had just met and that I had so much fun that I forgot about time". The princess said at the press conference that she accepted his offer in April as she was attracted to Moriya's "kind, smart and decisive" personality.
The widow of Prince Takamado was hoping to spark her daughter's interest in global welfare activities by meeting with Moriya, who is a board member of the nonprofit group Kokkyo Naki Kodomotachi (Children without Borders).
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