They say that you cannot choose who you fall in love with. Thus, when Princess Ayako of Japan found herself falling in love with a commoner, Kei Moriya, the former princess found herself torn between choosing her royal status or keeping the love of her life.
Princess Ayako is the youngest child of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Norihito. Princess Ayako’s father is the first cousin of Emperor Akihito. In observance to their culture and tradition, women of royalty has to give up her royal status if she wishes to marry a commoner.
Just this 29th of October, Princess Ayako chose to turn her back from her royal status in order to marry Kei Moriya. Held at the historical Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya tied the knot in front of the family and friends closest to their hearts. Around 1,000 people extended their well wishes and happiness for the loving couple who defied social classification.
After surrendering her royal status in the name of love, the former princess was garbed in a traditional pale yellow kimono embroidered with red flowers and green leaves. On the other hand, her husband, Kei Moriya was dressed in a morning suit with pinstriped trousers. Together, the loving couple offered prayers at the Meiji Shrine.
For the former princess, there is no other place perfect to be wed at besides the historical Meiji Shrine. Princess Ayako has a soft spot for the Meiji Shrine for it was built in year 1920 to commemorate her great great grandfather, Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.
“I’m filled with joy to marry and to have so many people visit us at the Meiji Shrine and congratulate us,” Princess Ayako shared her happiness in one of her interviews. “I am very happy that we held the wedding at this Meiji Shrine where my great grandfather Meiji Emperor is worshiped. I feel so happy.”
After officially becoming a husband and wife, the dashing groom did not hide how captivated he was by his wife’s beauty.
When groom who works in a shipping company was asked about his plans in the future, Kei did not hesitate to share his plans of building a family.
“I would like to support her firmly and, hand in hand, build a happy family with lots of laughter.” The dashing groom shared.
Because Princess Ayako chose to marry a commoner, Ayako has now officially renounced her title as a princess. In addition, since she is no longer a royalty, she will receive a lump sum of $950,000 from the Japanese government to support her living expenses.
The former princess assured the public that though she has surrendered her title as a royalty, she will not stop supporting the imperial family. According to the former princess, she was taught at a very young age that it is her duty to support the emperor and the empress. Even her marriage to Kei Moriya, the love of her life, will not change that.
“I will leave the imperial family today, but I will remain unchanged in my support for his majesty and her majesty,” The former princess said.
Kampai to the former princess Ayako and Kei Moriya, who proved to the world that true love conquers all. May their matrimony be blessed with happiness and long-lasting love!
Watch the video below and learn more about the princess who gave up her royalty in the name of love!
Photos and Video | BBC News and Japan Press