Japan's former royalty, ex-princess Mako, has left her country with her commoner husband, Kei Komuro, after receiving criticism of their romance, with plans of starting their life in the United States.
Now known as Mako Komuro after dropping her royal title, the ex-princess married her college sweetheart last month. The two 30-year-olds were greeted by various media journalists at Tokyo's Haneda International Airport before boarding an ANA flight. The couple was waived by supporters of their marriage.
Japan's Ex-Princess Mako
Mako was later seen wearing a green overcoat and white mask after landing at New York's JFK International Airport. The ex-princess was photographed while waiting for luggage to be loaded into a vehicle.
Royal family doctors previously revealed that Mako suffered post-traumatic stress disorder this year after her engagement with Kei received widespread scrutiny. The marriage of the two ignited a public dialogue about gender roles and put the royal family in the spotlight of media coverage nationwide, Reuters reported.
The ex-princess's husband, Kei, is a graduate of Fordham University law school and is currently working at a New York law firm. However, he has yet to pass his bar exam, a piece of information that has garnered him criticism despite it being common for people to pass the bar after multiple attempts.
In an interview last month, Kei said that he loved Mako after the couple registered their marriage in Tokyo. The event was done without a wedding banquet or any other common celebratory rituals that many Japanese royals use. Kei said that he wanted to live his only life with the person that he loved.
While Japan may be viewed by many outsiders as being modern in many ways, the country's people generally value family relations and the status of women is viewed as somewhat antiquated that is rooted in feudal practices, Yahoo News reported.
Life After Royalty
Now that Mako no longer has the royal family supporting her, many wonder what the couple's life would be like now that they've moved to have their own lives in the United States. The two reportedly will live in a rented apartment in New York to stay within close proximity of Kei's work.
On the other hand, the former princess is allegedly in the process of securing a visa so that she can work in the U.S. When Mako left the royal family, she was entitled to a $1.23 million payment, which the couple refused to accept.
Mako has become the first imperial family since World War II to not accept the payment that royal members are entitled to after leaving their family. In a statement, the former princess said her decision was fueled by criticism surrounding her marriage.
In a press conference after the couple's wedding ceremony, the two apologized to the public for any issues that their romance has caused. "To me, Kei is a very important, indispensable existence," said Mako. "Mako and I would like to build a warm, nice family. Happy times, unhappy times, we would like to be together, and we will be indispensable to each other," said Kei, the New York Post reported.