The Japanese Imperial Court announced the marriage of Princess Mako to Kei Komuro, as a result she lost her royal title and place in the royal family. In addition, the couple will now move to New York City so Komuro can pursue his career in law.
The couple’s journey to the altar has been anything but easy.
They announced their engagement three years ago, but due to a financial controversy with Komodo’s mother it was delayed. The Japanese Imperial Court is notorious for being one of the most stifling and repressive in the entire world.
It has literally driven women insane, from former Empress Michiko, who fell into a silence for two months due to an “deep sadness,” to current Empress Masako, who struggled with what the court called “adjustment disorder” for about ten to fifteen years. During that time, she hardly performed royal engagements and did not visit any foreign country for an official tour. This is despite the fact that the Empress was a highly accomplished professional before marrying her husband. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, the former diplomat speaks English, French and German, in addition to her native Japanese.
By any measure, the Japanese Imperial Court would be blessed to have such a successful woman as the Emperor’s wife.
But that’s not what happens in Japan.
Due to the fact that only men can inherit the throne, the Empress was under immense pressure to have a male heir. She suffered at least one miscarriage and later on had a child, a girl. Though she is the daughter of the Emperor, she can never inherit the throne and will lose her title and place in the family when she marries.
The court is well-known for it’s rampant misogyny, and is stifling for those women unfortunate enough to marry or be born into it.
That’s why Princess Mako’s announcement is both promising and bittersweet.
Determined to marry her college sweetheart, the princess is forsaking everything she’s known for life in the currently crime-riddled city of New York. She and her husband also rejected a million dollar payout they could have received from the court, despite the former princess suffering post-traumatic stress from the criticism she and her fiancé received after announcing their engagement.
As part of their departure, they officially “apologized” to the public for the controversy caused by the the press and court over Komuro’s mother financial situation.
They left for love on their terms, but also did so with respect to the family and institution that Mako was raised in. The couple’s actions are diametrically opposed to those taken by Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, who had a much easier time than Princess Mako and her love.
Instead of leaving the royal family with grace and renouncing their titles to pursue their private interests, the couple demanded money, security, homes, titles for their children and told the Queen that they would continue working for her and the royal family when it suited them. It was beyond arrogant and disrespectful.
This announcement, now known as Megxit, was given to family members minutes before its as released to the rest of the world. Shocking the family, and an elderly woman, and giving them little time to come up with a response.
Over the next year, they’ve used their titles to secure multimillion-dollar deals, while at the same time making baseless and vague accusations of racism against an unknown family member.
The lack of respect they’ve given the institution that made them relevant is shocking.
Mako did her family proud, by bowing out of the family gracefully and keeping good family bonds, despite some of the controversy of her engagement and choice in a commoner for a husband. Harry and Meghan should take notes and follow her example.