Princess Mako, member of the Imperial family of Japan, has made headlines recently with her decision to marry former schoolmate Kei Kumoro and thus loosing her royalty status. In movies and TV series, we often see instances when a person has to give up his old life for the sake of love. Human as we are, we tend to daydream that someday, someone will be willing to sacrifice something for our happiness. This love story is now seen in real life as portrayed by a real-life Princess and a commoner. The couple, both 25, met when they were both studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo, and is expected to be officially engaged in mid-June of this year at the earliest and marry sometime in 2018, sources said.

The royal princess will leave the imperial family after marrying a commoner, as the law states.

Shrinking royal family

Concerns about the shrinking size of the imperial family arise, which currently has 19 members, 14 of whom are females. The princess will be the first to be engaged among the four grandchildren of the emperor and Empress Michiko. In addition to Princess Mako, there are six other unmarried princesses who will also lose their royal status if they marry commoners. This raised the probability of the imperial family not having enough members to continue carrying out its public duties.

It happened before

This occasion once occurred before, as Princess Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Princess Mako’s aunt, married a commoner in the year 2005.

That was the first time a member of the Japanese Imperial family became a commoner: Sayako never had children, and was left to adapt to a modest one-bedroom apartment, shop at supermarkets, and fend for herself in a more humble surrounding after being wed to an urban planner for Tokyo City government. In doing so, she gave up the royal allowance, although she gained the right to vote and pay taxes.

As stated in the Imperial law, the throne shall only be passed to a male successor and women are not allowed to reign on the throne. At the moment, the Japanese royal family counts only three possible future emperors: Crown Prince Naruhito, his younger brother Crown Prince Akishino, and Akishino's son, Prince Hisahito.

Man of the hour

Princess Mako's fiancé Kei Komuro found himself at the centre of a global media frenzy. Several networks camped out in front of the law offices where he works as a paralega, l to focus on the man who has stolen the princess's heart. However, Komuro declined to answer questions about their relationship, telling reporters that he would talk about it when the time comes. About Kei Komuru, we know he once served as a Prince of the Sea to promote tourism in the Kanagawa Prefecture in 2010. He also held part-time jobs at a French restaurant and a cram school where he taught English, according to The Japan Times. So far, the response of the public had been generally positive. However, people are wondering what the upcoming marriage will mean for the future of the monarchy.