The eldest granddaughter of the emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, has now decided to give up her royal privileges in order to marry her former classmate, who she originally met at the International Christian University. Under the Japanese Imperial Household Law, which was passed in 1947, Princess Mako must leave the Imperial Family and give up her Imperial status in order to marry the commoner.

Giving up everything for love

The 25-year old princess recently got engaged to the legal assistant named Kei Komuro, who is also the same age as her. By law, Princess Mako will be joining her future husband's family.

She will lose her title as Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino and will only be referred to as Mrs. Mako Komuro when they finally tie the knot. Princess Mako is the first child and eldest daughter of Fumihito, Prince Akishino, and Kiko, Princess Akishino.

Aside from losing her title, Princess Mako will also be giving up her right to stay at the huge 3.41 square kilometer Japanese Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The young princess will also stop receiving her royal allowance and she will be required to pay taxes after she is married.

Age-old tradition

The law that governs how marriage is treated within the royal family was originally passed in 1947. Princess Mako will be the eighth female member of the royal family to marry a commoner since the law was passed.

The law was originally passed in order to prevent female members of the family from inheriting the historically male-only throne.

The recent engagement will no doubt spark new debate over the decade's old law and the specific role of women within the royal family. The law itself mostly imposes strict marriage customs on women, but not on the male members of the royal family.

Royal succession

The Japanese cabinet is currently in the process of approving a new bill that would allow the currently 83-year old Emperor to step down from his position. The unprecedented law marks the first abdication of the Japanese throne in over two centuries as death was usually the only reason for the position to become vacant.

The Emperor himself has expressed his concern regarding his age and how it will eventually prevent him from fulfilling his duties.

As it stands there are currently four heirs to the throne. The heirs include Akihito's 81-year old brother, his two middle-aged sons, and his 10-year old grandson, Prince Hisahito.