Since the dawn of time, there has always been a tale of a prince falling in love with a princess and spending a life happily ever after. The stories have since then branched out to forbidden tales of tragic romance and action, like Romeo Juliet and the Titanic (which in hindsight would not have been tragic if Rose moved over to share the door with Jack). It is safe to assume most stories are told from real life events, then twisted and hyperbolized by word of mouth or pen. A recent and modern tale of a royal’s forbidden romance is that of Princess Mako.
Komuro-san, the niece of emperor Naruhito, met Kei Komuro, her soon to be husband, in university. They fell in love and decided to spend a life together in holy matrimony. According to Japanese tradition, A female imperial member forfeits their royal title when marrying a commoner.
The marriage announcement started off without much of a hitch, it received a majority of positive media coverage and the public were generally supportive of their decision. All this however took a drastic turn.
The first reports of Mr. Komuro’s alleged financial disputes came up two months after their official announcement. According to the allegations his family failed to pay off a debt to his mother’s ex-fiancé. His humble origins gave even more incentive for tabloids to dig up scandals, trying hard to prove how he was not an ideal match for the then princess Mako.
The intense public scrutiny and media coverage however took a toll on the couple. Komuro Mako (小室 眞子, Komuro Mako) especially, according to the imperial household agency, is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In order to appease the public Komuro-san turned down the payout given to departing family members of the royal family.
It is a rather disheartening thought, that public perception and approval is an important dictating factor in people’s personal lives especially when it goes so far as to affect a person’s mental wellbeing. The couple had a subdued ceremony and decided to move to New York to continue their life.
Japanese emperors act as an important figurehead for the country. The dwindling supply of male royals however has sparked debate on whether the age-old tradition of male only successors is still a viable option. Any change however is very unlikely in the near future due to the vehement opposition of hardcore traditionalists.