Watch Japan's Princess Ayako Get Formally Engaged to Commoner Kei Moriya
Japan is getting ready for its next royal wedding. Princess Ayako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, is now officially engaged to Kei Moriya, a commoner. Princess Ayako announced her engagement back in July with a press conference, and she officially underwent a traditional engagement ceremony on Sunday, the Japan Times reports.
During the ceremony, called Nosai no Gi, a messenger from Moriya visited Princess Ayako and her mother, Princess Hisako, with gifts, like sake and sea bream. Afterwards, the two royals visited the Imperial Palace to inform the emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko, about the engagement, the Asahi Shimbun reported. Moriya and his father were set to meet the emperor and empress later that day.
Moriya works at a shipping company, and his late mother knew Princess Hisako. Her mother made the introduction to inspire her to do charity work, because Moriya is on a board of a nonprofit, and the two ended up falling in love. "I met Mr. Moriya for the first time in December last year, and I remember that our conversation got so lively that it didn't feel like we had just met and that I had so much fun that I forgot about time,” Princess Ayako said at a press conference. Their wedding is set for September 19.
She’s the second Japanese royal to plan to give up her imperial title to marry a commoner; her cousin, Princess Mako, is doing the same to marry Kei Komuro in 2020. Her older sister, Princess Noriko, also did the same in 2014. Currently, the policy does not apply to men in the Imperial Family.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.