Heritage

Princess Ayako of Japan Gives Up Her Royal Title in Wedding to Commoner Kei Moriya

"I am filled with happiness," she said.
IMAGE JIJI PRESS/EPA-EFE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
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It's turning out to be quite the year for royal weddings. On October 29, Japan's Princess Ayako married Kei Moriya at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

As is custom, Ayako, who is the daughter of the cousin of the emperor, had to give up her royal status in order to marry for love. While women who marry royal men are welcomed into the Imperial family, if a royal woman marries a commoner, as Ayako did, she must give up her title.

Per the AP, "Ayako bid farewell to Emperor Akihito last week."

This morning's private event was attended only by close family, but we do know a few things about the ceremony. According to the Associated Press, it "included an exchange of rings and a sharing of a cup of sake."

CNN reports that following their marriage celebration, Moriya and Ayako spoke with journalists outside the shrine. "I would like to support her firmly and, hand in hand, build a happy family with lots of laughter," Moriya said, also noting that his wife looked "beautiful."

Ayako also commented, "I am awed by how blessed I am," and "I am filled with happiness."

"I will leave the imperial family today," she said, "but I will remain unchanged in my support for his majesty and her majesty."

The happy couple met late last year and were formally engaged earlier this summer in a traditional ceremony.

"I met Mr. Moriya for the first time in December last year," Princess Ayako said at a press conference following the announcement of their plans to marry.

"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."

Ayako is the second Japanese royal to give up her title to marry a commoner in recent years. Her older sister Princess Noriko did the same in 2014, and her cousin Princess Mako is currently engaged to marry commoner Kei Komuro in 2020.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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