Princess Mako of Japan has delayed her wedding to make 'sufficient preparations'

By Gemma Strong

Princess Mako of Japan needs a few more years to plan her nuptials. It has been announced that the royal has delayed her wedding to Kei Komuro until 2020. The 26-year-old granddaughter of Emperor Akihito was due to marry her college sweetheart in November, but Jiji Press reports that she has has decided to push back the date due to a lack of time to make "sufficient preparations." The princess reportedly made her intensions clear in a statement released through the Imperial Household Agency, saying: "We have come to realize the lack of time to make sufficient preparations for various events leading up to our marriage this autumn and our life afterwards. We believe that we have rushed various things too much." She added that the couple needs more time to prepare for their life as husband and wife and think more deeply about marriage.

Kei Komuro and Princess Mako sit together at a low desk and and stoolsPrincess Mako of Japan has delayed her wedding to Kei Komuro

In announcing the delay, the Agency also cited "a series of important ceremonies next year" – seemingly referring to the handover of the Chrysanthemum Throne. Princess Mako is Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild. The 84-year-old will abdicate on 30 April 2019, with Crown Prince Naruhito taking the throne.

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Mako and Kei – a law firm worker – announced their engagement in September. Their marriage will mean that the princess will lose her royal status; under Japanese law, female imperial family members forfeit their status upon marriage to a commoner, whereas male members do not. She said at the time: "I was aware since my childhood that I'll leave my royal status once I marry. While I worked to help the emperor and fulfil duties as a royal family member as much as I can, I've been cherishing my own life."

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The couple met five years ago while studying at the same university, and Kei proposed after dinner one evening in December 2013. He said he was happy and thankful to have been accepted by her parents, Prince Akishino – second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne – and Princess Kiko, and her grandparents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

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