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Japan's Former Princess Is Now A Museum Worker

Japan's Former Princess Is Now A Museum Worker

Mako Komuro up her royal title to marry her college sweetheart last year

After giving up her royal title to marry her college sweetheart, Japan’s former princess Mako Komuro is now working at the Met in New York. 

Mako, who is the eldest daughter of the heir to Japan’s imperial throne, married Kei Komuro – a commoner whom she met at university – in October last year. 

In doing so, she became the first female member of Japan’s royal family to forgo a royal wedding ceremony, and she also turned down a $1.23 million payout.


After moving to New York where Kei works as a lawyer, the former princess decided to put her degree in art and cultural heritage to good use. 

According to The Japan Times, she’s curating work at the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A source told the outlet that Mako is not on staff at the Met, suggesting she could be volunteering her expertise instead. 

The 30-year-old is well-versed in the art world – after graduating at the International Christian University in Tokyo, she went on to study art history at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and earn a master’s degree in art museum and gallery studies at the University of Leicester in 2016.

Now she is involved with an exhibition at the Met of paintings inspired by the life of a Buddhist monk who travelled around Japan introducing people to the religion centuries ago. 


Mako made international news in 2017 when she announced her engagement to Kei, with some sections of Japanese society criticising the couple and several of Mako’s family members publicly expressing their disapproval of the marriage.

Under Japanese law, female members of the imperial family have to give up their royal status if they marry a ‘commoner’, although the same does not apply to male members.

When they tied the knot last year, the Imperial Household confirmed that Mako had been diagnosed with PTSD following the scrutiny they received, meaning the couple chose to issue written responses to questions from reporters after a post-wedding press conference. 

According to the BBC, Komuro reiterated his love for his wife at the press conference, telling reporters, “I love Mako. We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love. I feel very sad that Mako has been in a bad condition, mentally and physically, because of the false accusations.”


Mako apologised to those who disagreed with her choice but stood by her partner, saying: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused and I am grateful for those… who have continued to support me. For me, Kei is irreplaceable – marriage was a necessary choice for us.”

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, New York, Royal Family