Princess Mako visits palace for her last imperial rite

Japan Times -- Oct 17
Princess Mako on Sunday visited the Imperial Palace to attend an annual ritual ceremony, her last as an imperial family member, as she is scheduled to marry her commoner boyfriend later this month.

Princess Mako, 29, whose fiance, Kei Komuro, returned from the United States last month, entered the palace by car with her younger sister, Princess Kako. Sitting side by side in the back seat, the princesses opened the window and smiled and waved at people who had gathered along the road in the rain.

Komuro, 30, who left for New York in August 2018 to study at Fordham University’s law school, is expected to see Princess Mako in person for the first time in more than three years on Monday, when they meet her parents at the Akasaka Estate in Tokyo before the planned marriage on Oct. 26.

After the couple registers their marriage, the princess, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, will move out of the estate the same day. They are set to start a new life in the United States.

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