Japan's former princess Mako arrives in New York with husband

france24.com -- Nov 15
Japan's former princess Mako Komuro arrived in the United States on Sunday with her husband, swapping ancient imperial rites for the bright lights of New York after leaving the royal family.

The pair tied the knot in Tokyo last month in muted fashion, following years of tabloid gossip and online sniping over their union that Komuro said caused her "sadness and pain."

Footage broadcast on Japanese TV channels showed the couple flanked by security officials as they made their way through the airport and into a waiting vehicle.

A move to the United States had long been rumored. The two 30-year-olds finally boarded a commercial flight Sunday from Tokyo to New York, where Kei Komuro attended law school and now works.

Mako, the niece of Emperor Naruhito, lost her royal title when she married a commoner under post-war succession laws that also only allow male members of the imperial family to ascend the throne.

After announcing their engagement in 2017, the Komuros were confronted with a barrage of reports alleging that Kei's family had run into financial difficulties.

Japanese media said the Komuros, who met at university in Tokyo, have already secured a place to live in New York, though it was not clear where in the city they had chosen to set up their new life.

The original plan had been for Kei to travel to the United States ahead of Mako, with the former princess joining him after she got her first passport, reports said.

But Kei stayed in Japan longer than expected to attend the funeral of Mako's grandfather.