In the stories we grow up with, it is the simple girl from the country who marries the prince into royalty, and finds happily ever after in true love. It is the opposite, however, that holds true in the modern age for Japan’s Princess Ayako, who recently married Kei Moriya on Monday. The tradition-filled ceremony was held at Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine, and was dwelled by around 1,000 well-wishers.
Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya’s wedding comes in the latest of a string of royal weddings this year. This particular one, however, holds difference in that Princess Ayako’s marriage to Kei Moriya, a commoner, effectively ends her royal status as princess – Japan’s laws dictate that female members of the royal family must abdicate their royal titles and status when marrying someone with no royal or aristocratic ties. This rule, however, does not apply to its male members.
Moreover, the strict implementation and resistance to change has drawn concerns in Japan over the decreasing number of males in the Imperial family, with a mere four members left after Emperor Akihito’s approaching abdication in 2019. Princess Ayako, however, has stated that she is “filled with happiness” over her decision.
In the meantime, netizens reactions have been mixed over her marriage and Japan’s strict Imperial laws. Some were happy for the princess, wishing the new couple well:
This unconditional Love is very difficult to come by nowadays, but Princess Ayako has proven it by giving up all her Royal status for love. Aww sweet.
Banzai to this couple. pic.twitter.com/1Uxoiyk2yf
— ɹǝɥɔʇɐɥʇ ʎǝuoɥ (@honeythatcher65) 30 October 2018
A reminder that Princess Ayako had to renounce her royal title to marry for love. Titles and prestige will not hold you in the night, soothe your fever, calm you when you cry. Love is all.
— sandy, your witchqueen of darkness (@voidember) 29 October 2018
— Manav Joshi (@manavjoshi18) 29 October 2018
Some, however, were more critical on her decision:
Happy 2 read tht love is worth forfeiting any throne,but really sad 2 know how unfair,how purely neanderthal royal laws can b!Respect for Princess #Ayako and only boo to #Japan ese royal rulebook. Time for a change? #Royals #Monarchy https://t.co/NruuN3CE02
— Kadambari Mathur (@KadambariMathur) 29 October 2018
As long as #Japan modernized its laws to allow Emperor Akihito to abdicate, why don’t they fix the laws so Princess Sayako didn’t have to give up her title to get married? #Women‘sRights https://t.co/byZwPuASgv
— Debra (@dcaplick) 1 December 2017
“According to Japan’s imperial law, female members of the royal family forfeit their titles, status & allowance if they choose to marry some1 who does not have royal or aristocratic family ties. The same rule does not apply to male members of the royal family.” SCREW patriarchy https://t.co/OIDgPcVwjx
— Lamin Camara (LEFT ) 🇬🇲 (@nimaLaramaC) 30 October 2018