Japanese princess on Monday gave up her royal status as she tied the knot with a commoner in a Tokyo shrine.Princess Ayako, 28, the youngest daughter of a late cousin of Emperor Akihito, married Kei Moriya, a 32-year-old employee of Nippon Yusen, the shipping company. The wedding took place in the serene confines of Meiji Jingu, a shrine surrounded by forests in central Tokyo which is dedicated to the spirit of the bride’s great grandfather Emperor Meiji. The Japanese couple exchanged rings and read out a wedding oath during a private Shinto wedding ceremony reportedly attended by around 30 people, including family members. The bride was dressed in traditional court clothing, including an intricately decorated kimono robe and wide layered trousers, while her hair was sleeked back in distinct aristocratic style.The couple will celebrate in a more high profile fashion at a banquet on Tuesday at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, likely to be attended by the Crown Prince Naruhito and Crone Princess Masako as well as key government figures including the prime minister Shinzo Abe. Speaking after the shrine ceremony, the princess told a news conference: “I’m filled with joy to get married and to have so many people visit us at the Meiji Shrine and congratulate us.” Mr Moriya, who wore a morning suit and a top hat belonging to the bride’s late father, added: “I want to support her firmly and hold hands to look forward and build a family full of smiles.” It was the Emperor who paved the way for royals to marry whomever they wished after becoming the first Imperial family member to tie the knot with a commoner – Empress Michiko, who he famously met on a tennis court 61 years ago. However, female members of the Imperial family still face having to renounce their royal status upon marrying commoners, according to the nation’s strict succession laws.Photo Credit: Getty

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