Tokyo: The course of true love never did run smooth, but after public controversy and a wedding delay, Japan's Princess Mako is reportedly set to tie the knot and move to America.
The daughter of Japan's crown prince and niece of Emperor Naruhito has endured years of sniping and stalling over her plans to marry sweetheart Kei Komuro.
Reports suggest that the royal wedding will be different in many ways. The couple have decided to wed without some traditional ceremonies and reject a payout worth USD 1.2 million that usually goes to female royals marrying out of the royal family.
Japan's imperial succession rules mean that 29-year-old Mako will lose her title after marriage to a commoner.
But Komuro has still been heavily scrutinised over allegations that his mother borrowed money from a former fiance and failed to repay it.
After tabloid reporting on the claims, a furore erupted around the young couple in a country where the royal family is held to an exacting standard.
The pair postponed their wedding, and Komuro moved to the US for law school in a move that was widely seen as a bid to defuse the negative attention.
Crown Prince Akishino last year said that he supported his daughter's marriage, but that she needed to win the public's "understanding".
But she has apparently decided to get around the issue by marrying without the usual ritual ceremonies that accompany a royal wedding, and declining a lump sum payment given to female royals who marry commoners.
The size of the payment is unknown, though reports put it at 137 million yen ($1.2 million) or more.
She is also said to be planning to move to the United States after her wedding, drawing inevitable comparisons with another controversial royal couple: Britain's Prince Harry and Megan Markle.
Mako is sister to Prince Hisahito, 14, currently the only eligible male heir to the throne other than his father as Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne can pass only to male members of the family, and the children of female royals who marry commoners are not included.
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