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Fairytale romance: Japanese princess gives up her royal status to marry commoner

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Japanese princess gives up her royal status to marry a piano-loving commoner she fell for because of his 'bright smiles like the sun'

The pair met five years ago while studying at Tokyo's International Christian University.

"I was first attracted to his bright smiles that seemed like the sun", she blushed.

They happened to sit nearby at a briefing session on the university's student exchange program, and subsequently began dating. Since then she has attended official events as a member of the royal family, visiting victims of the 2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami.

The Imperial Household Agency first said there were plans underway for the couple's engagement.

Princess Mako (right) is engaged to Kei Komuro (left).

Japanese Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild, Princess Mako, 25 is giving up her royal status to marry a commoner she fell in love with. Article 12 of the Imperial House Law stipulates that a woman in the Imperial Family shall lose her status in the family if she marries a person outside the family.

Over time the princess learnt that he is a 'sincere, strong-minded, hard worker'.

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'Having a family still goes beyond my imagination, but I hope to make one that is warm, comfortable and filled with smiles, ' Princess Mako said.

Kei Komuro actually proposed to the Princess in 2013 and now she has spoken about their love for the first time. She is pursuing a doctorate and works as a museum researcher. But due to the unfortunate torrential rain that flooded northern Kyushu that month, the royal family chose to postpone the announcement. Mako told that she was aware since childhood that she will leave royal status once she will get married. Princess Mako has a master's degree from the UK's University of Leicester and is now a researcher at a museum.

Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, has expressed a desire to abdicate and is expected to do so in late 2018.

Mr Komuro is studying business law and works at a law firm.

Princess Mako's engagement is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, after which an official date will be set.

Mako says she has since introduced him to her parents, Prince Akishino - second in line to the Chrysanthemum throne - and Princess Kiko, as someone she wished to "share her future with".

Prince Hisahito is now third in line to the throne after his uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito, and his father Prince Akishino.

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