Many brides dream of feeling like a princess when they put on their wedding dress and walk down the aisle. But for one royal, it's quite the opposite—she's actually giving up her status to marry her fiancé. Princess Mako of Akishino, the granddaughter of Japan's Emperor Akihito, is about to officially announce her engagement, and, because of who she's marrying, she'll no longer be considered royalty once she does.
According to People, Mako is marrying law clerk Kei Komuro. The couple met while attending college and have been dating for five years. Because Komuro is a commoner, his relationship with Mako forces the princess to renounce her title.
The Imperial Household says Mako and Komuro will publicly announce their engagement in September. Prior to that, Emperor Akihito will approve the couple. After the official announcement, they couple will attend multiple engagement ceremonies. When all is said and done, Mako and Komuro are set to tie the knot in 2018. While it's certainly interesting, Princess Mako's situation isn't unique. Eight of her relatives have renounced their titles to marry commoners in recent history. Mako's aunt Sayako, the emperor's only daughter, even did so in 2005.
While Mako's leaving her princesshood behind, she isn't relinquishing a chance at the throne—in Japan, only males can lead. However, her father may soon be one step closer. It's widely expected that Emperor Akihito will soon resign in favor of his son, Crown Prince Naruhito. Then, Mako's dad, Prince Akishino, will become first in line.