Escorted by Police, Japan's Ex-Princess Starts New Life in US With Commoner Husband

The couple will reportedly live in a one-bedroom apartment in New York, both working to pay the rent.
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Former Japanese princess Mako and husband Kei Komuro at Tokyo's Haneda airport to board their flight to New York. Photo: Kyodo via AP Images

On Sunday, former Japanese princess Mako landed in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with her commoner husband Kei Komuro, to start their new life together in the United States. 

Wed last month amid a media frenzy, the two, who have expressed their desire to live a regular life, were still treated as VIPs upon their arrival: They were escorted by Port Authority police and security through the airport, and greeted by journalists. They wheeled suitcases behind them as they passed through, nodding at—but not stopping for—the several dozen reporters waiting for them at the international terminal. 


The couple got into a waiting car, with Komuro hitting his head as he ducked in, to leave the airport. They reportedly plan to be dual earners and live in a one-bedroom apartment in New York, found by Kei’s acquaintances, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK

The road to New York has been arduous for the newlyweds. 

It’s been four years since the college sweethearts publicly announced their engagement, but they were only able to tie the knot last month due to rumors about Komuro’s family’s finances. 

Tabloids had previously reported that his mother has not repaid $36,000 she received from her former fiancé, and in turn questioned Komuro’s motives with the ex-princess. The controversy ultimately didn’t stop the two from getting married. 

To marry Komuro, the former princess gave up her royal status and perks. She also rejected a $1.4 million lump sum payment, usually paid to female royals leaving the imperial family, and the traditional wedding ceremonies. 

Speaking at a press conference last month, former Princess Mako—now simply known as Mako Komuro—expressed gratitude to those who have helped her through her life. She conveyed excitement about her new life with her husband, who’s smile she once described to be as “warm as the sun.” There was also talk of her PTSD, in part a result of intense media scrutiny that followed the couple for years. 

Komuro began his opening remarks with “I love Mako,” going on to reveal how he wanted to build a “warm” family with her. The 30-year-old law school graduate will reportedly continue working as a legal clerk for a law office in New York. Komuro reportedly failed the state’s bar exam, but is planning to retake it in February

The 30-year-old ex-royal will reportedly look for work in New York’s art scene, having previously worked as a special researcher in a University of Tokyo museum. 

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