Princess Mako of Japan, the 29-year-old niece of ceremonial monarch Emperor Naruhito, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder weeks before her wedding to commoner and former college classmate Kei Komuro, following years of intense media scrutiny over their relationship and engagement.
The Imperial Household Agency, which manages the affairs of Japan's royal family, revealed the news on Friday, Oct. 1, while announcing the couple's wedding date—Oct. 26, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported. The outlet said the princess has been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after being criticized repeatedly for a long time.
After the wedding, the princess is set to renounce her royal heritage and leave the royal family, and also forgo official ceremonies marking her departure and renunciation of her $1.4 million. She will become the first female royal in Japan to not receive the payment since World War II and will also be the first to marry a commoner without the traditional rituals, according to financial outlet Nikkei Asia.
After the wedding, Mako is set to move to New York, where Komuro, 29, a recent graduate of Fordham University Law School, works as a clerk in a law office. On Monday, Sept. 27, he flew to Tokyo for his first visit in three years. He is currently self-isolating at his home near Tokyo as part of coronavirus precautions and is expected to meet his bride-to-be in person after the quarantine period ends on Oct. 11, NHK reported.
Local tabloids have recently turned their attention to Komuro's new look: Previously seen with a mid-length hairstyle, he was photographed in New York sporting long hair tied in a ponytail, and many social media users mocked his physical appearance.
He and Mako, who met in 2012 as students at International Christian University in Tokyo, announced their engagement in 2017. They were originally meant to wed in 2018 but their nuptials were postponed amid reports that his mother allegedly owed her former fiancé more than ¥4 million yen ($36,000) in financial support, including the money she spent on Komuro's education, Nikkei Asia reported. Amid public pressure, her son released a statement in April and offered to pay back the funds.
The Imperial Household Agency denied any link between the postponement and the reports of the financial dispute involving Komuro's mother and her former fiancé.