Happily-ever-after for Japanese princess stricken with PTSD

1 month ago 31

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TOKYO - She was stoic and regal in public, but Japan's Princess Mako was hurting inside for years.

All she wanted was for a "peaceful and happy life after marriage" with her fiance Kei Komuro, 30, now an up-and-coming New York lawyer who graduated in May with a juris doctor degree from the prestigious Fordham University law school.

But a planned wedding on Nov 4, 2018, had to be scrapped in the face of a swirling controversy around financial troubles for Mr Komuro's family.

On Tuesday morning (Oct 26), though, the couple will finally be able to tie the knot.

They have suffered vicious online attacks, especially from conservative armchair critics who assailed Princess Mako for tarnishing the royal family's image, causing her to suffer from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Princess Mako, who turned 30 on Saturday (Oct 23), has been "subject to prolonged and repetitive instances of what she felt as slander against her and her family as well as her future husband and his family, and she had been unable to escape from it", said NTT Medical Centre psychiatrist Tsuyoshi Akiyama, who had diagnosed the princess.

She "felt pessimistic and found it difficult to feel happy due to the persistent fear of her life being destroyed", Dr Akiyama told a news conference earlier this month.

Princess Mako, who is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, and niece of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, spent her last birthday as a royal in a quiet and contemplative manner.

When she registers her marriage to Mr Komuro on Tuesday, she will lose her royal status and become a "commoner" by Japanese imperial law. (Commoner women, however, can marry into the imperial family and become princesses.)

The Imperial Household Agency (IHA) released photos of Princess Mako taking a walk around the imperial grounds with younger sister Princess Kako, 26, though no comment was made to commemorate her birthday.

Princess Mako and Mr Komuro, whose courtship lasted nine years, will meet the press on Tuesday afternoon as husband and wife.

How they met

A photo from Sept 3, 2017 shows Princess Mako and her fiancee Mr Kei Komuro at a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in Tok...

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