Japan's Princess Mako celebrates 30th birthday ahead of marriage


Japan's Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, strolls at the garden of their Akasaka imperial property residence in Tokyo, Japan October 6, 2021, ahead of her 30th birthday on October 23, 2021 and her marriage on October 26, 2021, in this handout photo provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan. Mandatory credit Imperial Household Agency of Japan/Handout via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Princess Mako celebrated her 30th birthday on Saturday, marking the last birthday she would have as a member of the imperial family before she marries her boyfriend next week.

Her marriage to commoner Kei Komuro on Tuesday will mean she becomes a commoner in keeping with laws saying female members of the imperial family cannot keep their royal status after marriage.

Photos of Mako taking a walk on the imperial grounds with her younger sister were released by the Imperial Household Agency, but no comment was given by the princess to mark her birthday.

The three-year engagement between Princess Mako and Komuro was marked with scandal and controversy, which started when a tabloid reported that Komuro was embroiled in a money scandal.

The Imperial Household Agency said in a news conference held in early October that Princess Mako had developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the intense media scrutiny her engagement came under.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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