| 1 December 2021, Wednesday |

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

Princess Mako of Japan celebrated her 30th birthday on Saturday, her final birthday as a member of the imperial family before marrying her boyfriend next week.

Her marriage to commoner Kei Komuro on Tuesday would result in her becoming a commoner, as female members of the imperial dynasty are not permitted to retain their royal rank after marriage.

The Imperial Household Agency shared photos of Mako walking on the imperial grounds with her younger sister, but the princess made no comment on 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.