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Japan's Princess Gives Up Her Title After A Commoner Stole Her Heart

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If you were born into the kind of fairy tale life that girls all over the world dream about, could you give it up to marry the man that you love? That was the impossible choice that faced Princess Mako, the oldest princess of Japan's royal family. Like in the UK, Japan's royals have very little actual power, but are important symbols of a tradition stretching back thousands of years.

The 25-year-old Mako is the oldest princess in the family, and the granddaughter of the country's Emperor Akihito.

This month she made a stunning announcement: she'll be marrying a commoner, meaning she'll be forced to give up her royal position forever.

The Associated Press

Unlike the UK's royal family, in Japan only the male heirs can marry commoners and keep their title. In fact, Mako's grandmother, Empress Michiko, was a commoner herself.

This is a growing problem for the imperial family, because only 5 of its 19 remaining members are female.

But losing her royal title doesn't seem to bother Mako, who made the announcement that her parents have approved her fiance, a commoner she went to college with, sparking lots of public interest about the man who stole a princess' heart.

Click the next page to learn more about Mako and her fiance!

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