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.
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.
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It turns out Princess Mako's fiance, Kei Komuro, is no stranger to the spotlight himself. The 25-year-old law student met Mako while they were both at university in Tokyo, and since then they've managed to meet a few times each month despite their busy schedules.
Komuro is a real renaissance man, with lots of talents including playing the violin, cooking and skiing.
He's also held some odd jobs in the past, including working in a French restaurant. He even starred in a series of tourism ads for a beach-side town, earning him the nickname "Prince of the Sea."
Meanwhile, much less is known about Princess Mako, who lived outside of the public eye until she was an adult.
The princess loves books and drawing, speaks sign language, and has a degree in art museum and gallery studies, but pretty much everything else about her personal life is a mystery.
While this happy couple won't say "I do" for a few months (there will be lots of ceremonial steps first) the Japanese media is hungry for more details, and reporters are camped outside Komuro's office.
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