Love took centre stage at the wedding of Japan's Princess Ayako and her groom Kei Moriya at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Monday. Princess Ayako gave up her royal status and allowance to marry her beau -- 32-year-old Moriya, an employee of the shipping company, Nippon Yusen KK.
Princess Ayako, however, will take a sum of $950,000 from the Japanese government for living expenses. Japan's imperial law states that female members of the royal family forfeit their titles, status and allowance if they choose to marry someone who does not have royal or aristocratic family ties.
The 28-year-old princess is the youngest child of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamodo, cousin of Japan's Emperor Akihito.
The wedding has further fuelled the debate around the imperial law in Japan that does not allow women to inherit the throne, despite there being strong public support for female succession.
According to a report by CNN, the ceremony was kept private, with only close family members and friends. As the couple entered the shrine, the crowd shouted "Banzai", which is an auspicious wish for long life in Japanese.
Princess Ayako was seen wearing a pale yellow kimono embroidered with pink flowers and green leaves with a deep purple hakama (wide-legged pleated trousers). Moriya wore a black coat, gray pin-striped trousers and a silk hat that belonged to Ayako's late father, Prince Takamodo.
The shrine where the wedding took place is of great symbolic importance to the family as it was dedicated to the deified souls of Ayako's great-great grandfather Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, in 1920.
According to reports, Ayako said that she was taught from a young age that being born into the imperial family meant her duty was to support the emperor and empress. "I will leave the imperial family today, but I will remain unchanged in my support for his majesty and her majesty," she said.