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Japan's Princess Mako gives up title, marries sweetheart

Japan's Princess Mako finally married her college sweetheart on Tuesday after a three year delay and has formally given up her royal status. 

Mako and her fiancé, Kei Komuro, tied the knot in a low-key ceremony after a four-year engagement. 

"For me, Kei-san is a priceless person. For us, our marriage was a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts," Mako said in a televised news conference, The Associated Press reported.

"I love Mako. I live only once and I want to spend it with someone I love," Komuro said. "I hope to have a warm family with Mako-san, and I will continue to do everything to support her."

Mako left her Tokyo residence to register her marriage early on Tuesday and was seen bowing to her parents, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko. She also hugged her younger sister before she left, the BBC reported.

Under Japanese law, female members of the royal family have to forfeit their status upon marriage to a "commoner." However, this rule does not apply to the male members of the imperial family.

Princess Mako also refused a one-off $1.23 million payment offered to royal females upon their exit from the family.

The Imperial Household Agency issued a statement saying the couple's marriage document was submitted by a palace official on Tuesday morning and made official.

News of the couple's impending nuptials was met with harsh criticism from the Japanese public, reportedly making Mako suffer from poor mental health and severe post traumatic stress disorder. 

"I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused and I am grateful for those ... who have continued to support me," she said.

People were pictured protesting the marriage in a park in Japan on Tuesday. Reported financial struggles facing Komuro's family, particularly his mother, have been the subject of significant public controversy. 

Komuro works as a lawyer in the U.S., and the couple is expected to move soon.

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