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Princess Ayako ties the knot with Kei Moriya in shrine ceremony in Tokyo

Princess Ayako, center right, the third daughter of the late Prince Takamado, dressed in a traditional ceremonial gown, and Kei Moriya arrive at Meiji Jingu Shrine for their wedding ceremony, in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, on Oct. 29, 2018. (Mainichi/Daisuke Wada/Pool)

TOKYO -- Princess Ayako, the 28-year-old daughter of Emperor Akihito's late cousin Prince Takamado, married Kei Moriya, a 32-year-old employee of major shipping company Nippon Yusen, in a ceremony at Meiji Jingu Shrine in the capital's Shibuya Ward on Oct. 29.

Princess Ayako will be removed from the Imperial Family under Imperial House Law, and the number of royals will fall to 18. The marriage is the first Imperial wedding since Princess Ayako's elder sister Noriko Senge in October 2014.

Arriving at the shrine in the special car that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko use for ceremonies at around 10 a.m., the princess met Moriya at the shrine and the couple was blessed by their friends, family and other gathered.

The traditional Shinto-style wedding ceremony started at a hall at around 11:30 a.m. Princess Ayako wore a Heian-era hairstyle, swept back into a ponytail, and a traditional kimono splashed with red and green patterns. The groom was dressed in a coat-tailed suit. The couple toasted their union with blessed rice wine and exchanged their wedding rings. Among the roughly 30 guest were Princess Ayako's mother Princess Takamado, her older sister Princess Tsuguko and Moriya's father Osamu.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, a staff member will register the couple's marriage at the Minato Ward Office in the afternoon, and the princess will officially become a private citizen. The couple are currently arranging for their home in the Tokyo area for their new married life. A banquet is scheduled to be held at a hotel in Tokyo on Oct. 30.

(Japanese original by Tomofumi Inagaki, City News Department)

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