Japan's Former Princess Mako Lands New Job in N.Y.C. After Giving Up Titles to Marry for Love

Mako turned down a $1.3 million payout that is traditionally paid to royal women who lose their royal status when they marry

Princess Mako. Photo: Princess Mako

Japan's former Princess Mako has a new title to add to her resumé.

Mako Komuro, who married her college boyfriend and moved to New York City last fall, is now reportedly assisting curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because the law in Japan requires a princess to "leave the imperial family upon marriage to a commoner," Princess Mako gave up her royal titles to marry Komuro. She also turned down a $1.3 million payout from the Japanese government that is traditionally paid to royal women who lose their royal status when they marry.

According to the Japan Times, Mako is serving as an unpaid volunteer at the Met. The 30-year old is working within the museum's Asian art collection and has specifically been involved in preparing an exhibition of paintings inspired by the life of a 13th-century monk who traveled throughout Japan as he introduced Buddhism.

Princess Mako
Kei Komuro and Princess Mako. SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI/AFP via Getty Images

Mako is well-qualified for the job, having graduated from International Christian University (where she met her future husband Kei Komoro) with a degree in art and cultural heritage. She also studied art history at Scotland's University of Edinburgh before receiving her master's in Art Museum and Gallery Studies in 2016 at the University of Leicester.

While still performing royal duties, she then worked as a special researcher at Tokyo's University Museum.

A former curator at the Met tells PEOPLE, "She's qualified and probably handling pieces in the collection. In general, it's work which requires a great deal of preparation and often means spending a lot of time in the library."

Princess Mako
Princess Mako in N.Y.C. Splash News Online

The eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino became engaged in 2013 to Komuro, who is now a paralegal at a law firm in New York.

The couple first announced their plans to wed in September 2017, but the event was ultimately pushed off following a dispute over money between Komuro's mother and her former fiancé concerning his having financed Komuro's education.

They tied the knot last October without the fanfare that usually accompanies a royal wedding. The Imperial Household Agency (IHA) explained that Mako and her now-husband did not want to have a big wedding "because their marriage is not celebrated by many people."

Princess Mako
Princess Mako in 2019. AFP/ KAZUHIRO NOGI / POOL/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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During a press conference after their wedding, Mako said, "What I would like is just to lead a peaceful life in my new environment."

Mako and her husband have been spotted exploring their new home in New York City since they arrived last fall.

One perk associated with Mako's new employment: a very short commute. The museum's iconic Fifth Avenue location is reportedly a 10-minute drive from the couple's luxury apartment in Manhattan.

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