Former Japanese princess Mako Komuro appears to be in the holiday spirit ahead of her first Christmas in New York, where she has been living since her dramatic departure from the Imperial Palace last month.
The ex-royal, 30, was spotted on the Upper East Side with festive gifts in hand on Thursday in exclusive DailyMail.com photos.
Mako, who now goes by her first and last name after marrying her commoner husband Kei Komuro, paid a visit to a Park Avenue apartment building whose residents include US diplomat Caroline Kennedy.
Kennedy is currently awaiting Senate confirmation after President Biden nominated her to be Ambassador to Australia.
Japan’s former Princess of Akishino, Mako Komuro was spotted out and about in New York’s Upper East Side Thursday
The 30-year-old former Japanese royal appeared to be dropping off some festive gifts ahead of her first Christmas in the Big Apple
Mako Komuro, who now goes by a first and last name after marrying her new commoner husband and giving up her title, appeared bundled up as she hit the city streets by herself
She was seen stopping by an apartment building where Caroline Kennedy lives, although it is unclear if she visited the US diplomat
Mako, who was alone during the outing, entered the building around 1pm and stayed for about 3 hours.
She dressed warm for the frigid New York City weather, in a stylish longline black double breasted coat, cream turtleneck top, green patterned skirt, black tights, and ballet flats.
She matched her outfit with a blue handbag and covered up in a white face mask.
Mako has been adapting to her new life as a commoner in New York City where she recently moved with her new husband after sensationally giving up her royal title to marry him in October.
The festive season marks Mako’s first in the US – half a world away from Japan where Christmas is not an official national holiday and is generally observed as a secular celebration.
Last month, the elder daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and niece of reigning Emperor Naruhito was spotted wandering the streets of the city for the first time since trading Tokyo’s Imperial Palace for the bright lights of the Big Apple.
She made a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up some home essentials for the couple’s new marital home in Hell’s Kitchen.
The princess walked into the building with Christmas gifts around at 1pm and stayed for a few hours
Mako is set to mark her first Christmas in New York City – half a world away from Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, where it is not celebrated as an official national holiday
Caroline Kennedy was appointed US ambassador to Japan in 2013 by Barack Obama, and resigned in 2017. She is known to live in a $25M unit in the Park Ave building
Then U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (3rd L) and estranged husband Edwin Schlossberg (3rd R) with Japanese female divers during their visit to Mikimoto Pearl farming island on April 16, 2014 in Toba, Japan
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show Mako at the home furnishings store where she spent about an hour and a half shopping for bath towels, coat hangers, organizer baskets, some paper towels, and other items.
Mako was alone during the outing and pushed her own shopping cart around the store and had no security detail protecting her. She was dressed in a long forest green coat, black top, and blue jeans – a much more casual look than the modest, formal attire she regularly wore in public back home.
The princess has been a fish out of water since leaving behind a nation that has criticized her marriage to a commoner, and having to adapt to a new country half a world away from the confines of the Imperial House.
Mako’s loss of royal status comes from the Imperial House Law, which allows only male succession. She is the daughter of the emperor’s younger brother, and her 15-year-old brother Hisahito is expected to become emperor.
Mako dressed warm for the frigid New York City weather, in a stylish longline black double breasted coat that she matched with a blue handbag
She wore a cream turtleneck top, green patterned skirt, black tights, and black ballet flats
Mako has been adapting to her new life as a commoner in New York City where she recently moved with her new husband after sensationally giving up her royal title to marry him in October
Mako tied the knot with university sweetheart Kei Komuro in Tokyo in October after an eight-year engagement despite many in their native country openly opposing the nuptials – polls show up to 80% disapproval.
Before landing in the US on November 14, Mako declined the offer of 140million yen ($1.2million) payment to which she was entitled for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said. She is expected to find a job in New York.
Her husband failed the New York State Bar Association exam, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.
Komuro took the exam this summer, and when the results were posted on the website of the New York State Board of Law Examiners his name was not among the successful candidates – another piece of news that Japanese media have used to attack him, although it is common to pass after multiple attempts.
According to the broadcaster, Komuro had said he plans to continue studying and will retake the exams in February.
Mako and her new husband Kei Komuro were spotted out in New York City days after leaving Tokyo for good last month
Mako was seen pickinhg up some home essentials this weekend as she settled into her new life in New York
Mako’s casual get up was a far cry from the formal attire she was often seen wearing back home
Mako is the elder daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and niece of reigning Emperor Naruhito. Her marriage to university sweetheart Kei Komuro, a commoner, in Tokyo in October (pictured) sharply divided public opinion in Japan
‘I love Mako,’ Komuro told reporters last month after registering their marriage in Tokyo.
They did so without a wedding banquet or any of the other usual celebratory rituals.
‘I want to live the only life I have with the person I love,’ he said.
Kei Komuro has lived in New York for three years, attending Fordham University in the Bronx before getting a job with the law firm Lowenstein Sandler. He won a $2,000 award in the New York State Bar Association’s annual student writing competition for a piece on ‘compliance problems in website accessibility and implications for entrepreneurs.’
Mako’s loss of royal status has led to changes in her life. For the first time in her life she has a surname and she had to get her first passport to come to the United States.
Although Japan appears modern in many ways, values about family relations and the status of women often are seen as antiquated and rooted in feudal practices.
Such views were accentuated in the public’s reaction to the marriage. Many Japanese feel they have a say in such matters because taxpayer money supports the imperial family system.
Other princesses have married commoners and left the palace. But Mako is the first to have drawn such a public outcry, including a frenzied reaction on social media and in the country’s tabloids.
Meanwhile Mako has said she will continue to support her husband’s studies.