Japan's Princess Ayako is the latest royal to leave the imperial family. On Monday, the 28-year-old married a commoner, Kei Moriya at Tokyo's renowned Magi Shrine. Hundreds of guests and will wishers lined up outside to catch a glimpse of the couple before they began a private ceremony at a shrine dedicated to the spirit of her great grandfather, the Emperor Machi.
It's the city's most famous shinto shrine, and a symbol of the world's oldest monarchy. And after the ceremony, the princess said marrying there was an honor.>> I'm filled with joy to get married and to have so many people visit us at the Machi Shrine and congratulate us.
>> Like Japan's Border Society, the countries monarchy is aging and has a shrinking population. It's led to calls for changes to the imperial law of succession which rules that only men can take the country's throne. But Japanese conservatives are resisting any change to one of the country's most important institutions.
The monarchy for now only has four male heirs to the throne remaining. Crown Prince Narihuto will succeed the current emperor Akihito when he abdicates next year.