When you find out that a Japanese princess has surrendered her royal status in order to marry a commoner, your first thought might well be: Wow, he’d better not that fuck up. But as soon as that crosses your mind, you come to realize: This guy is basically an expert in not fucking up. He just married a goddamn princess — straight-up married her out of the Imperial Family — and that is an incredible flex. We can learn lots from him.
Okay, so Princess Ayako is taken (for now). She can’t be the only royal looking for a partner, right? Before we start courting these regal bachelorettes, however, we’re going to need a game plan. Let’s break down how Ayako’s groom, Kei Moriya, won her heart.
1. Get help from your mom
For many of us, the biggest hurdle to marrying a princess will be figuring out how to meet a princess. That’s where your mom comes in. Yeah, I know you’ve been conditioned by hacky TV sitcoms to hate the idea of mom meddling in your romantic life. But guess what? The fact that moms are always in everyone’s business works to your advantage here. Ayako and Moriya “met because their mothers were friends and hit it off immediately.” A mom setup! It’s that simple, dudes. None of your idiot friends are going to stop playing Fortnite for long enough to introduce you to a princess. Your mom, meanwhile, probably has a list of unattached princesses and figuring out where their moms go to yoga so she can run into them. You really don’t appreciate her enough.
2. Be successful (but not too successful)
You deadbeats will be sad to hear that Moriya is no slouch. He has a degree in marine engineering from the University of Tokyo, one of Japan’s finest public institutions, and works for Nippon Yusen, a major shipping company. Note that I didn’t say he runs or owns the business — it’s hard to rock your “commoner” vibe when you’re a mega-rich magnate of some kind. No, he’s just polished and successful enough to be on roughly equal cultural footing with a member of the Yamato Dynasty, yet also suitably humble for Ayako to sell the optics of relinquishing her role in the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world to follow her heart. Definitely found the sweet spot there.
3. Speak her language — metaphorically and literally
Communication, as ever, is key. “I met Mr. Moriya for the first time in December last year,” Ayako recalled when the couple announced their engagement in July, “and I remember that our conversation got so lively that it didn’t feel like we had just met and that I had so much fun that I forgot about time.” To have good banter, of course, you’ll want to be fluent in the princess’ native tongue — which poses a problem for monolingual American men. Sure, you could date Princess Beatrice of York (the one with the goofy hat, remember?) or Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Princess Alexandra (a widow and obvious cougar), but it’s Thailand’s Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, a pro badminton player and fashion designer, whom Town & Country declared “the most interesting royal,” and none of you dumbasses speak Thai, do you. Better start learning!
4. Know a thing or two about horses
Although Ayako is not known as an equestrian, many other princesses enjoy riding horses, so it would behoove you to have a basic working knowledge of the species. If a princess asks what you think of horses, give a positive opinion. Pretty self-explanatory.
5. Don’t dawdle
Moriya proposed to Princess Ayako not longer after they started seeing each other. “It was so sudden that I couldn’t give my answer right away,” she revealed. While that may sound like the miscalculation of an overeager man, it paid off in the end. Ordinarily I’d tell you that a “lock it down” approach to marriage is kind of icky and problematic, but we’re talking about jet-setting nobility here! If you hesitate to declare your devotion, your princess could take her yacht to Monaco and hook up with a Formula One driver.
There are exceptions: Daniel Westling took nine years to marry Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, for one. But he was also her personal trainer to begin with, and you know that shredded bod must have kept her interest in that time. The rest of us, with ill-defined abs, cannot afford to wait — best to pop the question early and often. I’m serious. Slide into the Twitter DMs of Saudi Arabia’s Princess Ameera Al-Taweel and see if she’s ready to tie the knot. What? She’s already hitched? Well, see, you took too long.