CULTURE

Ex-Princess Mako Is Reportedly an Unpaid Volunteer at the Met

Then-princess Mako Komuro wearing a crown
Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP via Getty Images

Mako Komuro, formerly known as Princess Mako, has been in full commoner mode ever since giving up her title to marry her college sweetheart last October. Whereas Meghan and Harry have been striking multimillion-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify, Komuro has only been spotted shopping at—gasp!—Bed Bath & Beyond. (We hope she brought those 20 percent coupons—especially since she turned down a $1.3 million payout from the Japanese government so that she could marry a non-royal.)

Still, Komuro’s finances seem to be in enough order for her to take on an unpaid gig. According to the Japan Times, Komuro has taken on an unpaid role as a volunteer at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is reportedly serving as a curator with a specific focus on an upcoming exhibition of hanging-scroll paintings inspired by a 13th-century Buddhist monk. (You can read her essay on one of the works here.) From the sound of it, we’d say she deserves to be on the pay roll.

As for how Komuro landed a gig with such influence at the museum, the former royal is no stranger to the art world. She studied art and cultural heritage at Tokyo’s International Christian University, then went on to study art history at the University of Edinburgh and earn her master’s in a year before she embarked on the rocky path to marrying the paralegal Kei Komuro. While still a princess, she moonlit as a special researcher at Tokyo’s University Museum.

“She’s qualified and probably handling pieces in the collection,” a former Met curator told People. “In general, it’s work which requires a great deal of preparation and often means spending a lot of time in the library.” In other words, she’s accomplished her goal: “What I would like is just to lead a peaceful life in my new environment,” Komuro said in a news conference after getting married at long last.