The 27-year-old introduced to the world her fiancé Kei, 32, on Monday, leaving Japan stunned at the news she would give up her royal status for love.
But details of her romance are leaving royal enthusiasts in awe, as the couple revealed what drew them closer was the loss of a parent.
Ayako, who is the daughter of Emperor Akihito’s cousin, lost her father Norihito, Prince Takamado, in 2002.
Her fiancé Kei’s mother, Kimie, died in 2015.
He commented such a shared tragedy speaking at the press conference where he was unveiled, saying: “I also felt we grew closer as she expressed understanding toward the emotional impact of suddenly losing a parent.”
Kei and the princess were introduced by Princess Hisako, Ayako’s mother, last December, and it was love at first sight.
Ayako said: “I met Mr Moriya for the first time in December last year, 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.”
“As I met him many times, I became attracted to his kind, smart and decisive nature.
“I don’t know what my mother’s intentions were in introducing him to me, but as the two of us went to various places together and shared our time and memories, we became naturally drawn to each other.
“I think we were able to come this far thanks to the wonderful ties started by our mothers.”
Kei didn’t hold off praises for the princess during the press conference.
Calling her “bright and positive”, he said he was attracted by her warm and kind heart and ability to connect with anyone.
The couple, who will get married on October 29 at the Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo, is not yet officially engaged.
The traditional ceremony, called “Nosai no Gi” will take place on August 12.
However, Japanese royal tradition dictates that after the marriage Princess Ayako will lose her royal status.
Men marrying into commoners, on the other hands, can keep their titles.