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Young heirs of Bhutanese and Japanese thrones meet during latter’s first official foreign visit

The young heirs to the Bhutanese and Japanese thrones met on Monday in Bhutan at the Lingkana Palace in Thimphu.

Prince Hisahito of Japan, 12, is on his first foreign visit alongside his parents, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko. The Crown Prince Family arrived in Bhutan on Saturday for a private trip on the invitation of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel where they were welcomed by the Bhutanese Royal Family at Paro Airport.

The family met with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and visited a museum on Saturday. After being briefed on earthquake activity in Bhutan, Prince Hisahito was heard asking, “Could a major earthquake occur?”

Prince Hisahito and The Gyalsey. Photo: Royal Office for Media
Photo: Royal Office for Media

On Monday morning, the family attended an audience with the King and Queen Jetsun Pema in the Golden Throne Room of the Tashichhodzong where the national flags of Bhutan and Japan were on display. The Royal Office for Media in Bhutan explained that the “Imperial Family were escorted in a ceremonial Chipdrel procession to the Dzong.”

The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery, as well as a fortress that houses the offices of the King and government.

Photo: Royal Office for Media
Crown Prince Fumihito, Crown Princess Kiko, Prince Hisahito. Photo: Royal Office for Media

They were able to view the Guru Thongdrol displayed at the Tashichhodzong in honour of their visit.

Afterwards, the Crown Prince Family joined the Bhutanese royals for lunch at Lingkana Palace where the Prince Hisahito met Bhutan’s three-year-old Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck (also called The Gyalsey). They then watched archery – Bhutan’s national sport.

The royals viewing the Guru Thongdrol displayed at the Tashichhodzong. Photo: Royal Office for Media
Crown Princess Kiko and the Queen of Bhutan. Photo: Royal Office for Media

The Crown Prince Couple visited Bhutan in 1997, and the King of Bhutan was a state guest in Japan in 2011. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s eldest child, Princess Mako visited Bhutan in 2017.

Hisahito is second in line to the throne after his father. His uncle, Emperor Naruhito took the throne earlier this year after the abdication of Hisahito’s grandfather, now Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who was the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in close to 200 years. He has two older sisters, Princesses Mako and Kako, but women are not allowed to ascend the Japanese throne.

Out of precaution, Crown Prince Fumihito and his son flew on two separate flights with Crown Princess Kiko flying with her son.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.