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International royals

Members of the Japanese Royal Family involved in car crash

Two members of the Imperial family of Japan were involved in a minor car accident on Sunday after the van they were travelling in crashed into another car.

Princess Kiko and her ten-year-old son, Prince Hisahito, were in the van at the time of the accident. Fortunately, nobody sustained any injuries.

Prince Hishito is third-in-line to the Chrysanthemum Throne and Princess Kiko is married to the second-in-line, Prince Akishino

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the crash occurred at around 7:40 a.m. on the Chuo Expressway – a road with an 8okm/h speed limit.

Four other people were travelling in the van with the royals. It is believed that their vehicle hit a car at slow speed during a traffic jam.

After the accident, the royal party went hiking as originally planned, but was just a few hours behind schedule.

The police have now launched an investigation into the cause of the accident.

In Japan, whenever Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko or Crown Prince Naruhito travel on the road, they are accompanied by a police motorcade which protects the royals from any harm.

Traffic lights also turn green for any vehicle carrying the Emperor, Empress or Crown Prince for their safety and comfort. Now some officials are calling for the rules to be changed so other members of the Imperial Family can also have these special privileges instead of following the same rules as other road users.