The rarefied world of Japan’s imperial family has entered the age of social media, but fans expecting selfies, emojis and casual shots of the emperor and empress, or princes and princesses away from the limelight may be disappointed.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Far from photographs of sunrises or moments of mindfulness that form the stock in trade of many Instagram profiles, the initial images released followed a steady course favoured by other royal families around the world.

Some 19 images were posted by the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) on day one of the social media journey of the world's oldest continual hereditary monarchy, including images of Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and their daughter, Princess Aiko during engagements from the first three months of the year.