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Princess Madeleine in 'immunity claim' row

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Princess Madeleine in 'immunity claim' row
16:54 CEST+02:00
Sweden's soon-to-be-married Princess Madeleine found herself embroiled in controversy on Wednesday after allegedly trying to get out of a traffic ticket by declaring immunity to the police officer - a luxury she does not have.

Princess Madeleine, who is set to marry her financier fiancé Chris O'Neill on Saturday, was pulled over by traffic police on Tuesday in central Stockholm. The 30-year-old was driving one of the Royal Court's cars in a bus lane in order to pass other traffic, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

"I can confirm that she was stopped in traffic control that we had set up aimed at the public transport lanes," Lars Lindholm, who headed the traffic operation, told the paper.

However, the princess managed to slip the fine by showing a paper to the duty officer and claiming she had immunity, according to an Aftonbladet source.

"I can't comment on that, but the policeman who stopped her felt an uncertainty around the immunity laws, and whether they applied to the whole royal family. Or if there could be an exception for cars from the Royal Court driving in the public lanes," Lindholm added.

"We will now be issuing a fine of 1,000 kronor ($151) retroactively."

According to the laws, it is only the king of Sweden who has immunity in cases such as these.

Royal Court spokesman Bertil Ternert has slammed the policeman's claims, stating that the princess was instead referring to a different ruling from the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen). According to this rule, cars belonging to the Royal Court's car pool are entitled to use bus lanes.

"She has not spoken of immunity; she just showed the policeman the ruling from the County Administrative Board," he told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

"She was absolutely not claiming any kind of immunity. When she is in Sweden, she has on certain occasions the permission to drive the Royal Court's cars and that was what she was doing in this occasion."

The fine does not mark the first time the princess has been in trouble for breaking traffic rules. In 2003, she was caught driving on a pedestrian walkway, and she is also believed to be responsible for some of the 15 parking tickets that royal cars have been issued in 2007.

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