He’s used to attending royal engagements and has represented his grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, at many events around the world but Prince William made a cringe-worthy cultural mistake in front of students in London on Thursday.
The Duke of Cambridge attended the grand opening of Japan House London, an organisation which aims to create a greater understanding of Japan amongst residents in the United Kingdom. According to a statement by Kensington Palace, its purpose is also to deepen cultural, social and economic bonds between the United Kingdom and Japan.
As part of the day’s celebrations, Prince William, 36, sat down with a group of kids to practice using chopsticks. At first, everything seemed to be going smoothly. He was happily interacting with the children and participating in the day’s events.
“These are quick tricky, aren’t they?” he said while attempting to use a pair of chopsticks. “They’re quite slippery.”
Along with a group of children, he attempted to move food from one bowl to another. It was then that he made the blunder of all blunders.
“Have you guys eaten much Chinese food?” he asked the children. Realising his mistake, given he was at an event celebrating the best of Japanese culture, he quickly corrected himself.
“Sorry, Japanese food?” he said. “Have you had much Japanese food? No? Not too much. Do you like sushi? It’s delicious, it really is yummy.”
Unfortunately for him, the awkward moment was captured on camera and quickly began doing the rounds on social media.
Prince William was in great form at the opening of @japanhouseldn – charming & engaging. But even a royal diplomat can make the odd bloop. Such as asking local schoolchildren at the event to highlight Japanese culture if they had eaten much Chinese food! He quickly recovered tho! pic.twitter.com/72swlvNbk0
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) September 13, 2018
Kensington Palace also shared a clip of the Prince interacting with children, but edited out his mistake. Instead, the Palace chose to focus on the positives of the event and shared some of the Duke’s inspirational words about the relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan.
“The U.K. and Japan have a great deal in common,” a tweet read. “Our links with one another – from culture to trade and security – go back centuries.”
"This year marks 160 years since we established formal diplomatic relations between our two countries. And standing here now I am delighted to see those relations continue to flourish." – The Duke of Cambridge at @JapanHouseLDN ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/AytWZjGU9A
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 13, 2018
It also confirmed that 2018 marked 160 years since formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established. Japan House London also didn’t seem too bothered by the royal’s blunder and took to Twitter to gush about how excited it was to welcome the Prince.
“Prince William enjoyed salmon sashimi from one of Chef Akira Shimizu’s signature bento boxes at AKIRA restaurant at Japan House,” a tweet read. “The Duke said, ‘My wife and I love sushi. We might have to come down here for lunch when no one else is in’.”
Prince William enjoyed salmon sashimi from one of Chef Akira Shimizu's signature bento boxes at AKIRA restaurant at Japan House. The Duke said, "My wife and I love sushi. We might have to come down here for lunch when no one else is in." https://t.co/OtwFWS3ZEN pic.twitter.com/cKOZNDnvaf
— Japan House London (@japanhouseldn) September 13, 2018