Prince William made a rare gaffe on Thursday while opening a Japanese cultural center in London.
William, 36, sat down with the group of kids as he helped showcase the cultural, social and economic links between the U.K. and Japan.
And, under the eyes of the Japanese prime minister, he asked the children if they had eaten “much Chinese food.” The prince quickly corrected himself with “um, Japanese food. Have you had much Japanese food? No? Not too much. Do you like sushi? It’s delicious, it really is yummy.”
The prince attended the official opening of Japan House London near his Kensington Palace home, and luckily his hosts didn’t seem to notice his brief slip-up.
As William moved through the center – even trying some Japanese sake at the early hour of 11 a.m. – he met leading Japanese chef Akira, who showed him a Bento Box containing food from tuna and sea urchin in a truffle cream sauce to shitake mushroom tempura.
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The prince helped himself to a salmon sashimi. “Thank you very much. My wife and I love sushi. We might have to come down here for lunch when no one else is in,” he said. “You must get a lot of Japanese visitors here. So do lots of people come in and ask for a burger? That’s what usually happens, doesn’t it?”
Kate Middleton, 36, who is currently on maternity leave from her royal duties as she cares for the couple’s new son, Prince Louis, wasn’t far from William’s mind when he met the exhibition designers — Haruna Yamada and Hirokazu Kobayashi, the exhibition designers. They told him they had met in college. “Like myself and my wife!” he exclaimed of Kate, who he started dating while they were at St. Andrew’s University. “My wife is the artistic one of the couple, not me, unfortunately.”
Then, sitting down with a group of local elementary school children who were learning to use chopsticks and try origami, one of the children told him he was tired. “You’re tired are you?” William asked.
“Are you tired?” asked the boy.
William replied: “Yes, I am quite tired too. Has it been a long day for you too? Have you been enjoying your chopsticks?”
“No,” answered the boy.
“They are quite tricky I know,” William said with a grin.
He told another little girl that she was very good at using her chopsticks.
“Thank you Your Royal Highness,” she said.
William was clearly pleased. “You’ve been briefed very well. The beans are quite tricky, they’re quite slippery.”