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Prince William Accidentally Calls Japanese Food Chinese, Probably Because He Only Eat Beans

Illustration for article titled Prince William Accidentally Calls Japanese Food Chinese, Probably Because He Only Eat Beans
Image: Getty

During a public appearance at the opening of the Japan House in London, Prince William made a confusing mistake: he called Japanese food Chinese food.

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While speaking with some schoolchildren learning to use chopsticks for the first time Prince William reportedly asked “Have you guys had much Chinese food?” CNN reports he was met with an awkward pause before he quickly corrected himself and said, “Sorry, Japanese food. Have you had much Japanese food?”

Unfortunately, this is what happens when you’ve only eaten beans and toast all your life, the only meal I assume he consumes as spokesman for British people. It’s honestly sad that William and Kate can only eat the food of their homeland, i.e. sausages, tiny meat pies, and Mars bars. That’s pretty much it. It’s not surprising then that William wouldn’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese delicacies. What a shame.

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“My wife and I love sushi,” Prince William also said during his visit. “We might have to come down here for lunch when there’s no one else down.”

Do you William? Do you really?

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

This is emblematic of another problem in the contemporary UK. For many, terminology to represent their racial identity is horribly and limited and out of date. As most of us from the Commonwealth know all too well, “Asian” or “Asian British” is usually applied to people of South Asian descent (and typically broken down into sub-categories like Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan). People of North and East Asian (and Southeast Asian) descent still are often only offered “Chinese” and “Chinese British” as categories to identify themselves on government forms. I would often balk at the fact that some older forms still used the category “Oriental”. This truly is a blind spot for the UK, which tends to fare better than the US on updating terminology related to health, lifestyle, and disability.

Honestly, Wills’s gaffe is just an everyday illustration of how much the UK fails an entire category of British citizens and residents by failing to bring its vocabulary into the 21st century.