Prince William has impressed many people in China following his New Year address to them in Mandarin ahead of his royal visit to China in March.
William reportedly spoke in a pretty authentic Mandarin accent when he addressed the cameras of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, saying to viewers, “Zhu ni men chun jie kuai le, yang nian da ji” (I wish you a happy Chinese New Year and good luck in the Year of the Sheep.)
Many people in China took to social media to express their excitement about having Prince William offer New Year’s wishes in Chinese. After all, it’s not every day the people of China get to hear a member of the British royal family addressing them in their own language.
During his message, the Prince said he would be pleased to visit China to launch the Great Festival of Creativity and mark the start of the Year of Cultural Exchange.
“I’m very pleased to be visiting China soon. Together, the United Kingdom and China have much to celebrate about our cultural relationship – what we have in common and what we can learn from one another,” he said.
The Telegraph in Britain reported that one social media commenter, on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, wrote, “It was so cute when Prince William spoke Mandarin. Could he bring his little boy to China soon?” while another joked, “People always go on about his hairline, but his Chinese is great.”
There were also those who took to Twitter to make their voice heard, with one tweet reading, “Bloody hell watching chinese news and prince william’s speaking mandarin wishing happy chinese new year! [sic]”
William’s father, Prince Charles, also showed off his Chinese today, when he visited London’s Chinatown, saying in Cantonese, “Xin Nian Hao” (Happy New Year) and telling the crowd, “I rather hope the [Chinese] Ambassador [Liu Xiaoming] will give me a tutorial after.”