Crown Prince Haakon's geography blunder
Runa Hestmann Tierno
Portugals president Jorge Sampaio and his wife Maria José Ritta arrived in Norway Tuesday morning. Since the King of Norway is on sick leave, it was Crown Prince Haakon who greeted the couple.
At the Mediterranean
220 guests were invited to a gala dinner at the Royal Castle Tuesday night. In his welcome speech started well:
It is a great pleasure to welcome you both to Norway. We have been looking forward to this visit for a long time, and we greatly enjoy having you as our guests.
But then the Crown Prince got all mixed up:
Norway and Portugal are located on opposite sides of Europe. You are located on the Mediterraneans warm shores. We are located as far north as we can be. Our two countries still have a lot in common.
In order words, it appears as it was a long time since Crown Prince Haakon looked at the European map as Portugal not at all is located at the Mediterranean, but the Atlantic.
The Royal Court apologizes
As the damage is done, the Royal Court can do nothing, but apologize for the mistake.
We just have to apologize that the Crown Prince happened to say the wrong thing, said Svein Gj. Gjeruldsen, head of information at the Royal Court. What he intended to say was that Portugal is located far south, at the entrance to the Mediterranean.
Gjeruldsen refused to comment on whether or not the Crown Prince or the Royal Court had apologized for the mistake to President Sampaio. He did not want to comment on who wrote the speech either.
It was the Crown Prince who spoke, besides that, we are not going to comment on who wrote the speech, Gjeruldsen stated.
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