Dutch crown prince gaffes in Mexico speech

6th November 2009, Comments 6 comments

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander unwittingly used a vulgar Spanish expression while speaking at an energy seminar in Mexico City.

Mexico – Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander made a major blunder Thursday in an energy seminar in Mexico City when he used an impolite Spanish phrase and mispronounced it.   

The crown prince who was urging his listeners to act against global warming was giving a speech in English when he used the Spanish expression, "camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente", (a sleeping shrimp will be washed away by the tide).

Instead of saying al corriente, Willem-Alexander said "a la chingada".

While chingada is part of the daily language in most of South America, it means "got screwed" in Mexican Spanish and is considered vulgar, prompting the audience to burst into laughter.

The speech had been prepared by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, which has since apologised to the prince for putting the wrong words into his mouth.

Willem-Alexander's Argentinian wife, Princess Máxima, was not involved in writing the speech, said the government information service.

The crown prince is in Mexico with Princess Maxima and Queen Beatrix for a five-day state visit.

The Dutch royals have visited an arid region west of Mexico City and spoke to trainees at a college for agricultural technology and water management who are preparing for jobs in their own country, rather than emigrating to find work. Drought is a major cause of Mexican emigration to the neighbouring US.

The royal family will spend their last day visiting the spectacular pyramids of Teotihuacan.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

6 Comments To This Article

  • JadeED posted:

    on 8th November 2009, 08:22:29 - Reply

    Maybe they should try writing and using their own words next time...or just a good proof read before you speak someone elses words. Good thing the prince and the rest of the Dutch royals are pretty much a useless meaningless bunch to most of the world with little influcence.
  • Juan Diego posted:

    on 6th November 2009, 22:35:09 - Reply

    The correct expression is:
    "camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente".

    There is a typo in spanish: "al" is wrong, the correct is "la".

    Very much agree with Osita comments!!
  • Johnny English posted:

    on 6th November 2009, 20:11:26 - Reply

    The estimated wealth of our royal family dropped to under 1 billion EUR, so the're suffering bigtime too :)
  • Holly M. posted:

    on 6th November 2009, 13:28:30 - Reply

    @ Osita : exactly! to the point, on the head of the nail!

    the word had indeed a stronger meaning, it's vulgar what he said!

    Dutch people are reacting too relaxed...they have to be more critic, reed what Osita wrote! others are struggling, he is building a villa during crisis, flies around for fun and he talks about global warming?
  • osita posted:

    on 6th November 2009, 12:59:31 - Reply

    So he's really been saying 'chingada' to every Dutch taxpayer as he continues to build his luxury African holiday home during an economic crisis which has left many taxpayers just stuggling to pay bills, never mind taking a holiday? Or can global warming 'chingada' when he flies thousands of miles to Mozambique several times a year?
  • Monica Cortes posted:

    on 6th November 2009, 11:44:22 - Reply

    Hi, I'm Mexican living in the Netherlands and I just read the news about the prince Alexander- Williem in México. Unfortunatly I agree with him....because his expression is more realistic than the original.....however, the word has a strong meaning, more than you described in your news!!!!,

    kind regards.