Prince William congratulated on 'cute' message in Mandarin for Chinese New Year

Prince William won plaudits when he recorded a message for Chinese New Year in Mandarin ahead of his visit to the country. State television showed the video, in which he spoke two sentences in the language, sending warm wishes to the people of China at this special time of year for them.


Prince William spoke two sentences in Mandarin Chinese

Hundreds of millions of viewers will have seen the broadcast, which led to an overwhelmingly positive response on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging site similar to Twitter.

"When I saw him saying 'chun jie kuai le' (happy new year) in Chinese I wanted to ask him who his Mandarin teacher was," wrote one.

"It was so cute when Prince William spoke Mandarin," wrote another, adding: "Could he bring his little boy to China soon?"

The royal, who also speaks good French, was congratulated from across the Chinese diaspora too. A Twitter commentator in the West wrote: "I loved... amazing."

The last senior royal visit to the country was the Queen's tour in 1986

The speech started with a brief greeting in Mandarin - before William said: "Warmest wishes to you all in the Year of the Sheep. Chinese New Year is a special time for people around the world and I am very pleased to be visiting China soon."

He then spoke in more detail about the ties between the two countries.The future King concluded: "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)."

At the end of February, William will travel to Japan before moving on to China. He will arrive in China on March 1, visiting Beijing, Shanghai and the mountainous Yunnan province. Unfortunately for fans of Prince George, he will not be on the trip, nor will his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton.

By this time Kate will be around eight months pregnant. She is due to give birth in mid-April and will be happy to stay close to home.