'Can I be the next King?': When condolences, jobseekers go to the wrong Prince William

County in US gets messages meant for the new Crown Prince of England as they have the same name


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Photo: AP File
Photo: AP File

Published: Sun 11 Sep 2022, 8:31 AM

Prince William Living magazine chronicles local news from Prince William County, Virginia, near Washington: a fall festival, a car accident, community service projects.

But its website -- princewilliamliving.com -- is also one of the first to pop up (along with the royals' official site) in a Google search for "contact Prince William."

And brace yourself: Some people don't read their Google results very closely.

The result has been a small flood of phone calls and emails with condolences, sketches, poems, requests -- even an offer to make a casket drape -- pouring into the magazine's small offices.

Publisher Rebecca Barnes said Saturday that roughly 40 such messages have arrived a day, from all over the world -- India, Bhutan, Japan, Egypt, both North and South America, and England itself.

"Even people in England don't know how to Google," Barnes quipped to AFP.

One teenage girl said she was a huge fan of the royals and hoped for an invitation to the Queen's funeral.

Another messenger offered to work in the royal household "as a housekeeper or something," adding, "I'm a very clean person."

The county, incidentally, far predates the Prince William who is now first in line to the throne. Formed in 1731, it was named after the Duke of Cumberland, third son of King George II.

But because of the name confusion, Barnes said misdirected messages are not new. They have arrived for years, usually when the royal family was in the news.

She long ago stopped trying to respond to every message, but recently found she could not resist.

A man messaged to ask if he could be the next King of England.

"Who am I to stand in his way," Barnes said.

"I wrote back and asked him to submit an application."


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