The International Handball Federation (IHF) made a big mistake at the World Championships final in handball Sunday night. When they posted an image of a group of fashionable spectators in the stands in the world championship arena on their Twitter profile, the mistake was made. Operators of the profile had obviously not studied European royal families and apparently thought that His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco was Norwegian.
“French President Francois Hollande, Norway’s Prince Albert & IOC President Dr Thomas Bach are all enjoying #FRANOR today! #handball2017”, was the text under the picture of the three together in the stands. The message received significant attention from other Twitter users who tried to notify them that this was wrong, and the prince was not Norwegian. The picture was posted on the association’s Twitter profile for several hours Sunday night, but by Monday morning, it was deleted from their account.
Norwegian and, especially, the French media have written extensively about that Prince Albert was described as a Prince of Norway. There was no Norwegian royal presence in Paris yesterday. Only the Norwegian Minister of Culture was Norway’s official representative at yesterday’s finale. The Minister of Culture spoke with the Prince of Monaco right before the match started.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco has always been particularly interested in sports and has even been a professional athlete himself. He has experience in several sports including cross country, javelin throwing, handball, judo, swimming, tennis, rowing, sailing, skiing, squash and fencing. He is a patron of Monaco’s football teams. Albert competed in the bobsleigh at five consecutive Winter Olympics for Monaco, and in the two-man bobsleigh, Albert finished 25th at the 1988 Games in Calgary, 43rd at the 1992 Games in Albertville, and 31st at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
His Serene Highness has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985, and his maternal grandfather, John B. Kelly Sr, and maternal uncle, John B. Kelly Jr, were both Summer Olympic medal winners in rowing.