When you can’t tell the difference between fiction and real life.

Ever since Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced their intention to “step back” as senior members of the British Royal Family, media outlets around the world have been quick to scramble up reports on every new update as the situation progresses.

Now, following the recent meeting between the Queen and princes Charles, William, and Harry to discuss details regarding the shakeup to the monarchy, the pressure to get the news out proved to be so great for one Japanese newspaper that it caused a gaffe of royal proportions.

The blunder came to light with a tweet from Twitter user @hopetrue, which showed two images from the Tokyo Shimbun, a paper published by The Chunichi Shimbun Company with a daily morning circulation of approximately 400,000 and an evening circulation of 158,000 across Tokyo and its surrounding areas.

The image on the left shows an article published by the paper, titled “The Queen acknowledges ‘withdrawal'”, which contains details on the “family meeting” alongside a photo captioned “Prince Harry (left) and Princess Meghan”.

Does anything about the photo look a little off to you? Well, it should, but it certainly didn’t look odd to the editors of the paper, who gave it the green light for publication. However, the next day the newspaper printed a correction (pictured on the right of the tweet above) which read:

”Correction: In the evening edition on the 14th, a photo used in ‘The Queen acknowledges “withdrawal”‘ was a photo of the Prince Harry and Princess Meghan wax models displayed in a London wax museum.”

Looking back at the photo, the skin on the faces of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do look a little too glistening, polished and, well, wax-like.

People on Twitter couldn’t stop themselves from laughing and shaking their heads at the royal blunder, leaving comments like:

“The person who made the waxworks must feel so pleased right now!”
“Omg this is hilarious, I can’t believe they made a mistake like this!”
“Madame Toussad’s dream of tricking people with their figures has just become a reality.”
“I was reading this on my own in public and laughed out loud!”
“Ha, thanks for making me laugh this morning, it’s just what I needed.”

While the mistake had everyone in stitches, staff at the paper certainly won’t be laughing now that their error has become news with the mainstream media.

Still, they’re not the only well-known name in Japan to commit a royal faux pas recently, because who can forget the time when the scarf of X Japan’s Yoshiki got caught up with the Queen at the Royal Windsor Cup polo tournament in England last year?

Source: Twitter/@hopetrue via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Flickr/Last Night of Freedom
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