President Donald Trump caused a Twitter storm Thursday morning when he accidentally referred to Charles, Prince of Wales, as the "Prince of Whales."
Commenting on his recent UK state visit, where he met with Prince Charles, Trump wrote: "I meet and talk to 'foreign governments' every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Whales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom...We talked about 'Everything!'"
Twitter users quickly poked fun at his flub. "Good grief. The Prince of 'Whales.' Narwhal, Beluga, or Humpback? Trump is an international embarrassment," wrote political scientist Brian Klaas.
Another user quipped: "I meet and talk to 'foreign governments' every day. I just met with the Queen of Octopuses (Octopi), the Prince of Whales, The P.M. of Dolphins, the Lord of Sea Urchins, the Potentate of Clams, and Aquaman. We talked about 'Everything!" Should I call the FBI?'
Other users had fun with images. GOP political strategist Rick Wilson shared an image of vintage board game "Sealab 2020" with the comment: "White House Staff preparing to meet with the Prince of Whales."
Huffington Post editor Graeme Demianyk shared a cartoon of a whale dressed in royal regalia, carrying a sword and riding a seahorse-pulled carriage. "The Prince of Whales, pictured earlier today," he wrote.
Klaas tweeted about Trump's post again, this time sharing a "live" picture of Trump's meeting with the Prince of Whales—a cartoon whale wearing a crown.
But perhaps Trump was referring to an obscure piece of legislation from the sixteenth century. Although Charles does not have any official dominion over the creatures, his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, actually does.
According to 1592's "The Case of Swans," as documented in The Reports of Sir Edward Coke, whales are "Royal Fish," much like "Royal Fowl"—AKA swans. The Queen famously has the prerogative right to claim all unmarked mute swans in open British waters.
This historic piece of law still has implications today. In Scotland, for example, the government deals with stranded "Royal Fish"—or, whales larger than 25 feet—on behalf of the crown.
When Charles succeeds his mother, he will, in a sense, be "King of Whales." And swans, and sturgeons.