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Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová’s Partner Mistaken for Head of State

Barbara Bene 2022.09.20.

A very embarrassing slip-up was made by Western news agencies at the Queen’s lying in State inside Westminster Hall, when a series of photos named Juraj Rizman, the partner of the real Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, as the Slovak head of state, the news portal ma7.sk reported.

Earlier, tvnoviny.sk reported that Čaputová’s name did not appear in any of the photos of the Slovak delegation at the lying in State of Queen Elizabeth II when they paid their respects. The mistake was first made on the Getty Images website, and later other Western photo agencies that took the photos also named Juraj Rizman as the Slovak head of state – when he is in fact Zuzana Čaputová’s partner. The agencies completely forgot about mentioning Čaputová; however, the colossal mistake has since been corrected.

At the same time, Hungarian President Katalin Novák also attended the funeral service of the Queen on Monday, together with her husband, and they sat next to French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife. However, Katalin Novák’s husband was not mistaken for being the head of state as it happened with Čaputová.

The Slovak President has since responded to the incident on her Facebook page by congratulating her partner on his appointment and wishing him good luck, saying that it is a big challenge to be president, even for a woman, let alone a man.

This was not the only political error made regarding the attendees of the late Queen’s funeral. During the broadcast of the funeral service on Monday, commentators on Australia’s Channel 9, Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw described British Prime Minister Liz Truss as a “minor royal.”

The presenters, who have a long history in television and journalism, were trying to guess who would get out of the next car, which they were told was a significant person. Overton said he couldn’t identify the individuals in question, perhaps they were “minor royals” or “local dignitaries.”

They later corrected their mistake after several people on social media called out Channel 9 for the huge error. “I’m told that was Liz Truss the new Prime Minister in the distance, she could see hopping out of the car. Thank you very much for that information,” Overton later said.

However, like the Australians, the BBC also made a mistake, with Sky News Australia reporting that the prominent British broadcaster appears to have forgotten the name of the Australian Prime Minister. Before Anthony Albanese, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife arrived at Westminster Abbey and were recognized and introduced by BBC commentators. However, when Albanese was shown on camera, the presenters did not speak, which some say may suggest they did not know who was in the picture.

This slip-up has not gone unnoticed on social media either, with several people objecting to the fact that the Australian leader was not introduced, while the Canadian was. “Obviously no one at the BBC knows what Albo looks like,” one Twitter user wrote, while another one said that “BBC commentary not recognizing Albo was pretty great.”

Featured photo via Zuzana Čaputová’s Facebook

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