Being part of the royal family comes with many responsibilities. Among these, speaking at least one language other than English is mandatory, from the late Queen Elizabeth II to her great-grandchildren. In addition to frequently learning greetings in the language of the countries in which they travel, many members have a deeper knowledge of several languages and even rare dialects.
Her Majesty the Queen was fluent in French, having learned it from an early age. Her childhood governess, Marion Crawford, wrote in the book The Little Princess that the Queen’s French teacher made her write “endless columns of verbs in her lessons”. In addition to giving speeches in French several times, she was also heard speaking to presidents and diplomats during her reign.
Her son, now King Charles III, is also fluent, while Queen Consort Camilla, the late Prince Philip, Prince William, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne have some level of proficiency.
The late Prince Philip was of German descent, so he was fluent in the language, although he was rarely heard speaking it in public. Queen Elizabeth II did not speak it, but King Charles and Prince William have a good knowledge of it.
King Charles was the former Prince of Wales, a title traditionally given to the next royal in line for the throne. Prior to his inauguration, his mother insisted that he spend some time in Wales, so Charles attended the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth for a term in 1969. He studied Welsh history and Welsh language and, at the same time, he received Welsh lessons from Dr Edward Millward so that he could deliver his inaugural address in Welsh.
Despite being Prince of Wales for 64 years, Charles admitted his level of language was rusty at best. “I tried my best to learn as much as I could but in one term it’s quite difficult, and I’m not as brilliant a linguist as I would like to be,” King revealed in an interview. Her son has been preparing for longer, however, having started learning Welsh in 1999. Prince William also lived in Wales for a few years. During a 2013 speech, His Royal Highness admitted that his pronunciation was not perfect, but that he would continue to work.
Prince William admitted in a Q&A session that he speaks some Spanish, but it’s the younger members of the royal family who are said to have learned the language already. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are taking lessons, as well as their governess who is a native speaker.
Prince William spent time traveling in Africa during his gap year. There, he became fascinated with the culture and decided to learn Swahili himself. He is not fluent but has some basic knowledge of the language and during a visit to Tanzania in 2018 he promised President John Magufuli he would improve the next time they met.
While Prince Philip left Greece as a baby, all knowledge of the language being lost over time, King Charles is a Hellenophile, as euronews reports, and is almost fluent in Greek. .
seven. Doric dialect
Many locals living near Balmoral Castle reported that Queen Elizabeth II was fluent in the Doric dialect, a local Scots variant spoken in the northeast of Scotland.