Just a few years ago, Meghan Markle was simply an American actress. Now she has transformed into a full-fledged member of the British royal family.
There’s no doubt that Meghan has changed a lot in just one year. Some people are noticing that it isn’t just her life that is different. It looks like Meghan’s accent could be going through a transformation of its own as well.
What kind of accent does Meghan Markle originally have?
Meghan Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, so most people will know her with a typical American accent that one will hear in movies and on TV.
However, being a California girl, Meghan also adopted what linguists call a vocal fry. Many have long associated this with the “valley girl” kind of speech.
These days, vocal fry can also be heard from the Kardashian-Jenner sisters. It involves making one’s voice lower and vibrating the vocal folds (usually at the end of a sentence), giving the voice a creaky quality. Meghan did this a lot in her acting roles as well as in interviews as an actress.
Has Meghan Markle adopted a British accent?
Meghan Markle is married to Prince Harry and has since moved across to the pond to the U.K., so she is now living in a rather different linguistic environment than before. After a while of living among British royals and aristocrats, people began to notice that Meghan’s accent has changed a bit.
Just a few months after her wedding, Meghan attended an engagement with Queen Elizabeth and was spotted talking to some fans and pronouncing words in a more proper English way. She also said the phrase “no rain at the moment” that is commonly not used in her home country.
In January 2019, Meghan was seen asking fans “Did you make that for us?” with a very British intonation.
Although not technically a British way of talking, she also exhibited less vocal frying when speaking at a Women’s Day panel back in April. This could also simply be because she was a guest at a rather serious event. However, it’s clear that Meghan has modified her accent and speech a lot since becoming a royal.
What do people think of Meghan’s new accent?
A few onlookers have side-eyed Meghan Markle for these changes. They accuse her of trying to erase her American identity. However, many linguists see nothing wrong, noting that people often change their way of speaking – even a tiny bit – when immersed in a new environment. This process is called “accommodating.”
Meanwhile, some experts also point out that Meghan could have reasons for making trying to make her accent more acceptable to British people. According to Marisa Brook, a linguistic expert from the University of Toronto, Meghan is often in “situations where people might be judging her in public instantly, where it really benefits her to sound British and aristocratic.”
Dr. Brook also said: “It’s not that she is changing who she is. It’s like she’s changing how she dresses – [the accent is] like an extremely fancy outfit.”
Kate Middleton reportedly changed her accent as well
While Kate Middleton, who was born and raised in England, already has a British accent of her own, many fans noticed that she actually changed her accent after marrying Prince William.
Kate grew up in a wealthy and privileged family. Although her mother came from a working-class background, her parents made millions from their business. They were able to send Kate and her siblings to the best schools in the country. Since she mingled with upper-class folks from a young age, her accent clearly sounded very posh.
After years of living in the royal family, Kate’s accent actually managed to become even more high-class than Prince William’s. She now speaks in the traditional Received Pronunciation that is used by Queen Elizabeth. Prince William uses the Received Pronunciation but in a more modern form that is often heard in younger royals.