What Languages Does Queen Elizabeth Speak?

The royal family is made up of some impressive linguists. Between the whole lot, they can speak around seven languages, including French, German, Spanish, and Welsh. However, some are more fluent than others. How many languages does Queen Elizabeth speak? We take a closer look at her linguistic proficiency, ahead.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

What languages does Queen Elizabeth speak?

In the royal family, learning a foreign language is a must. However, not all members of the royal family are fluent in multiple languages. Case in point: Queen Elizabeth knows a few phrases and words in various languages, but is only fluent in two. However, her son, Prince Charles and her grandson, Prince William know around five each.

What languages does Queen Elizabeth speak? Find out, below

English

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Today, The Queen has released a message ahead of Commonwealth Day on Monday. "Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year as we mark the 70th anniversary of the London Declaration, when nations of the Commonwealth agreed to move forward together as free and equal members. The vision and sense of connection that inspired the signatories has stood the test of time, and the Commonwealth continues to grow, adapting to address contemporary needs. "Today, many millions of people around the world are drawn together because of the collective values shared by the Commonwealth. In April last year, I welcomed the leaders of our 53 nations to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and we all witnessed how the Commonwealth vision offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people. "We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of cooperation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw. With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real. "We experience this as people of all backgrounds continue to find new ways of expressing through action the value of belonging in a connected Commonwealth. I hope and trust that many more will commit to doing so this Commonwealth Day." PA Images #commonwealth

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To state the obvious, Queen Elizabeth is fluent in English. Her Majesty was born and raised in England and English was her first language. That said, her accent is particular to a certain class — aka royalty and other noble, wealthy individuals — and called posh or, “the Queen’s English.” When a king is on the throne, it’s “the King’s English.” Fancy that!

French

In addition to English, Queen Elizabeth is fluent in French. According to Express, she likely learned the language as a small child from her tutor and governess, Marion Crawford. When visiting the neighboring country, the queen sticks to French and once even gave a speech in French at a State Banquet in 2014.

“Her reading skills were excellent — both pronunciation and rhythm were very good, but you could feel she was quite tense,” linguist expert, Camille Chevalier-Karfi told French newspaper, The Local. “I was impressed by the quality of her French … no stuttering pour la reine.”  

Similarly, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are currently learning a foreign language from their nanny, Maria Turrion Borrallo, whose native language is Spanish.  

What languages does her family speak?

The royal family is chock full of linguists — two of which are future kings — and speak a handful of languages fluently, as well as some other phrases and words. Here are the foreign languages you might hear members of the royal family speak.

French

The queen isn’t the only one with French schooling under her belt. Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew all speak French.

German

Several members of the royal family are fluent in German, including Prince Philip who grew up speaking the foreign tongue in his family. Prince Charles and Prince William both speak German, too.

Welsh

The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and future Prince of Wales (Prince William) can both speak Welsh, too. However, their fluency is unknown.

Gaelic

Prince Charles and Prince William also know a little bit of Gaelic and likely speak phrases or words while visiting Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Spanish

As we mentioned above, two of the family’s youngest linguists are learning Spanish from their nanny. It’s unclear how much Prince George and Princess Charlotte know but, with more practice and years speaking the languages, they could become fluent.

Swahili

Prince William knows a little bit of Swahili, too. The Duke of Cambridge speaks the language while visiting the Swahili-speaking countries in Africa.

Russian

Some royals even know Russian. Apparently, Prince Michael of Kent and his wife, Princess Michael can speak the foreign language.

Tagalog

Meghan Markle knows a little Tagalog (the language of the Philippines). While visiting Edinburgh with Prince Harry, she was heard saying “Salamat Po,” which means “thank you” in the language.


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