What Foreign Languages Are Members of the Royal Family Fluent In?

Albeit not a royal rule, learning a foreign language is highly recommended in the royal family. After all, much of their job involves traveling to different parts of the world, hosting world leaders, and giving speeches outside of the United Kingdom. And while many royal family members know enough of a foreign language to get by, some are full-on fluent.

Here are the languages members of the royal family have mastered.

Royal Family
Many members of the royal family speak French fluently. | KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images

French

French is the most common foreign language spoken in the royal family and many royals are fluent. It’s the only foreign language Queen Elizabeth has fluency in, and her husband (Prince Philip) and children (Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward) also know the language very well.

According to Express, Her Majesty likely learned the foreign language as a young child from her tutor and governess, Marion Crawford. When visiting France, the queen always speaks the language and even delivered 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.”

In addition to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and their children, Prince William and Kate Middleton also know French. However, their fluency is unknown. Meghan Markle allegedly knows a little bit of the language, too.

German

Unlike French, German isn’t as widely spoken in the royal family. However, one royal is completely fluent in the language. Prince Philip speaks fluent German and has stated that he grew up in a family that spoke German, French, and English, which is where he gets his fluency from.

Welsh

Some members of the royal family know enough Welsh to get by. However, when Prince William was a young boy, Prince Charles encouraged his son to learn from a young age so that he gains fluency by the time he becomes Prince of Wales.

Their exact fluency is unknown. However, many believe Prince William might be fluent and Prince Charles knows enough to give speeches and hold conversations while visiting.

What languages does the royal family speak?

While they might not be fluent, some members of the royal family can speak a variety of other foreign languages. Here are some of the languages Prince William, Prince Charles, Meghan Markle, and other members of the royal family are familiar with.

Gaelic: Prince Charles and Prince William both speak a little Gaelic. It’s likely that they use their linguist skills while visiting Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Tagalog: Meghan Markle allegedly knows a little Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. While visiting Edinburgh with Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex was overheard saying “Salamat Po,” which means “thank you.”

Swahili: The royal family has a soft spot in their hearts for Africa and, when visiting some of its countries, some members speak a little Swahili. Rumor has it, Prince William taught himself the language.  

Spanish: Prince George and Princess Charlotte are already learning their first foreign language. According to reports, the royal littles are learning Spanish and often practice with their Spanish-speaking nanny, Maria Turron Borrallo.

Russian: Some royals can also speak and understand a little Russian. Prince Michael of Kent and his wife, Princess Michael allegedly know some Russian.  


Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!