What Foreign Languages Do Members of the Royal Family Speak?

In the royal family, learning a foreign language is part of etiquette. And, between Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, and other royal family members, the royal family can speak around seven foreign languages. What languages do members of the royal family speak? Keep reading to find out.

Royal family foreign languages

The royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
The royal family speaks many languages. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

As part of their schooling, many members of the royal family learn to speak a foreign language. And, some even know more than one. Case in point: Prince Charles and Prince William are some of the most impressive linguists in the royal family and, between the two of them, know around five foreign languages (though they aren’t completely fluent in some).

Royal parents — including Prince William and Kate Middleton — typically encourage foreign language at a young age, so that royal children have an easier time with fluency. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest children, Princess Charlotte (3) and Prince George (5) are already learning their first foreign language.


One of the languages widely spoken in the royal family is French. Apparently, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Queen Elizabeth II all speak France’s language. Additionally, Kate Middleton also speaks French and so does Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward. Meghan Markle allegedly knows French, but it is unclear whether or not she is fluent in the language.


German is another common foreign language spoken in the royal family. Prince Charles and Prince William both speak Germany’s native language, as well as Prince Philip. Prince Philip’s family spoke three languages, including German, which is where he gets his fluency from.


The littlest royals are also learning a foreign language. Prince George and Princess Charlotte are currently learning Spanish. They have a Spanish-speaking nanny, who likely helps ensure they’re on the track to becoming fluent in the widely spoken language. Additionally, Meghan Markle knows some Spanish. The Duchess of Sussex learned the language while working at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires.


The Prince of Wales and future Prince of Wales — aka, Prince Charles and Prince William — know a little bit of Welsh (the language of Wales), too. It’s unclear what their fluency is, but the princes likely learned as part of their current and future role in the royal family.


According to reports, Prince Charles and Prince William can both speak Gaelic, too. It’s unclear how often they use it (likely when they are visiting Northern Ireland or Scotland), but it’s impressive nonetheless.  


Africa is a very special place for Prince William and other members of the royal family. And, apparently, the future king can speak a little Swahili, the language spoken in many of its countries.


Apparently, some of the royal family might also understand and speak a little bit of Russian, too. Prince Michael of Kent and his wife, Princess Michael allegedly speak Russian.


Meghan Markle might also speak Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. While visiting Edinburgh with Prince Harry, she was heard saying “Salamat Po,” which means “thank you” in the foreign language.

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