The Queen speaks both English and French—but are any of the other royals bilingual?

The Queen can speak fluent English and French, but have the younger royals inherited her bilingual skills?

Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool /Getty Images
(Image credit: Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

The Queen's English may be impeccable—and it looks like her French is pretty polished too. 

The Queen's native tongue is known to be flawless—and her French isn't too shabby either.  

Her Majesty boasts the impressive title of Francophone, after learning to speak the language at an early age. She was most likely taught it by her childhood tutor and governess, Marion Crawford, and has gone on to use it in state speeches and private conversations alike. 

Royal fans were impressed to hear her fluency during her address to the French senate in 2004, in which she showed off her strong pronunciation and natural delivery. Native speakers vouched for the Queen's strong command of their language, praising her rhythm and confidence. 

Her Majesty is not the only member of the Royal Family who can change up their lingo. Prince William can also apparently converse in French, and even has a few words of Welsh and Spanish up his sleeve. 

PETERBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 16: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks with service users during a visit to the Garden House part of the Light Project on July 16, 2020 in Peterborough, England. The Garden House offers information, advice and support to the rough sleepers in Peterborough. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William can also speak foreign languages

(Image credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

He is most proficient, however, in German, having likely absorbed his late grandfather's mastery of the language. Prince Philip spoke fluent German, a skill he picked up during his attendance at an elite primary school in Baden-Württemberg. 

Not all members of the family are bilingual though. Prince Harry is not able to speak another language, despite having taken French lessons at school. He admitted he has 'forgotten' most of his linguistic education on a visit to a school three years ago, and hasn't had the opportunity to pick it back up since. 

He does, however, appear to be interested in foreign languages and cultures. On his 2018 trip to New Zealand with Meghan Markle, the Duke of Sussex gave a speech in six different languages. The audience was impressed to hear him use Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Niuean, Cook Islands Maori, and Maori - none of which he had spoken before. "I apologize if my accent wasn’t any good,” he said once the speech had finished. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.