Has Meghan's accent changed since marrying Prince Harry?

2/17/2019 12:13:00 PM

Tehran (KNA) - A lot has been written about the Duchess of Sussex in recent months, from speculation on her relationships with other members of the Royal Family to endless discussion of how much she cradles her baby bump.

Now even her accent has become a topic of debate. 

When clips of Californian-born Meghan speaking are shared online, the same suggestion often pops up: Has she adopted a British accent?

Some speech experts say they can hear a change, but others are not convinced.

"There does seem to be something in the idea that Meghan Markle's speech has changed a bit, at least in some settings," said phonetics and pronunciation specialist Dr Geoff Lindsey.

"There are occasional vowels which sound a bit more British," he said, while conceding it was tricky to make absolute statements.

One example is her more British pronunciation of the word "all" when she met crowds in Cheshire in June 2018 , compared to her pronunciation of the same word in her and Prince Harry's engagement interview in 2017 , he said. But "the differences are subtle," said Dr Lindsey.

And Dr Lindsey, an honorary linguistics lecturer at University College London, added that her intonation is more British than American when asking the yes/no question: "Did you make that for us?" in a clip from Birkenhead in January 2019.

Marisa Brook, assistant professor in linguistics at the University of Toronto, said the duchess has "developed a style that sounds very English-aristocratic for interacting with the public".

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Among the examples she highlighted was the duchess saying "I do appreciate that" in the same clip from Birkenhead (above) in January 2019. 

"The vowel in 'that' is further back in the mouth than you would expect for American English," said Ms Brook, suggesting it could be a consequence of living in southern England.

Ms Brook, who has studied accent changes in high-profile figures, said: "I think a lot of it is deliberate on her part.

"She's developed a style to be used when directly talking with the British public. 

"These are the situations where people might be judging her in public instantly, where it really benefits her to sound British and aristocratic."

Source: BBC

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