In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family and subsequently relocated to California. Linguistic experts from Babbel claimed that Prince Harry’s speech has changed since his stateside move.
The experts stated: “In his recent interviews, Harry’s choice of language seems to strongly align with his life in California.”
Referencing Harry’s interview with Today show’s Hoda Kotb, they suggested that the Prince was more free with his expression of feelings.
They continued: “He is noticeably more open and forthright about his emotions than we have come to expect of the Royal Family.”
A characteristic the late Queen Elizabeth II was famous for was her stoicism, the ability to endure hardship without complaining.
The experts at Babbel claimed that the UK royals “traditionally present a stoic style of speech, reflective of British culture’s famous stiff upper lip”.
However, they suggested that the US-based Prince has neglected this typically British way of communicating.
They continued: “In this interview, Harry uses emotive language while touching on topics of anxiety, which is not something we’ve experienced organically to date.”
Rather, this would be approached with a “more reserved manner”. Harry’s openness in using phrases such as “feeling at peace”, “healing in helping others”, “helplessness” and “compassion” are “more emotive”.
They also suggested that Harry is using a more man of the people style of communication.
“We have also seen Harry start to use certain phrases to punctuate his thoughts that make his speech come across as more colloquial and informal.
“While the Royal Family tends to adopt a ‘no frills’ style of speaking, Harry now seems to often use phrases like ‘to me’ at the beginning of sentences, or concludes with ‘right?’ or ‘you know?’.”
These discourse markers “borrow from American patterns of speech and offer a tone of familiarity otherwise seldom used by the Royal Family”.
The experts also suggested that Prince Harry’s surroundings and company might be a reason for the shift in his speech patterns.
Perhaps his American wife Meghan Markle, plus his friends in the States, have influenced the way he communicates and expresses himself.
The experts explained: “The shifts we have seen in Harry’s language may be a form of cultural frame switching, a concept which refers to the unconscious decision to mimic the vocabulary and speech patterns of those around you.
“This can be a way to promote social connection and comprehension in everyday conversations, which could explain why Harry is picking up some new phrases in the US.”