The Duchess of Sussex, who was born in Los Angeles, has only lived in England for a short time, but many fans are convinced Meghan Markle has a British accent. A June 14 video shared by Twitter user @elzeiny99 during Markle's first solo outing with Queen Elizabeth II in Chester, England went viral Friday, and the footage shows the former Suits star talking with residents. She, of course, is as lovely as can be, but people are more focused on how the newest member of the British royal family is speaking.
The video opens with an individual welcoming Markle to Chester. She replied, "Thank you, I appreciate that. Thank you so much." Then, Twitter user @elzeiny99 spoke with Markle. "Hi, it's nice to meet you," @elzeiny99 said. Markle asked for her name and she answered, "My name's Aya." After telling the 36-year-old how she's a big fan of Markle's and watched her act for a long time, the Duchess of Sussex responded with a sweet laugh, "Oh, did you?!"
It's hard to say for certain if Markle really does have an accent. It doesn't really sound like she's developed one. Personally, I think she sounds like she always has, but others aren't so convinced. You can listen to the video in question here:
There are many freaking out in both positive and negative ways over Markle supposedly speaking with a British accent. Some are even claiming Markle's chosen to purposely speak with an accent, even saying it's fake. There are others who simply think it's an "inflection." Whatever the case, let's keep the criticism to a minimum. It's unfair to hate on her for how she speaks, especially when it's not even clear if she really does have a British accent.
Here just a few out of the many Twitter reactions:
This Twitter User Caught On Early
Take note, this tweet is from June 14.
It's A Lot To Take In
Is this for real?
A Diplomatic Response
A good way to look at it.
Stop The Bashing
Markle has this person's full support.
Ugh, totally unnecessary. As for the Madonna reference, she made headlines for her out-of-nowhere British accent in both the late '90s and early '00s.
Let's Not Forget About Lindsay Lohan
LiLo has also been accused of speaking with an accent.
This Person Would Do It
This tweet goes from judging to admitting they would speak British after becoming royalty.
What's The Problem?
This person is really analyzing the situation.
For those wondering if Americans can pick up accents, only young children can, according to Jack Chambers, a professor of linguistics at the University of Toronto, who spoke with The Wall Street Journal in 2003 (via The Guardian). "If a kid moves to a new area after 14, that kid will never sound like he or she belongs to that area," Chambers said. According to a video shared by AsapSCIENCE in July 2016, the YouTube channel explains the differences between "native accents" and "non-native accents." According to AsapSCIENCE, "After the age of 12, the length of residence has almost no effect on your accent."
According to Dr. Paul Foulkes, a linguistics lecturer at the University of York, he told the WSJ, a person adjusting their accent to wherever they are living is called "linguistic accommodation." Foulkes said it can be done subconsciously and with people "just responding to what they hear around them." Basically, language acquisition is quite complicated.
Whether or not you think Markle has adopted a British accent, let's focus on what's really important, the way Markle talked about her engagement ring Prince Harry designed for her. In the above video, Markle thanked another onlooker for compliment's on her ring. You can tell how much she loves the beautiful piece of jewelry, because she absolutely glows and smiles with her eyes. "He did a really ... he designed this, so it was very nice, thank you," Markle gushed while looking at her ring. They really are the most adorable couple.
It doesn't seem in Markle's character to fake an accent or to do it on purpose, especially because she's married to someone who's British. If she really is speaking with an accent, maybe she doesn't even realize it.