Prince Harry 'adapting accent' to sound American, says speech expert

Forgetting the Queen’s English, Harry? Duke uses Americanisms and drops his Ts in new podcast interview because he wants to ‘fit in better and be liked’ rather than stick to his ‘cultural identity’, says speech expert

  • Prince Harry is ‘adapting his accent’ by dropping his Ts and using Americanisms 
  • This is to ‘fit in better and be liked’, according to a London-based speech expert
  • The Duke of Sussex, 36, appeared on Dax Shepherd’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast 

Prince Harry is ‘adapting his accent’ by dropping his Ts and using Americanisms to ‘fit in better and be liked’, according to a speech expert.

The Duke of Sussex, 36, appeared on Dax Shepherd’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast to promote his Apple TV+ series with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can’t See, which explores mental health and premieres on Friday, May 21. 

During his discussion, in which he laid bare his struggles with the Royal Family, communication guru Emma Serlin noted Harry, who is currently living in his $14million Californian mansion with Meghan Markle and their son Archie, appears to have developed an American twang to his British accent.

The founder of the London Speech Workshop told FEMAIL: ‘It’s not so much that he’s developed an American accent but more that he is adapting his. For example, dropping his Ts… and use of Americanisms.’

She added: ‘This softening of his own accent is really his psychology at play… He has a strong desire to be liked and to connect. 

‘When we adjust our accents to make people feel comfortable, it’s a way of reaching out and saying “I’m like you.” It’s about being accessible.’

Prince Harry (pictured earlier this month) is ‘adapting his accent’ by dropping his Ts and using Americanisms to ‘fit in better and be liked’, according to a speech expert

The speech expert continued: ‘Dropping Ts is something many people with heightened or neutral RP accents will do to fit in or connect better with the people they are speaking to.

‘This softening of his own accent is really his psychology at play – he’s a younger sibling with a rebellious streak who has inherited his mother’s people’s skills.’

She explained how the royal has often adapted his voice over the years, with Emma first noticing the softening of his accent back when he was in the army.

‘Note too how his interviewers thought he’d be “stiff and royal” and actually he was “fun and a real dude”. That’s his M.O.,’ explained Emma. ‘It’s always been how he’s wanted to be perceived.’

During his chat with US host Dax, Harry uses some Americanisms. Emma noted: ‘In terms of his use of Americanisms in his language, rather than being ingratiating or inauthentic, this could be seen as being culturally respectful.

The Duke of Sussex (pictured with Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah) appeared on Dax Shepherd’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast to promote his Apple TV+ series with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can’t See, which explores mental health and premieres on Friday, May 21

‘When you move to a different place, you have options, you can keep hold of every element of your first cultural identity, and refuse to adapt either your accent or language, and this could be seen as being particularly entrenched and even stubborn.

‘The other option is to adjust, show willingness to adapt, and Harry shows he’s willing to give up elements of his culture to fit into a different one.

‘Harry’s softened accent and use of language shows he’s more driven to connect, fit in, be liked, not be separate from, than he is to keep hold of his cultural identity.’

Jon Briggs, communications coach and broadcaster, added that Harry is likely adapting his voice to sound closer to those he’s speaking with.

‘In this interview he’s talking to two people with very heavy American accents, which is easy and tempting to adapt to. In doing so it says – “I’m just like you and I’m fitting in with you” as opposed to being confrontational or combative,’ he told FEMAIL.

Dax Shepard, who is married to actress Kristen Bell, runs the popular podcast that interviews stars in America. It’s been bought up by Spotify, who have done a deal with the Sussexes

‘The reason for him sounding more like his hosts is his use of “gotta” “coulda” and “wanna” – instead of “got to”, “could have” and “want to” – which he would be much more likely to say in the company of his own family.’

In the podcast, Harry compared his life as a mixture of The Truman Show – when Jim Carrey’s character discovers his life is a TV show – and being an animal at the zoo as he discussed his mental health.

When asked if he felt ‘in a cage’ while in royal duties, he said: ‘It’s the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early twenties and I was thinking I don’t want this job, I don’t want to be here. 

‘I don’t want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum, how am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family when I know it’s going to happen again’. 

He added: ‘I’ve seen behind the curtain, I’ve seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don’t want to be part of this’, before revealing he had therapy after meeting Meghan, which ‘burst’ a bubble and he decided to ‘stop complaining’. 

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