It has been revealed that Meghan Markle, actress, philanthropist and wife of British Royal Prince Harry is a fluent Spanish speaker, but can she speak French?
Meghan Markle can speak french, but not as fluently as she can speak Spanish. She has expressed a wish to return to the language and re-learn it, as she spent many years learning French in high school before ultimately forgetting it as her Spanish became more dominant.
Meghan Markle pursued the study of French in High School, spending around six years learning the language – although in a more casual manner than her determined study of Spanish many years later. However, French is certainly not a widely spoken language in the United States, with just 1.3 million native speakers as of 2020. This is a relatively tiny number when compared with the 43 million native Spanish speakers in the country.
Although it only ranks sixth on the list of top languages spoken in the United States, Meghan Markle still took the time to learn it, likely owing majorly to the fact that she was an a determined and studious pupil, actively participating in many extra-curricular activities and working to spend time improving her local community. This latter attribute was encouraged by Markle’s mother as she grew up, offering her daughter as many opportunities as possible to give back to those less fortunate than them.
Markle certainly took her schooling seriously, spending the majority of her education in a private, all-girl catholic school in Los Angeles, the Immaculate Heart. It was here that she grew her love for both learning and acting and eventually graduated and transitioned into her university studies, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in international studies, something that would have been supplemented perfectly by the ability to speak multiple languages.
Unfortunately, Meghan Markle’s ability to speak French would be altogether pushed out by the Spanish language as time went on, and Markle found it more beneficial to adopt the latter language. When she was twenty years old, she interned at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while working towards her degree in international studies.
While here, Meghan explained that she quickly learned the bulk of her Spanish speaking ability, picking the language up both as a result of her dedicated learning, and by the native speakers surrounding her on a daily basis. It was likely this local influence that led to Markle picking up the language with a particular inflection: speaking it with an Argentine accent.
When Markle was working and living in Toronto, Canada, she employed a Spanish personal trainer. While they worked together, in an attempt to keep Markle fit and in shape for the American television show, Suits, she took the time and consideration to speak to the man in Spanish. In fact, it was this man – Jorge Blanco – who noted that she spoke with an Argentine accent.
The Desire To Go Back
As time went on, Meghan Markle retired from acting and decided to pursue her new responsibilities: upholding the brand that was the British Royal family. She enveloped herself in philanthropic and humanitarian pursuits, and toured the world with her husband, doing what they could to essentially make it a better place. This of course meant that she had plenty of time to flex her considerable linguistic skills.
In early 2020, at a Royal Engagement in Canada House (United Kingdom), Prince Harry teased his wife somewhat, trying to encourage her to speak French to the staff there. The nation of Canada of course has two official languages, English and French. Meghan Markle politely and jokingly refused, all in good nature.
However, back in 2016 this may not have been possible, as Markle explained in a New Year resolution post on her blog, The Tig, that she wanted to ‘relearn French’. It turned out she had indeed forgotten the language while learning Spanish! However, she must have re-acquired the language at some point, as in 2019 the couple visited Morocco, and Markle took the opportunity to speak some French, as the following YouTube video shows.