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Language expert says Prince Harry has adopted Americanisms to sound more approachable in the US

Prince Harry could be ‘modifying’ his British accent with flicks of US English in order to sound more approachable when speaking to Americans, according to a language expert.

Former King’s College language specialist Tony Thorne says shades of an American accent can be heard in the Duke of Sussex‘s voice in his most recent interview with US broadcaster NBC.

He says Prince Harry can be heard dropping his ‘Ts’ in some instances – including when talking about his new home in Santa Barbara, California.

And he says the 37-year-old is adopting ‘Therapy Speak’ in other instances, such as when he talks about topics such as ‘peace’ and ‘healing’.

Others wondered whether his use of ‘right?’ and ‘you know?’ to end a sentence were an example of his new drawl. 

However the language expert says Prince Harry, like his mother Diana, has ‘always’ modified his accent to some extent in order to sound ‘less posh’.

And he believes Prince Harry may now adding in American tones unconsciously, because he is living permanently in the US with Meghan Markle and their two children. 

Mr Thorne, a former director of the Language Centre at King’s College London, and who has almost 50 years of experience in speech and language, told MailOnline: ‘This is something we’ve seen before with Harry and Meghan.

Former King’s College linguistics expert Tony Thorne says shades of an American accent can be heard in the Duke of Sussex’s voice in his most recent interview with US broadcaster NBC (pictured)

Tony Thorne, a former director of the Language Centre at King's College London, and who has almost 50 years of experience in speech and language

Tony Thorne, a former director of the Language Centre at King’s College London, and who has almost 50 years of experience in speech and language

‘It is a phenomenon we call “accommodation” or “convergence” where if someone from the south is talking to someone with a strong accent, like someone from Liverpool or Newcastle for example, you may find that person modifies their accent to sound more London. And it happens the other way as well.

‘Perhaps with Harry he is modifying his accent when he is talking to American people. You can see in the video he says San’a Barbara rather than Santa Barbara.

‘With upper and middle class British people there is usually a very distinctive way they pronounced their ‘Ts’, while Americans tend to swallow their ‘Ts’.

‘But this is not unusual and of course he is with Meghan who is American and they are likely with each other every day.’ 

However he said Prince Harry had ‘always’ modified his accents from the traditional Received Pronunciation (RP) spoken by his father, Prince Charles, and grandmother, the Queen.

Mr Thorne said Prince Harry had adopted a ‘less posh’ accent in the UK – something his mother, Diana, was known to do. 

Linguistic experts have previously noted how Diana would on occasion strangle the final ‘T’ in some words – giving it a more south to east London twang.

‘I think with Harry, and this is something his mother also did, he has always modified his accent,’ Mr Throne said.

‘His English accent is not very posh when you compare it to other older members of the royal family.

Mr Thorne said Prince Harry had adopted a 'less posh' accent in the UK - something his mother, Princess Diana (pictured), was known to do

Mr Thorne said Prince Harry had adopted a ‘less posh’ accent in the UK – something his mother, Princess Diana (pictured), was known to do

Mr Thorne said Prince Harry had 'always' modified his accents from the traditional Received Pronunciation (RP) spoken by his father, Prince Charles (pictured here with Diana, Harry and William), and grandmother, the Queen

Mr Thorne said Prince Harry had ‘always’ modified his accents from the traditional Received Pronunciation (RP) spoken by his father, Prince Charles (pictured here with Diana, Harry and William), and grandmother, the Queen

‘And I think, whether it is unconscious or part consciously, he has modified his accent, first of all to sound less posh and to sound more approachable, to sound like an everyday person from England, and now he may be adding a little American in there as well.’

Mr Thorne, who is semi-retired but still works as a freelance language consultant, also discussed Prince Harry’s choice of words when talking about his emotions.

In one segment of today’s NBC Today interview, Prince Harry was asked about whether or not he felt at ‘peace’ in his current situation.

He replied: ‘I don’t know how many people feel truly peaceful, you know? I feel — at times I feel massively at peace. 

‘But with everything that is going on in the world and trying to help and trying to use the platform and the influence to try and steer people to try and help. 

‘Again, like I think like the biggest concern or the biggest issue that people wrestle with on daily basis that does provide more anxiety for me and for them is the helplessness. 

‘We as human beings are compassionate people. But when your life becomes really hard, it can be for some harder to find the compassion for other people. 

‘But what I’ve learned over the years is, certainly for myself, I find healing in helping others. And I think that what we should really be focusing on.’ 

Mr Thorne said he believed Prince Harry is adopting ‘Therapy Speak’ when talking about his emotions.

Mr Thorne said he believed Prince Harry is adopting 'Therapy Speak' when talking about his emotions. Pictured: Prince Harry carries out movements such as crossing his arms while remembering events in his past during therapy

Mr Thorne said he believed Prince Harry is adopting ‘Therapy Speak’ when talking about his emotions. Pictured: Prince Harry carries out movements such as crossing his arms while remembering events in his past during therapy

On the type of language Harry uses in the interview, Mr Thorne added: ‘This goes back a long way, to around the 1970s, and we used to describe it as ‘Therapy Speak’.

‘It is something used by therapists or new wave and something more commonly associated with the West Coast of America.

‘I think he is being sincere, because he comes across as sincere.

‘But I think it is very difficult to talk about in British English and be emotive. It’s about having a stiff upper lip and the Royal Family, in particular the older royals, it is very much about a stiff upper lip.

‘I think this is an influence of his environment and being around people who are more emotive.’

Prince Harry has today hinted the Queen may not be looking forward to turning 96, as he also talked up his ‘special relationship’ with his grandmother.  

On the type of language Harry uses in the interview, Mr Thorne added: ¿This goes back a long way, to around the 1970s, and we used to describe it as ¿Therapy Speak¿

On the type of language Harry uses in the interview, Mr Thorne added: ‘This goes back a long way, to around the 1970s, and we used to describe it as ‘Therapy Speak’ 

In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about the Monarch –  following his ‘surprise’ visit to Windsor Castle last week.

The 37-year-old also discussed the Queen’s upcoming birthday. Her Majesty is set to turn 96 tomorrow – her actual birthday. Her ‘official’ birthday – as the sovereign – is due to take place on June 12. 

Alongside the celebrations for her 96th birthday, this year the Queen will also celebrate her 70th on the throne, with a host of Platinum Jubilee events planned for later this year. 

But when asked about the Queen’s upcoming birthday in his interview with NBC Today presenter Hoda Kotb, Prince Harry appeared to suggest that the Queen was ‘bored’ of the celebrations.

Speaking to the broadcaster, he said: ‘I think she’s — I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.

Ms Kotb replied: ‘You think she’s bored of her 96th?’ ‘I think so,’ responds Prince Harry. But the Duke then appeared to change tack when asked if the Queen will be ‘bored’ for her jubilee.

He replied: ‘No. I don’t think so. She’s had a few jubilees now and every one is slightly different. I’m sure she is looking forward to it.’

Earlier Prince Harry had been asked what he thought was the best thing about the Queen. He responded: ‘Her sense of humour and ability to see the humour in so… so many different things. 

‘We have a really special relationship. We talk about thing she can’t really talk about with anybody else so that is always a nice peace to her.’  

In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about his grandmother (pictured), following his ‘surprise visit’ last week

In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about his grandmother, following his 'surprise' visit to Windsor Castle  (pictured) last week

In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about his grandmother, following his ‘surprise’ visit to Windsor Castle  (pictured) last week

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Highlights: What Prince Harry said in his NBC chat

  • On visiting the Queen: ‘Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her. You know, she’s on great form. She has always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure she’s protected and has got the right people around her.’
  • On the best thing about the Queen: ‘Her sense of humour and her ability to see the humour in so many different things. We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else, so that is always a nice peace to her. But I think she’s… I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.’
  • On whether he misses William and Charles: ‘Look I mean, for me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 per cent to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime. That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family who I miss massively.’
  • On whether he will attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations: ‘I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things with security issues and everything else. This is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.’
  • On Archie: ‘He’s into the why stage. Why this? Why that? Why that? And instead of just trying to move it on, I give him the most honest answer I can. And then it goes on and on and on until he’s satisfied. And then that’s it. It’s done. Otherwise it ends up with – because the world is round and that it is the way life is.’
  • On his late mother Princess Diana: ‘It is almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much, like, helping me. Got him set up. And now she’s helping me set up. That’s what it feels like, you know? He’s got his kids. I’ve got my kids, you know the circumstances are obviously different. But now, I feel her presence in almost everything that I do now. But definitely more so in the last two years than ever before. Without question. So she’s watching over us.’ 

His comments came in the interview with NBC’s Today – his second major broadcast interview in the US after he and wife Meghan Markle’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey sit-down chat in March last year.

It also comes after Prince Harry paid a secret visit to Her Majesty on his way to the Netherlands, where he is currently hosting the Invictus Games.

On the way from California, he made a ‘secret’ stop-off to Windsor castle to visit his grandmother with wife Meghan. The pair have not brought their two children Archie and Lillibet – the latter of whom is named after the Queen’s nickname by her late husband Prince Philip.

During the interview, broadcast at around midday UK time, Prince Harry also refused to say whether he missed his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William amid their ongoing feud.

The Duke of Sussex also placed doubt over whether he would attend his grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London in June amid the ongoing security row with the Home Office, adding: ‘Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well.’

This comes despite his lawyers telling the High Court in February of the UK: ‘This is and always will be his home.’ 

Harry also spoke about his mantra of ‘trying to make the world a better place for my kids’ while explaining his fears that he could face ‘burnout’ while working from home at his £11million mansion in Montecito, California.  

And, talking about his late mother Princess Diana, Harry told NBC’s Today that he feels her ‘presence in almost everything that I do now’ and that he talks to his son Archie about her and there are photos of her in their home.  

Asked about the Jubilee celebrations, he said: ‘I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things with security issues and everything else. This is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.’ 

But when questioned over whether he misses Charles and William, the Duke was keen to swerve the subject, telling Ms Kotb: ‘For me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys [Invictus athletes] and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 per cent to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime. 

‘That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family who I miss massively.’ 

Buckingham Palace officials were already braced for sensational claims from the Duke of Sussex‘s interview, after a trailer revealed last night that he is ‘making sure the Queen is protected and has the right people around her’. 

Prince Harry attends the indoor rowing event during day five of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at Zuiderpark today

Prince Harry attends the indoor rowing event during day five of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at Zuiderpark today

The Duke of Sussex cycles through Zuiderpark during the Invictus Games at The Hague in the Netherlands today

The Duke of Sussex cycles through Zuiderpark during the Invictus Games at The Hague in the Netherlands today

Who is Hoda Kotb? US news anchor speaking to Prince Harry about his personal life on Today show is a former war correspondent and a breast cancer survivor 

Hoda Kotb is the co-anchor of NBC’s morning show Today, which she has been hosting alongside Savannah Guthrie since January 2018, when she was named as the replacement for disgraced on-air personality Matt Lauer, who was fired by NBC amid allegations of sexual misconduct. 

The 57-year-old’s promotion to anchor came after a 20-year career at NBC, which she began as a correspondent on Dateline, a role that saw her reporting from war-torn areas across the world, including Iraq and Burma, as well as covering major disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in South East Asia.  

In 2007, Kotb was named as the host of Today’s fourth hour – the morning show’s most light-hearted segment. 

During the fourth hour, hosts are known to sip on wine while discussing a variety of lifestyle topics, opening up about their personal lives, and interviewing celebrities in soft sit-downs. 

Prince Harry and Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of NBC's morning show Today

Prince Harry and Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of NBC’s morning show Today

The mother-of-two – who is a breast cancer survivor – has documented much of her own life on the fourth hour of the show, including her decision to adopt two daughters, her engagement to financier Joel Schiffman, and their recent split.  

Kotb initially co-anchored the segment alongside Kathie Lee Gifford, who then was replaced by former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager – daughter of George W. Bush – in April 2019.  

While Kotb’s interview with Prince Harry is understood to mark the first time the two have spoken on-air, the Today anchor did speak with TV mogul Oprah Winfrey about her bombshell interview with the Sussexes last year – during which the couple made several explosive and damaging allegations about the royal family. 

Two months after the March 2021 sent shockwaves around the world, Harry aired further accusations about his family in an Apple TV+ series about mental health, which he co-created with Winfrey. 

In that show, the Duke accused his father, Prince Charles, of making him ‘suffer’ as a child and alleged that the royal family tried to silence him and Meghan. 

When asked about the ramifications of both on-air appearances by Kotb, Winfrey defended the couple’s decision to speak out, telling the Today anchor that the Sussexes ‘deserve’ to ‘not be intruded and invaded upon’, but claiming that this shouldn’t mean they are unable to speak out about their experiences. 

Harry also praised the monarch’s ‘great sense of humour’ and said it was ‘really nice to catch up with her’ during their supposedly secret meeting last Thursday before he arrived in The Hague for the Invictus Games.

‘Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her, she’s on great form,’ he said in an interview with NBC Today presenter Kotb in the Netherlands, where he is currently hosting the tournament.

‘She’s always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her. Both Meghan and I had tea with her, so it was really nice to catch up with her.’ 

His visit to the Games with Meghan – who has since left The Hague to return to California to look after their two children Archie and Lilibet – was the first time the couple had been seen together publicly on this side of the Atlantic for two years. 

Harry also said in the NBC interview: ‘Home for me now, for the time being, is in the States and it feels that way as well. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.’  

The couple moved to the Montecito area of Santa Barbara in California following their decision to step down as senior royals in early 2020, saying they wanted a new life of personal and financial freedom.  

But, reacting to his comments, royal correspondent Robert Jobson tweeted: ‘Prince Harry says on US TV he is making sure the Queen is ‘protected and has the right people around her’. How so? I think you’ll find that Prince Charles and Her Majesty’s children and William are DOING just that and supporting the Queen, with actions – and not just words.’

Angela Levin, who wrote the book Harry: Conversations with the Prince, claimed: ‘Harry’s comment on US TV about him checking the Queen is protected is a gross insult to Prince Charles and William. He’s underlined even more that he doesn’t deserve to attend the Jubilee celebrations and be on the Balcony’.

And ex-Conservative MP David Mellor told GB News: ‘On came the news about Harry saying his granny needs to be protected and I fell about. This was a real comic turn. The most best-paid comedian couldn’t be funnier than that. What is the man on? Or rather what is he off?

‘I mean, you just think to yourself, he is really showing signs. But I think what it is, his life is totally distorted now by becoming a Kardashian-type figure, where he’s surrounded by people who want to photograph him because they’re paying him lots of money for the privilege of filming him, and the Queen becomes important to him only because he has to see the Queen for his credibility on Netflix.’ 

It comes ahead of the Queen’s 96th birthday tomorrow and just over a year after the funeral of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. 

The Palace will be concerned that Harry could make further claims about the Royal Family only a year after his infamous interview to Oprah Winfrey on CBS in which he and Meghan accused unnamed royals of racism. 

The Duke has a deeply strained relationship with his family – especially his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William – and missed last month’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey for his grandfather Prince Philip.

Royal aides will be worried about details from a private meeting being divulged, which come on top of fears over what could be contained in his forthcoming memoirs and Netflix documenting his every move at the Games.

The Duke has already been accused in recent days of using his platform at the Games to promote BetterUp, the California mental health start-up for whom he is ‘chief impact officer’ – after the two announced a partnership. 



Language expert says Prince Harry has adopted Americanisms to sound more approachable in the US Source link Language expert says Prince Harry has adopted Americanisms to sound more approachable in the US

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