And there is a reason why, according to one linguist. Some fans have noted that the Duchess of Sussex sounded less American during her public appearance with the Queen in Cheshire
Meghan Markle has had no problem adjusting to royal life- and some fans have noticed the changes she has undergone since.
Earlier this week, the Duchess of Sussex was accused of sounding more British, after a video of her surfaced on Twitter of her greeting well-wishers in Cheshire.
Meghan said my name, that’s me done😭 pic.twitter.com/167F2ubjUh
— Aya El Zeiny (@elzeiny99) June 14, 2018
Fans claimed they heard a distinct twang in the way the Californian-born former actress said phrases such as “Oh thank you” and “What’s your name?”
So is Meghan trying to adopt the Queen’s English?
According to Dennis Preston, a professor of linguistics at Oklahoma State University, actually, it’s just our brain playing tricks on us.
“She married an Englishman, she lives in England, she’s hanging with the Queen, and people think, ‘Gosh, she must be doing something with her language,'” he told Yahoo.
yo meghan markle is losing her american accent omg
— sam (@skyvaIkers) July 3, 2018
“Essentially, our brain gets in the way of our ear. So we hear what we expect to hear, rather than what we actually do.”
He went on: “I did a very careful listen, paying specific attention to her vowels, a big giveaway with British accents, as well as the intonation.
“I just didn’t find anything resembling a British accent. There’s nothing there.”
He even went as far as to say Meghan naturally adopting our Brit twang in the short time she’s been here would be miraculous.
“Us linguists would be flocking there to study her as a strange phenomenon,” he explained.
“These changes won’t happen overnight, and in the terms of language history, overnight is how long it’s been.”
Preston also said that the degree to which Meghan’s accent will change even more drastically the longer she stays in the UK.
“We don’t know what value she’ll place on it, and that can affect the subconscious shift,” he said.
“She might feel like sounding British will make her seem like a phony, for example, so she may make an effort to stay away from it.”
However, dialect coach Pamela said it’s ”absolutely normal” for someone to take up the accent of the people that are around them when they want to belong to that group.
She told The Guardian: “Accents are one of the ways human beings identify as being part of a group. [In] Meghan’s situation, she is representing the royal family, so she’s part of England. So there’s a particular pull for her to take on that way of speaking [and] she may or may not be taking it on consciously.”