Members of the British royal family are globetrotters who regularly go on official visits to other countries representing the United Kingdom. As such, it is but normal to expect them to learn a foreign language or two as it is a great honor to the host country for a royal to go out of her or his way to learn a language totally foreign to him/her.


Queen Elizabeth II is known for her fluent French. When then French President François Hollande visited the UK in 2012, Her Majesty greeted the visiting dignitary in his native tongue. In fact, the two talked about the weather and horses using French during their entire conversation.


The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, speaks German. This should not be surprising since all of his older sisters married German aristocrats. He even went to study at Schule Schloss Salem in Germany in 1933.


Being multilingual is not only limited to older members of the royal family as the younger ones are already starting to learn their second language as well. In fact, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, Prince George and his younger sister, Princess Charlotte, are already learning the second most widely spoken language of the world, Spanish.


The royal family members’ linguistic skills are not limited to German, French and Spanish. Prince Charles also knows how to speak Welsh since it was part of his training in becoming Prince of Wales. Since Prince William is also groomed as the next Prince of Wales, he also learned the language at Eton in 1999.


Prince Charles and Prince William can also speak a little Gaelic. The language is spoken in some parts of Scotland, Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia in Canada.


Surprisingly, even the language used in the northern island of Luzon in the Philippines called Tagalog was spoken by a member of the royalty. During Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s visit to Edinburg in 2019, the Duchess of Sussex was heard saying the Filipino phrase “Salamat po,” meaning “Thank you,” when she greeted a Filipino couple.

There are speculations that the duchess is familiar with the Filipino culture, having grown up in Los Angeles, California, where there are a lot of Filipino residents. But it may also be that Meghan has been taught the phrase by Prince Harry himself, who, in turn, got it from his and Prince William’s Filipino nanny.

British Royal Family Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall;, Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Queen Elizabeth II; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Chris Jackson/Getty Images