Prince Harry has dropped the Queen’s English accent in favour of a more ‘slurring mid-Estuary’ twang in his new podcast with wife Meghan Markle, a British behaviour expert has claimed.
The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, today released their first Spotify podcast, calling on famous friends including Sir Elton John, Brené Brown, Deepak Chopra, Stacey Abrams and James Corden to review 2020 – or ‘tweny-tweny’, as Harry pronounced it.
Their debut show as part of the £30million ($40million) deal with the streaming giant is a ‘holiday special’, with the couple entering ‘a whole new world of branding as a double act’ according to Judi James, who likened them to TV pairings Richard and Judy and Holly and Phil.
She added that Harry’s ‘new accent’ is ‘every bit as interesting as Tony Blair’s infamous mockney’, telling FEMAIL: ‘It’s pretty much mid-everything: mid-Atlantic, mid-London and mid-Estuary English.’
Prince Harry has dropped the Queen’s English accent in favour of a more ‘Estuary’ twang, royal commentators have claimed. Pictured with Meghan Markle in March
Estuary is an accent associated with the area along the River Thames and its estuary, including London.
Judi observed: ‘Describing the podcast as “Our tweny-tweny holiday special”, Harry drops the second “t” in “twenty” in a verbal slurring that sounds either American or South London, although the “holiday special” wording probably places it in the US.
‘He says they “wanna” honour rather than “want to” and he pronounces the word “look” more like “luck”, both of which would probably sound right in the Queen Vic in EastEnders. Although his “meaningful our connections” appears to have more of a US twang.’
Judi added that there’s something ‘newly seductive’ about Harry’s delivery at some points, suggesting ‘the flirting with Meghan during their podcast trailer’ might have ‘brought out his sexier side’.
‘His “I’m Harry” is full of naïve bounce and enthusiasm, but after Meghan purrs “And I’m Meghan” in a deeper, richer tone, Harry responds by saying “We’re glad you’re here” in a much more of a low purr himself,’ she went on.
‘To match his super-professional wife, Harry has changed his pace as well as his tone.
Harry and Meghan have entered ‘a whole new world of branding as a double act’ according to Judi James, who likened them to TV pairings Richard and Judy and Holly and Phil
‘He normally takes a more leisurely style of delivery with a few thoughtful pauses and verbal fillers, like most of the Windsor men, but here he has upped his pace to deliver crisper messages with no faltering or hesitation.
‘In doing so he loses much of his authenticity and suggestion of speaking straight from his thoughts rather than a script. There is nothing natural about these clipped and scripted sentiments although the performer skills have clearly been worked on.’
Judi said Harry has gone from a ‘tentative speaker’ to a ‘slicker, more rehearsed-sounding’ podcast pro, and together with Meghan, the pair resemble a ‘professional media double act’.
‘Harry isn’t just chatting here, he is presenting from a tightly timed and choreographed script and instead of the relaxed hand-overs to Meghan he is making timed cut-ins, some times just throwing in two words between her words in the style you would normally hear from professional media double-acts like Richard and Judy (Harry sounds incredibly like Richard Madeley in this clip) or Holly and Phil,’ she explained.
‘So far we have seen Harry marketed as a bit of a royal male on the loose, a tentative speaker who projected his personal brand of charm and charisma by looking and sounding like a keen amateur rather than a polished professional.
Judi said Harry has gone from a ‘tentative speaker’ to a ‘slicker, more rehearsed-sounding’ podcast pro, and together with Meghan, the pair resemble a ‘professional media double act’
‘Here, though, he has been fully launched as podcast Harry, a slicker, more rehearsed-sounding speaker who has even adopted a new style of accent to appeal to a demanding audience.’
A number of listeners also took to Twitter to comment on Harry’s accent during the podcast, including royal historian Marlene Koenig.
She observed that the Duke ‘spoke Estuary rather than RP [received pronunciation]’.
In response to a tweet which suggested Harry had adopted a mid-Atlantic accent, Marlene commented: ‘He spoke estuary rather than RP.
‘Few Brits speak RP. Living in CA would not mean a mid Atlantic accent. I speak with a mid Atlantic American Standard. American Standard is the equivalent of RP. See The story of English.’
BBC presenter Sangita Myska also made the observation, tweeting in response to a post by ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship: ‘Hmm. He’s gone a little Estuary English, no?’
A number of listeners took to Twitter to comment on Harry’s accent, including royal historian Marlene Koenig
Chris replied: ‘And says “ñew year” rather than “noo year”!’ referencing the moment Harry and Meghan encouraged little Archie to make an appearance at the end of the podcast and wish people a ‘happy new year’ in his distinctly American twang.
The couple, who have fiercely defended Archie’s privacy since his birth in May 2019 and filed a lawsuit in the US this year to fight to protect it, urge their son to talk into the microphone, with Harry telling him: ‘You can speak into it.’ Meghan also asks: ‘Archie, is it fun?’ to which he replies: ‘Fun!’
In a trailer for their Spotify podcast, body language expert Judi James claimed Meghan is copying the Queen’s rhetorical style to make herself sound ‘presidential’.
The Duchess said ‘my husband and I’ when referring to Harry on the recording, in a move reminiscent of the Queen and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who often use the same rhetorical technique.
Judi said: ‘Despite the fact that “just Harry’ has already introduced himself, Meghan switches to a regal-sounding formality when she then refers to “My husband and I…” as though he weren’t actually present with her.
‘This is a phrase famously used by the Queen and adds a royal air to their trailer.’
The Sussexes called on many of their most friends to appear on their first Archewell Audio podcast, which they promise will ‘uplift and entertain audiences around the world’.
The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, today released their first Spotify podcast, calling on famous friends including Sir Elton John, Brené Brown, Deepak Chopra, Stacey Abrams and James Corden to review 2020. Their son Archie (pictured) also made a special appearance
The couple’s newly-formed Archewell Audio project promises to produce programming that ‘uplifts and entertains audiences’
Meghan said they asked people who ‘inspire us’ to appear on the podcast and give ‘their thoughts on what they learned from 2020’.
Sir Elton was a friend of Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales and has regularly supported her son over the years, while Corden was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding and was asked by the duke to perform at the couple’s evening celebration.
Other guests include Democrat activist Stacey Abrams, tennis star Naomi Osaka, American filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry, wellness icon Deepak Chopra and teenage activist Christina Adane from London, who campaigns on food issues.
In an apparent nod to the stormy 2020 the couple have had after quitting as frontline royals and moving to Los Angeles via Vancouver, Meghan says: ‘From us I’ll say no matter what life throws at you guys, trust us when we say, love wins.’
The podcast ends with the gospel song This Little Light of Mine, which was played at the end of their wedding in May 2018.
Experts have called the couple’s Spotify tie-up as another big step towards building what experts believe could become a $1billion business empire in the US after a super-deal with Netflix to make documentaries about their pet projects.
Last week, Meghan and Harry released their first Christmas card with Archie since relocating to Los Angeles earlier this year
‘Hi, I’m Harry – and I’m Meghan’: Sussexes launch Spotify ‘holiday special’ with laid-back language and tribute to ‘uncertainty and unthinkable loss’ in 2020
Harry – ‘Welcome to our 2020 holiday special from Archewell Audio. I’m Harry,.’
Meghan – ‘And I’m Meghan. Thank you for joining us.’
H – ‘We’re glad you’re here. As we all know, it’s been a year. And we really want to honour the compassion and kindness that has helped so many people get through it.’
M – ‘And at the same time to honour those who have experienced uncertainty and unthinkable loss. Our thoughts have been with you, especially during this holiday season.’
H – ‘And in too many instances, people weren’t able to be at a loved one’s side or say goodbye as they would have wished.’
M – ‘We also want to thank healthcare workers, frontline service workers and so many others for their sacrifices.’
H – ‘Thank you, guys.’
M – ‘Thank you.’
H – ‘As we come to the end of this year and look to the future, let’s hold onto the lessons we’ve learned about how important it is to take care of one another, and how meaningful our connections are, even when they’re physically impossible.’
M – ‘We thought what if we can bring together some people that inspire us, people we admire, and get their thoughts on what they learned from 2020. So we asked a few friends, and a lot of other folks… activists, poets…’
H – ‘Athletes, writers…’
M – ‘… teachers, artists, people from all walks of life.’
[Each guest introduces themselves]
H – ‘We asked them to record audio diaries and send them back to us. We were curious to hear what they’d reflect on when they had a moment to themselves without navigating the sometimes awkward dance of a video chat. Meaning no one having to say ‘You’re on mute’ over and over again, which is probably one of the defining phrases of 2020.’
M – ‘[Laughs] It’s so true. We wanted to know what they’ll remember about this year, how they’d explain it to future generations, what they learned about themselves and what gives them hope. Their responses have given us a lot to think about. And it all came back to one thing – to the power of connection.’
H – ‘We’ll try not to interrupt too often, but we’ll jump in here and there to make some intros. So sit back, grab a cosy beverage if you can. We hope this brings a little warmth, a smile and something to think about.’
M – ‘And from us, I will say, no matter what life throws at you guys, trust us when we say, love wins.’
H – ‘Love always wins.’
M – ‘So true. Thank you to all of our guests, and with that we have something we want to share with you too.’
H – ‘Not a toast per say, but a song which is about a shining a light, and a song that means so much to us.’
M – ‘This Little Light of Mine, played at the very end of our wedding… while we were walking down the steps of the church. ‘
H – [hums the song]
M – ‘It was the music that we wanted playing when we started our lives together, because as we all know, darkness cannot drive out darkness – only light can do that.’
H – ‘The message of this song is one we hold so dearly. It’s about using the power we each have within us to make this world a better place.’
[This Little Light of Mine is played]
H – ‘Happy New Year, everyone.’
M – ‘Happy New Year.’
H – ‘Stay safe out there.’
M – ‘Thanks for listening.’
[This Little Light of Mine continues]
H – ‘You can speak into it.’
M – ‘Archie, is it fun?’
Archie – ‘Fun.’
M – ‘Fun.’
H – ‘After me, ready? Happy.’
A – ‘Happy.’
M – ‘New.’
H – ‘New.’
A – ‘New Year.’
H – [Laughing]
M – ‘Yay.’
A – [Laughing]