Princes William and Harry have been in the public eye for years, so people have had more than enough opportunities to hear them speak and theorize about their voices — hence the questions about why Prince Charles has a posher-sounding accent than Harry and William. One such question was posted to the online forum Quora (via the International Business Times), and apparently, there are several theories as to why father and sons sound so different.
It could be generational, according to royals fan Sallie Smythe, who answered the initial forum question. Presumably, when Charles’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was younger, her accent had a more regal bearing. Another royals fan, Mark Severs of Leeds Polytechnic, agreed, “Young people of a very privileged background have all shown a shift to a less stiff, formal mode of speech and a less polarized accent. In this sense, Charles is a relic among other relics and it isn’t constrained to his family.”
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Harry and William also had the advantages of both public school and popular culture which, according to two other royal fans, UK residents Selene Davis and Pauline Toop, also believe may have had a a hand. Their different accents also might have to do with Charles’s personality. Smythe explained, “Charles is also a man who displays great anxiety traits. He has always been viewed as shy, socially awkward, and with a large number of anxiety-related nervous tics… His public speech, because of his exaggerated emphasis, plays a part in his voice overall… While public speech seems to make his delivery awkward and stilted, I’m sure that informal settings the lower anxiety would make him sound more fluid, less twitchy, and less affected.”
With a whole new generation of royal children growing up, it’ll certainly be interesting to hear how Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and baby Archie, will sound in a few decades. How will their accents differ from their parents?