Meghan Markle's glow-up is one for the history books — and it will be in history books. From aspiring actress to successful actress to actual British royal, no one has more to brag about at their high school reunion than her. When she does do that bragging, however, people may not recognise the sound of it. While the star's looks haven't changed much since she began her royal journey, her voice has. The Duchess was caught on camera last week speaking in what sounded a lot like an English accent, and while that's startling to hear from an L.A. native, it's not necessarily out of the blue.
Developing a royal accent is not unique to Markle. Even born-Brit Kate Middleton's accent became more refined the longer she spent with husband Prince William and the rest of her in-laws. At least, that's what internet commenters think.
"That is some cut glass accent," one wrote in a notable video from 2017 that features Kate Middleton and Prince William and Harry.
"Kate speaks with such a weird English accent, that it's hard to understand her at times?" another added. "William/Harry speak clearly; but what's with her phony English accent?"
Articles also popped up in the press about this alleged shift, comparing the voice from the above video to her initial interviews with Prince Harry at the start of their engagement:
Even America's royal family, The Kardashians, are susceptible. Last September, Kim Kardashian tweeted that she missed her "2007 voice," which is on full display in an old E! News interview:
Now, Markle is under similar scrutiny. Her time in the public eye has made it easy to track her journey to Duchess, so there's cut-and-dry evidence that the Markle voice we heard during her Hallmark movie days is not the one that's currently greeting fans in London. And why should it be? We've all picked up phrases and affectations thanks to the friends we spend time with. Markle's just happens to be...the Queen.
Here's how it all unfolded:
Let's start with a control, pre-Prince Harry accent. Markle starred in the 2013 movie Random Encounters (which got re-released this year for some reason) and sports a heavily American, L.A.-twinged accent. It's sassy, it's loud, it has no idea it's about to meet a prince.
In 2016, the year she met Prince Harry, Markle was in Toronto filming Suits. Despite her Canadian locale, her American accent persists. She's very much owning the role of "actress." She knows how to captivate an audience, which makes her a perfect future royal.
Here's where things start to shift. In the first interview following her engagement to Prince Harry, Marke's voice is notably subdued. Her sentences are more purposeful and articulate, without losing any of her charm and humour.
That brings us up to this month, when fans started detecting bonafide British-isms in her speech. It's not just the use of phrases like "at the moment," but the affectation on words like "all" or "shining" that suggest she's slipping into the accent of her new home. Will she go full Madonna, or is this just a Lindsay Lohan moment? Either way, this is definitely her most challenging role yet.