Will Harry and Meghan's son Archie have an American accent? An expert weighs in

Will Archie Mountbatten-Windsor grow up to sound like a proper British royal or a Californian beach boy? When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the decision to leave behind their roles as senior royals and settle down in California, it was not only a choice that affected their future, it also had major implications for their son, Archie. The Queen's great-grandson will not only have different cultural influences than his cousins over in England, but he may also end up with a different accent. Frankly, both Harry and Meghan's accents have changed depending on where they were living at the time.

"With Harry and Meghan having decided to lay down roots in Santa Barbara, California, we can begin to make new predictions on what accent baby Archie will speak with as he grows up," Taylor Hermerding, a linguistics specialist for the language-learning app Babbel, told Nicki Swift while giving us some exclusive insight into what kind of accent we might expect from Archie. Hermerding continued, "English is obviously Archie's native language, and in a recent study on accents and perception, Babbel found that British English is the world's favorite accent."

So, will Archie end up with that enviable English accent or will the young royal sound more American? Read on to find out what our expert thinks!

Archie's accent was first influenced in the U.K. and Canada

While a person's accent can change over time, linguistics specialist Taylor Hermerding told Nicki Swift that "the way that a child will speak, or the accent that they will grow up with, is something that develops during their first year of life." Hermerding explained that "between 8-10 months, infants begin to focus on and listen more acutely to the sounds that are meaningful in their environment." So, what does that mean for Archie?

Although Archie was born in the U.K., his family moved to Canada at the beginning of 2020 when Prince Harry and Meghan announced that they were stepping back from their royal duties. Archie even stayed in Canada when his parents had to tie up loose ends in England. Hermerding points out that when the family then moved to California, Archie was 13 months old. That means that "the process during which he became attuned to speech sounds would have taken place in the U.K and Canada."

Because of this, "Archie's potential accent will likely be influenced by both Harry and Meghan's British and American accents respectively" as well as "the accents of any other people he has been in regular contact with during his first year of life," says Hermerding. Beyond that, his speech would have been influenced by "the local variety of Canadian English that he would have been exposed to while in Canada."

However, that's not all that will shape how Archie speaks.

Archie may end up with a 'hybrid' accent

Anyone who's interested in Archie's future may have wondered if he'll end up with an English or American accent, but as linguistics specialist Taylor Hermerding pointed out to Nicki Swift, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son spent a few formative months in Canada. But that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll develop a Canadian accent, either.

Hermerding explained that there will be other key influences on what the young royal sounds like when he talks. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's own accents, as well as the likelihood that Archie will grow up splitting his time between America and England, will be his main influences — meaning that we can anticipate that Archie will speak with an accent that is a British-American hybrid," according to our expert. And what exactly does that mean?

Apparently, as Archie gets older, "it's possible that he may develop a very recognizable American accent, due to his primary residence being in California." However, Hermerding says, "He may well produce a more 'British' sound when speaking with his relatives in the U.K., or when traveling there."

In fact, Hermerding revealed why Archie will likely end up with a flexible accent that may change depending on two major factors.

Archie's accent may change depending on two things

It may not be surprising if Archie grows up to have an accent that sounds both American and British, however, according to linguistics specialist Taylor Hermerding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's little one may grow up to have an accent that actually changes depending on where he is and who he's with.

The language expert explained to Nicki Swift that, "as humans, we have an innate desire to connect with the people around us. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by altering the way we speak, the words we use, and the way we pronounce them — often without even realizing it. Sometimes, this can result in us speaking with an entirely different accent, depending on who we're socializing with." Hermerding says that "linguists refer to this unconscious tendency to adapt our speech as cultural frame switching," and notes that "studies have shown that this behavior increases comprehension and social connection with others." Due to the fact that "accents are one of the key ways that humans bond... Archie may switch between accents depending on the context and company."

So, while Archie will likely grow up with an accent that is a Canadian-influenced British-American hybrid, he may sound more British or more American at different times. We can't wait to hear every word!