Queen Elizabeth II: The monarch can speak fluent French – and she’s not the only royal

Queen Elizabeth has travelled to numerous countries all over the world during her long reign.

The monarch often relies on the help of advisors when she greets officials abroad and carries out her duties.

However, there are some countries in the world where the Queen will need no aid when it comes to speaking the local language.

Thanks to her private education from a young age, Queen Elizabeth can speak fluent French.

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French is spoken as an official language in 29 countries in total, but the Monarch’s knowledge has been of particular use during trips to France and Canada.

In 2014 she carried out a state visit to Paris and held a conversation with former President Francois Hollande, easily discussing the weather.

She also addressed a State Banquet in both English and French for her fifth French State Visit at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

A year later, a schoolgirl in Dagenham addressed the Queen in French to which the Queen responded in the same language.

Most impressive of all is when, in 1964, Elizabeth visited Quebec in Canada and gave a speech.

For nearly 10 minutes the Queen spoke in French with excellent pronunciation – though she did use cue cards.

queen elizabeth ii french france foreign language royal

Queen Elizabeth II: The monarch can speak fluent French – and she’s not the only royal to know it (Image: Getty Images)

queen elizabeth ii french france foreign language royal

Queen Elizabeth II: The monarch is not the only member of the royal family to speak French (Image: Getty Images)

French language expert Camille Chevalier-Karfis, commented on video clips of the Queen speaking French.

“Her reading skills were excellent – both pronunciation and rhythm were very good, but you could feel she was quite tense,” she told The Local.

Queen Elizabeth most likely learnt French as a child when she was tutored by her governess Marion Crawford.

The monarch is not the only member of the royal family to speak French. Prince Charles and the rest of the Queen’s children also speak it.

Prince William has also been heard speaking French after a speech in Quebec in 2011. He also knows some Welsh and Swahili.

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queen elizabeth ii french france foreign language royal

Prince William has also been heard speaking French after a speech in Quebec in 2011 (Image: Getty Images)

The Queen’s passions and pastimes in pictures
Fri, June 1, 2018
Here is look back in pictures at the passions and pastimes of Queen Elizabeth II from corgis and ponies, to stamp collecting and photography.

Play slideshow


The Queen celebrating her birthday through the years (pictured on her 13th birthday) Getty Images

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A young Queen Elizabeth II has been riding horses most of her remarkable life.

When Prince Charles and Prince William filmed an anti-poaching message in 2014, they spoke several languages.

Between them, the father and son spoke five languages: Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese.

William’s wife Kate Middleton speaks Italian, after spending three months in Italy on her gap year.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle also speak foreign languages. Harry spoke Arabic at a charity fundraiser in Dubai in 2013.

Meghan was heard speaking in Filipino, saying “Salamat Po”, meaning thank you, during a visit to Edinburgh with Prince Harry.

She also previously admitted on her lifestyle blog The Tig, which has since shut down, that she once learned French and that she spoke Spanish after working at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte have followed suit and are both learning Spanish.

5 Responses to Queen Elizabeth II: The monarch can speak fluent French – and she’s not the only royal

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