Prince Harry ‘adapts accent’ in new video as Duke shows he is ‘of the people’

Prince Harry talks about mental fitness practices with BetterUp

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The Duke of Sussex, who is living in California with Meghan Markle after quitting royal duties in 2020, appeared in a new video this week as part of his role as chief impact officer at US coaching company BetterUp. Speech and accent expert Emma Serlin said Harry has “adapted his accent to connect more with the people around him”.

Ms Serlin, founder of the London Speech Workshop, said the Duke’s accent was previously “much more aligned” with the Royal Family.

The speech and language expert told the Mirror: “Harry’s accent now sounds much more rounded and middle rather than upper class.

“In a classic Harry way, he’s doing what we know him to be – he’s the friendly prince, he’s charming, he connects with people. He is his mother’s son.

“He is now of the people in a much more overt way.

“He has always toned the classic royal accent down and softened it, but previously he was much more aligned with the Royal Family.

“Now that Harry hardly ever sees the Royal Family – not only is he no longer aligned with them in the same way, but he also doesn’t spend time with them in the same way.

“So, he has adapted his accent to connect more with the people he is meeting and seeing every day, and the people around him.

“Ultimately, I’m sure he would heighten his accent if he was around the Royal Family again, but it’s really about adapting to build connections.”

Ms Serlin’s comments come after Harry spoke to Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim and psychologist Adam Grant about mental fitness in the video. 

At one point, the Duke says: “What does the term mental fitness mean to you?”

He also asks Chloe: “How would you describe your relationship between your mind and the body when it comes to operating at peak performance?”

She replies: “It would be unrealistic for me to expect to go out there and land an amazing run, learn a new trick, if I wasn’t feeling good mentally.

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“I can’t expect myself to perform at my peak when I am doubting myself and I’m feeling negative emotions.

“If I’m not feeling good mentally then it will jeopardise my physical health.

“They go hand in hand and so for the past couple of years I’ve just been prioritising that, listening to my body and I’m in such a better place.”

Harry, who has been open about his own mental health struggles, took on his role at BetterUp in 2021.

The Duke said his goal as the Silicon Valley company’s first chief impact officer was to “lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations”.

He said he would be focusing on driving advocacy and awareness for mental fitness, guiding the firm’s social mission, influencing the vision of its platform, community and member experience, and expanding its global community.

The Queen’s grandson said at the time: “Self-optimisation is not about fixing something that’s broken.

“It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves, with whatever life throws at us – someone who is ready for the next challenge and can meet setbacks with courage, confidence and self-awareness.

“This is what BetterUp is making possible and I look forward to being on this journey with you.”

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