It is a well-known fact that part of being a royal is extensive engagements with foreign countries and many of the British family are expected to learn at least one foreign language from childhood. Take His Majesty the King for example, who to varying degrees of accomplishment can speak Welsh, French, and German.
The same expectation is placed on the next generation of royals, namely Prince George and Princess Charlotte who are being taught Spanish by their mother Princess Kate. This may come as a surprise to those who know that the usual second language of the British family is French. The late Queen was fluent in the language and even ordered her meals in this way.
Let's not forget that Prince William also speaks the French language with his children and adoringly calls Princess Charlotte 'mignonette'. However, you may not know the real reason why the Princess of Kate is so keen for the Spanish language to become her children's second…
Princess Kate knows better than anyone that with Prince George's status as heir to the throne after his father Prince William, it is important that he is able to keep up important international relations. Danielle Stacey, HELLO!'s Online Royal Correspondent tells us: "Given the fact that George, Charlotte, and Louis will probably carry all out full-time royal duties in future and will meet people from all over the world, it's no wonder that the Princess of Wales wants her children to be confident linguists."
The choice to teach George and Charlotte Spanish can also be attributed to Princess Kate's own personal connections to the language. Danielle Stacey highlights: "Kate also spent time in Chile on her gap year and no doubt will have picked up some of the language, and of course, it helps that the children have their very own tutor in the form of their nanny Maria, who can help them practice."
By the time Princess Charlotte, eight, went off to nursery in 2018 she was able to count in Spanish. At the time, the same was true of Prince George, 10 owing largely, we expect, to their Spanish nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
Maria joined the Wales family in 2014 and lives with the family between Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall. Part of Maria's crucial role in raising the royal children is, as royal commentator Pauline Maclaran has said, to ensure they turn out well-rounded and balanced individuals.
Speaking about the role of a royal nanny to the Daily Express, Maclaran said: "Apart from looking after their everyday needs and security, they can also offer a lot of support in developing the children’s cognitive and social skills.” Teaching the children Spanish is certainly developing those skills.
Maria is also enriching the children's lives by offering them a slice of Spanish style. It has been reported that the Princess' love for Spanish clothing brands comes from her children's nanny.
The public has caught glimpses of Maria's close relationship with the royal children at events such as when Princess Charlotte was a bridesmaid at Princess Eugenie's wedding and the famous moment when a little Prince George was seen through a window sticking his tongue out at the Trooping of the Colour celebrations in 2018.
Part of wanting her children to be bilingual may also stem from comments Princess Kate has made about her own linguistic abilities. Danielle Stacey points out: "During a royal outing in 2018, Kate admitted that her Italian was 'so bad' as she stopped to speak to one well-wisher, but she added: 'I have to make sure my children are better than me, that's my aim."
It is clearly an aim she is seeing through as the children's linguistic abilities continue to flourish and the children will be in fine company. Their aunt Meghan Markle is fluent in Argentinian Spanish and their father William also proved he could speak Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese in a 2014 video to stop animal poaching.