There had been royal marriages between the West Saxons and the Carolingians, and intellectuals and churchmen had frequently moved between the two courts. Later on, Ethelred the Unready had married a Norman wife, and his son, Edward the Confessor, had a Norman mother.
There were many Normans and French present in Edward's England, as there probably had been in the tenth century when there were already merchant colonies from Rouen and Ponthieu living in London. So, a certain amount of Normanisation had already happened in Anglo-Saxon England. Indeed, the English had always been receptive to foreign culture, foreign architecture and foreign ideas.
'... the rulers spoke only French and made no attempt to learn English ...'
But the Conquest was a different matter altogether. This was a foreign military takeover of an older and superior civilisation by a ruthless war leader, who had gathered support by offering his followers their share of the possessions of the vanquished. Henceforth, it was often said, the Normans seemed to treat the English as inferiors. There are accounts which say as much from as late as the 13th century, still complaining that the rulers spoke only French and made no attempt to learn English, which is how it seemed to Robert of Gloucester:
'The Normans could then speak nothing but their own language, and spoke French as they did at home and also taught their children. So that the upper class of the country that is descended from them stick to the language they got from home, therefore unless a person knows French he is little thought of. But the lower class stick to English and their own language even now.'