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Queen shock: The unexpected way Her Majesty has adapted to changing times – 'She switched'


The Queen is known around the world for speaking a perfectly polished English. Her accent and pronunciation have been analysed over the years and has been compared to the Standard English and the British Received Pronunciation (BRP) – the gold standard of the English language. 

These pronunciations are commonly branded ‘posh’ English, often associated with Oxbridge students and the British elite.

As outlined by cultural expert Claire Larkin, the Queen’s English and the BRP have often been opposed to regional accents, perceived for several decades as “inferior” to standard pronunciations.

This perception of the accents up and down the country has changed through the decades and, also thanks to public figures and TV hosts using their own accents rather than adapting to the BRP, most prejudices against regional accents have been dismantled.

And the monarch appears to have adapted to the changing times in the way she pronounces a few words as well, according to the expert. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Larkin noted how the monarch has “subtly shifted” from her famous Queen’s English to a more standard Southern English accent.

The cultural expert at Babbel said: “The Queen’s English is common among those who went to public schools, such as Eton, and elite universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.

“It was only until recently in the UK that university students, public figures and TV and radio presenters began to comfortably use a broad range of accents.

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“In the past, many would have adjusted their accents to get ahead.

“As with all accents, BRP has changed over time.

“Recordings of Queen Elizabeth II even, show that she no longer uses the ɛ vowel in words like land.


“We can also observe the difference in the classic BBC accent of the 1950s compared to today.”

While the Queen has shifted within the years towards a more approachable accent, the BRP continues to be used by most members of the Royal Family, the expert added.

Ms Larkin said: “Even today, important figures from across society – particularly the royals – use BRP, and it’s still regarded by many as the ‘proper’ way of speaking, and a marker of prestige and ability.

“This was recently illustrated in a 2019 study by Yale University, which found that humans make snap judgements on people’s accents in as few as seven words.  

“When we’re making these snap judgements, we favour those we perceive to be ‘high class’, or who have accents we consider to be posh – particularly when looking to recruit.”

The Yale study mentioned by Ms Larkin was conducted in 2019 by the US university and saw 20 prospective job candidates from varied backgrounds being listened to by a sample of 274 individuals with hiring experience.

During her 68-year-long reign, the Queen has often adapted to the changing time. 

Recently, the monarch has led the country by example by working from home and embracing technology she had never used before to carry out royal engagements.

In March, a few days after she started her lockdown at Windsor Castle, she performed her first meeting with the Prime Minister over the phone.

Earlier this month, the Queen heard from unpaid carers members of the Carers Trust during a video call.  


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