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  #1  
Old 12-04-2006, 12:13 PM
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Evolution of the Queen's English

Apparently the younger members of the royal family aren't the only ones whose English is beginning to sound like the rest of us; according to this article, the Queen's English has also become less "upper class" and more in line with the way the rest of the country speaks. Is nothing sacred?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/ma...4/nqueen04.xml

I've seen reports that the younger royals and their close relations like Prince Edward, Diana Princess of Wales, and the Phillips children are/were using something between regular received pronunciation and Estuary English whereas the older royals still spoke with "cut glass" accents, but apparently the older ones are coming a bit downmarket too.

I wonder if this has to do with the media or whether it's because the members of the royal family meet more middle- and working-class people than they used to.
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:28 PM
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I would be interested in hearing how the Queen's English changed from QEII's grandfather and her father to her, too.
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:55 PM
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The Queen's English is no longer so posh: researcher

Queen Elizabeth II's famous cut-glass accent, the Queen's English, is now sounding less upper-class, a scientific analysis of her famous Christmas broadcasts found.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/04122006/32...esearcher.html
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:29 PM
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I think the reason's fairly obvious - her Majesty's been watching too much television.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:36 PM
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Your right, I bet she is secretly a fan of EastEnders!
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:25 PM
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This was all covered 6 years ago. Why is it "news" again now?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1080228.stm
and
http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/UK/12/20/royal.language/index.html
and http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1116008
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selrahc4
This was all covered 6 years ago. Why is it "news" again now?
It's the same person - Professor Harrington - too, but he's moved from Sydney to Munich. I wonder if he's reporting old news or has updated the study ....... or perhaps he's a bit of a devil and made a whole new batch of researchers listen to all those Christmas broadcast tapes.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_rankin
Your right, I bet she is secretly a fan of EastEnders!
Hmmm...Someone quickly sendher a DVD with QI and a couple of CD's with the reading of Stephen Fry...That ought to put her back in place...
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:04 PM
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I think I heard the Christmas speech where she talked about 'hame' I always enjoy Sylvia Peter's broadcast of Elizabeth II's coronation as an example of what a really upper crust accent sounded like. When Sylvia announced, "Hehur Mejesty" it was quite enchanting.

I think the upper crust English accent kept the lower jaw very clenched. It was hard to pronounce the really rounded vowels like Oh and Ah.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:30 PM
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Do you have a link to that? I have never seen it and think it would be really interesting.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:56 PM
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I remember that twenty-first birthday broadcast from South Africa, where "my whole life" sounded quite a bit like "may hale lafe." When she did that voice-over for the documentary about her life a few years ago, I remember being struck by how deep her voice was compared to the early broadcasts, where it was almost painfully high-pitched.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysbel
I think the upper crust English accent kept the lower jaw very clenched. It was hard to pronounce the really rounded vowels like Oh and Ah.
I love imitating peoples accents and your absolutely right about the clenched
jaw, it takes a concerted effort to replace the Oh and Ah sounds when your
speaking, another a couple weeks practice and I should have it down pat!
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydragon
The Queen's English is no longer so posh: researcher

Queen Elizabeth II's famous cut-glass accent, the Queen's English, is now sounding less upper-class, a scientific analysis of her famous Christmas broadcasts found.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/04122006/32...esearcher.html
For me this is a very pleasant fact. It shows IMHO that the queen evolved from her very privileged and secluded environment to the experience of British life in all its aspects and on all its levels. It shows IMHO that she is not only talking to the people but actually listens to them. Listening in on that amount of people over the whole time of her reign must necessarily lead to an adaption of her English to that of her subjects.

Much more interesting IMHO is the way she has obviously destilled the essence of her people's English and adopted that for her own way of speaking. While she is not lon ger speaking a "posh" English, she (I said that due to the examples that have been published) she speaks now a rather "correct" British English - isn't that a nice development?
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:31 AM
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Thank you for posting links to the articles. I remembered this story, but I could't find them.
Well, this is another case of news-recycling.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:28 PM
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Well, apparantly "The Queen's English" refers to Queen Victoria's English. Because she had a German accent, she over-annunciated words such as "Axe" making them sound like "Ix". The court didn't want the Queen to sound unusual so they all took on that style of speaking which was then adopted by her descendants and spread to the Upper Classes, the BBC etc. Whether it's true or not I'm not sure.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilytornado
Do you have a link to that? I have never seen it and think it would be really interesting.
Yes, Lily. :)

Sylvia Peters narrated the original BBC broadcast of the Queen's coronation which you can find here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...00/2654501.stm

Just click on the Play Video button to view. It contains over 40 minutes of programming.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
I remember that twenty-first birthday broadcast from South Africa, where "my whole life" sounded quite a bit like "may hale lafe." When she did that voice-over for the documentary about her life a few years ago, I remember being struck by how deep her voice was compared to the early broadcasts, where it was almost painfully high-pitched
I loved your observation, Elspeth...good chuckle here

I think it pretty common place among the aging that as they grow older, their voices tend to deepen..a lilttle like their ears. Their ears always seem to droop..haha

There is a difference in HM english, when comparing it to that of her younger years, but I find it quite endearing.

Like in the Rolf Harris documentary (painting commissioned for her 80th) where asked if seeing herself age bothered her, she replied...'Naaahhh'.

Now, would have Elizabeth ever projected such a wonderfully unrefined sound in her youth?.lol.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:36 PM
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I think it's funny because my grandmother always speaks with a cockney accent but occassionaly she'll say, "Lorst" or "Orf". For example, she might say, "I waz dahn that noo 'appy shoppa you know, got orf da bus en ar saw Reenee Bones en she sed 'Gawd blimey, arm all lorst on this noo root". So I think generally the estuary accent and the Queen's accent are mingling alot now.
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Old 12-06-2006, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madame Royale
Like in the Rolf Harris documentary (painting commisioned for her 80th) where asked if seeing herself age bothered her, she replied...'Naaahhh'.
It's easy to imagine that she picked this one up from Harry.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:05 AM
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I have a question as regards accents, the fact that the Queen's accent are mingling means that RP is no longer in use?. I know that RP is not the common people accent, but as I am studying to be an english tacher, Im learning RP, and it is of my concern.
thanxs a lot!
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