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I have come through a range of Hollywood films. And I found many of actors and actresses speak British English with quite different accent than Receive Pronunciation that has been spoken in BBC news.

The example is Julie Andrew in the films: 'the Sound of Music', 'Mary Poppins', and 'the Princess Diaries' as a grandma. And many actors but I can't remember, most of them take a role as a ruling class person. The accent is very clear and easy to comprehend. The RP in BBC is still clearer to me, but the accent gives me a sense of prestige and sound posh.

I wonder whether it is London or Estuary accent or neither, even though I had been in London for a year but cannot tell small differences in accents. I very rarely heard it in TV in British, BBC news, BBC Entertainment channel (International version), and BBC radio online. But It appears quite often in Hollywood films especially films in historical setting of British or European.

Help from a native would be appreciated.
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I would say Julie Andrews has a classic RP accent.

Not many newscasters these days use RP.
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Thank you.

Your answer clear all my doubt. I notice that many actresses in Hollywood films that are over 50 years old always use this accent, classic RP, which I find unfamiliar to my ears. I used to thought that BBC news reporters' accent is the only correct RP. Perhaps, I should listen to some of the British Queen and Tony Blair speeches (They are RP speakers But I never heard them talk), cause I may found some of classic RP characteristics.

That is why I rarely heard it in British TV programme or radio, since the speakers of classic RP suppose to be seniors between 50 and 70 years old.

Your advice is very useful to me. Thank.
Haha.. Emotion: smileI thought I'd answer you question regarding Julie Andrews.. I know Julie personally, and she speakes perfect!..I tell you. her voice is the bomb! So lovely!
She's from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England( about 20 miles south of London)

She does have a very clear voice..Just beautiful! But I have to tell you, her accent chances depending on who she's talking to. If she's talking to an american she might pronounce some words in a more american way..So cute..But, when talking to other brits she's as english as can be!

And her accent has chanced over the years, naturally! After all, she has lived in America for so many years now.. And she is married to an american, so that's only fair!..

And I have to say her voice is as lovely as she is! She's the best<3
Julie Andrews speaks with a 'cut glass' accent. That is to say, it represents the 'Received Pronunciation' in its purest form, not often heard today. It is not a regional accent, it is a very upper-class accent, and so belongs to a class of people who are in the habit of travelling around. You might hear it from the white settlers in India and Kenya in the time of the British Empire.

As an actress, you could play the Royal Family with this accent, but it would be ludicrous in the mouth of a shopgirl. Even as Mary Poppins, a governess, she is a little out of place. She must be a governess who came from a very upper-class background.
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I have a question about Julie Andrews' accent also. As previously mentioned, she was born in Walton and came from relatively modest roots, therefore I imagine her original accent was more along the lines of Estuary English. When and why did it change to RP?

Anyone?

As she grew up before the war and her parents were actors (at least her mother and step-father were) they would have spoken RP as their profession involved moving around and speaking with an accent comprehensible to all. She did though have a singing and voice coach, Lilian Stiles-Allen, who may have influenced her. One of her early roles was Eliza Dolittle, so she would have been able to perform in more than one accent.


This ‘Estuary English’ thing you talk about is a much more recent development. Film clips from the early 1950s show women getting on busses and asking for their ticket in a pure RP that only the royal family would use today.

I heard her say in an interview , some time ago, that she originally had a very different accent and had to study and adopt what she referred to as a BBC accent. I guess she meant RP--but most people wouldn't know what RP was.

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