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Prince George ‘has Essex accent’ but Princess Charlotte ‘speaks Queen’s English’
October 9, 2020
Kate Middleton and Prince William's three children have picked up different accents in their latest appearance on social media, language experts have claimed.
Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, asked Sir David Attenborough questions about the natural world in a rare video last week.
Language experts have analysed their pronunciations and claimed that Princess Charlotte speaks more of a posh "Queen's English" like her mother, Kate.
Her two brothers are said to have picked up a trace of Estuary accent, which is a mix between Southern Standard English and cockney accents and typically found in Essex.
At the beginning of the clip, Prince George says: "Hi David Attenborough, what animal do you think will become extinct next?"
Professor Jane Setter, who teaches phonetics at the University of Reading, explained: "The accent they have, particularly George, sounds very like Southern Standard British English with some features of Estuary English.
"This is not unexpected as William and Harry both have features of Estuary English in their accent.
"The only feature of Estuary English George has in this very short clip is a vocalised 'L' – so a vowel at the end of 'animal' rather than the 'L' sound – and this is a feature of Estuary English."
She added that Charlotte and Louis both sound "entirely typical" for children of their age from a Standard Southern British English accent background.
Pronunciation specialist Dr Geoff Lindsey agreed with Professor Setter and said that there are traces of an Estuary accent in Prince George's speech, found again in the way he pronounced the "L" in "animal".
"The main feature in George's speech which is vaguely Estuary-ish is his 'L' vocalisation," he said.
"This means pronouncing final L rather like 'w', so that 'animal' becomes more like 'animaw'."
Dr Lindsey said the accent is very widespread that it can be found in speeches of their father William and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The expert also found Prince Louis speaking in a similar accent, explaining: "Prince Louis pronounces 'like' in a rather Estuary-ish way, so that it begins more like 'lark' than 'lack'.
"Again, his father Prince William does exactly the same thing."
In contrast, Princess Charlotte sounded "posher" than her brothers with an accent closer to her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Southern Standard British English, known as Received Pronunciation, is also nicknamed the "Queen's English".
The International Phonetic Association defines it as: "An accent of the south-east of England which operates as a prestige norm there and (to varying degrees) in other parts of the British Isles and beyond."
Estuary English is an accent which can be found in locations including Essex, Milton Keynes and Oxford and is a mix between South Standard English and Cockney.
Celebrities who are noted for their Estuary accents include Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.