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What exactly does Received Pronunciation sound like compared to a flat London accent?

United Kingdom Forum - Relocation, Moving, Local City Discussions - City-Data Forum - www.city-data.com
I've been thinking about this. I have three English friends living here in Ireland. They sound like they have relatively 'flat' London accents (i.e not harsh on the ears and nearly every word in the sentence is audible to a non-British speaker). I say London because English accent is a bit too 'vague' seeing as accents from opposite sides of the country can sound like different languages

People do compliment them on their accents mainly Americans who have a fascination for their 'poshness' (in their words); In fairness they do come from really good backgrounds but they sound normal to me compared to the guys on the BBC World News or BBC Radio. One guy I met with them said they sound really great but probably would have to twirk their speech for television into the RP (Received Pronunciation) or Queens English.

Can someone explain what this is? I know and have heard differences but honestly, I don't know whether that's mainly a placebo effect. To the untrained ear, does it make much of a difference compared to my friends who have pretty flat London accents?

For anyone who wants to know what one of my friends sounds like, here's a video:


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