Queen does Norfolk accent 'beautifully'

Queen Elizabeth II Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Queen has not lost her sense of humour and is a "very, very good mimic" - according to her cousin

The Queen is a "very good mimic" with a knack for imitating regional accents, her cousin has said.

Margaret Rhodes said the monarch, who holidays at Sandringham in Norfolk, can imitate the distinctive local brogue "beautifully".

The Queen, who turns 90 this week, is still "full of laughter", Mrs Rhodes told BBC Radio 4.

She also has a sense of humour when things go pear-shaped, and enjoys telling amusing tales, her cousin said.

'How very reassuring'

"She can tell very funny stories of things that have happened to her where things might have gone just a fraction wrong," Mrs Rhodes told the PM programme.

One such tale might include the time she met a shopper in Sandringham who did not recognise her and declared that she looked just like the Queen, prompting the monarch to remark: "How very reassuring".

Ms Rhodes said the Queen's vocal talents were not confined to the East of England, and years spent at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire meant she is also able to do an impressive Scottish accent.

Follow updates on this story and other news from Norfolk

A guide to the Norfolk accent

  • Do not pronounce an 'r' unless it is followed by a vowel
  • Try and pronounce words like here, beer, clear, dear, fear the same as hair, bare, Clare, dare, fare
  • Do not drop your h's
  • Omit the 's' from the end of the third person singular present tense of verbs - instead of saying "she likes it, he works there", say "she like it, he work there"
  • Where other people would say "it's raining", Norfolk people say things like "that's raining"
  • The Norfolk 'o' in some words is pronounced like the French 'ou' in 'nous', meaning the word "road" can rhyme with "good".

Source: Friends of Norfolk Dialect

She will spend her birthday, on 21 April, at Windsor Castle, where she will unveil a plaque on the Queen's Walkway.

Gun salutes will be held at all saluting stations across the UK at 12:00 BST, and members of the Army cadet force will take beacons to the top of the highest peaks of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen spends much of her holiday time at Sandringham in Norfolk

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