received pronunciation (rp), commonly called bbc english and standard british pronunciation or southern british pronunciation, is an accent of standard english in the united kingdom and is defined in the concise oxford english dictionary as "the standard accent of english as spoken in the south of england", although it can be heard from native speakers throughout england and wales. peter trudgill estimated in 1974 that 3 per cent of people in britain were rp speakers, but this rough estimate has been questioned by the phonetician j. windsor lewis. clive upton notes higher estimates of 5% (romaine, 2000) and 10% (wells, 1982) but refers to all these as "guesstimates" that are not based on robust research.
formerly colloquially called "the king's english", rp enjoys high social prestige in britain, being thought of as the accent of those with power, money, and influence, though it may be perceived negatively by some as being associated with undeserved privilege. since the 1960s, a greater permissiveness toward regional english varieties has taken hold in education.
the study of rp is concerned exclusively with pronunciation, whereas standard english, the queen's english, oxford english, and bbc english are also concerned with matters such as grammar, vocabulary, and style.