[[quoteright:300:[[Film/TheLastTemptationOfChrist http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_lwoy7icPSo1qavlcgo1_500_2398.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[Music/DavidBowie Davidis Bowinnicus]], the Slender Pale Prefect.]]

->''"And you never have Romans who are Italians! They're always played by some English actor going 'Oh Thomas, where is my brother, Fellatio? Bring him hither.'"''
-->-- '''Creator/RobinWilliams'''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

This trope is used in film and television fiction set in the past (or a fantasy counterpart culture heavily based on the past) where characters speak with British accents, even though the film is not set in Britain and the characters are not British. Sometimes the actors are {{Fake Brit}}s, and sometimes the cast all have British accents except for the sole American star.

Giving the characters non-British accents (American, Australian, Canadian, etc.) ought to be just as acceptable as giving them British ones, but this is usually avoided, because it makes the characters sound "[[RealityIsUnrealistic inauthentic]]". Britain's long history causes British accents to seem somehow "older" -- they are used to suggest a sense of antiquity. This is actually inaccurate from a linguistic perspective; the modern British accents actually represent a more evolved form of English. Older English accents were closer to modern Irish and American accents.

In any case, using The Queen's Latin makes a series or film commercially viable in the US. It alleviates the need for subtitles, while maintaining the appearance of historical authenticity. It's ''just'' [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign foreign and exotic enough.]] (Many British actors already [[PlaysGreatEthnics Play Great Ethnics]].) It's also no doubt inspired by productions of [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]]'s plays set in Ancient Rome. Remember: Romeo might have been Italian, but he's not ''realistic'' [[TheCoconutEffect unless he talks like a proper British toff]].

This trope also allows for some subtle characterisation for UK audiences: sometimes regional British accents are used to reflect a character's class or social status by playing up to stereotypes in the collective British psyche. The most common convention, however, is to employ formal English parlance. Depending on the antiquity of the era portrayed, the characters may lapse into a form of Early Modern English, or its contrived cousin, YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe. In any case, it is perhaps British audiences who expect this trope to be ubiquitous most of all - to an American or Australian the use of their native accent for ancient characters could at least be a believable translation convention, to British ears it smacks of deliberately choosing an accent with entirely the wrong connotations - new-world modernity and the rejection of old-world traditions.

Historical linguists have attempted to reconstruct the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_pronunciation original Latin pronunciation]] of the Romans, but no one knows for sure how they ''really'' sounded. Some might say that the actors are NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent, or trying to avoid using JustAStupidAccent, and in many cases this is true. The rule of thumb is that if non-British actors are affecting Brit accents, or if the British accents are being used to add layers to the characterisation, they are speaking TheQueensLatin.

This trope leads many Ancient Roman (Greek, Trojan, etc.) characters to not only sound but also physically look like Anglo-Saxons rather than Romans. Historians have speculated that the average Roman man had tan or olive skin, usually dark hair[[note]]This can be deduced from the fact that when the Empire expanded into Gaul, Germany and Britain, the existence of people with blonde and red hair caused a sensation in Rome as nobody had ever seen this before. When the first blonde slaves were shipped back, people competed to own them, driving up their prices, and Roman women frequently shaved the unfortunate slaves for their hair so as to turn it into wigs. Then they discovered bleaching... [[/note]], and stood about 5-foot-6, much like a modern Italian. The Roman Empire reached northern Europe, but Romans weren't ''all'' northern Europeans. (This particular bit of CreatorProvincialism also leads, even more egregiously, to Biblical characters- ancient people from the Middle East- looking a lot like North Europeans in North European art. Admittedly the artists possibly weren't aware they might have looked rather different, and if they were, the inauthenticity probably wouldn't have troubled artistic sensibilities until fairly recently.)

A type of TranslationConvention and [[TheCoconutEffect Coconut Effect]]. Compare with AccentAdaptation. See also BritishNazis, when you have British actors playing characters from (or substitutes of) a far more notorious empire.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Manga UK dub of The Heroic Legend of Arslan has the voice actors using British accents (Most of their other dubs used fake American accents while reading their lines with British inflections and sentence structure). The Central Park Media dub of episodes 5 and 6 averts this, with the New York voice actors using their own accents.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* ''Comicbook/EnemyAce: War in Heaven'' provides an unusual print example. Every major character in the series is German, but Northern Irish writer Creator/GarthEnnis gives them analogous "British equivalent" accents and dialects for their social class. It's striking, and a bit jarring to comics readers used to the stilted "Achtung! Gott in Himmel!" JustAStupidAccent approach to German characters, but oddly effective.
* In MarvelComics, mythic figures like {{Thor}} and [[TheIncredibleHercules Hercules]] almost alway speak in a faux-Shakespearean dialect - using stiltedly formal diction and throwing around words like "forsooth" and "verily," often in a stylized [[ForeignLookingFont font]] - rather than even try to guess at how an ancient Norse god or ancient Greek god would speak. (Of course, being gods and not humans, they'd most likely talk - and [[DivineRaceLift look]] - however the Hel/Hades they wanted.)
** Being the sea explorers that Vikings often were (not to mention he's an actual God), it's not unlikely that Thor might have picked up some [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe medieval English]] in the past. Though he'd probably use general Scandinavian[[note]]With the exception of finnish, Scandinavian languages are pretty much the same when it comes to grammar[[/note]] grammar and sentence structure. Also, his accent would probably sound similar to ''Music/{{Bjork}}''s. (In fact, his native language would probably be VERY similar to Icelandic.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', all the Egyptians have English accents, and the Hebrews and Midianites sound American. One would think Moses might have realized something was up with his parentage long before Miriam clued him in, given that he had the only American accent in Pharaoh's palace.
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' averts this with the titular Aladdin and his love interest Princess Jasmine, who both have American accents, but play this straight with Jasmine's father the Sultan and BigBad Jafar.
* In the animated version of the Gospels, "The Miracle Maker", the Peter and the other Galileans speak with a vaguely Scots accent, the lower-class Jerusalemites speak London, and the aristocrats and Romans speak RP.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the film ''Film/{{Valkyrie}}'', all the actors speak with their natural accents: Creator/TomCruise (Stauffenberg) speaks General American, Creator/KennethBranagh speaks RP, Matthias Freihof (Himmler), speaks with a German accent, etc. The only exception is David Bamber (Hitler), who affects a German accent.
** Branagh's natural accent is Belfast; his adopted working accent is RP.
** A review snarked that with all the well known British actors in the cast it felt like a ''Film/HarryPotter'' movie.
* ''Film/{{Caligula}}'' has the cast using British accents to denote social and class hierarchy.
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' had a cast who used British accents, despite its three main stars being from Australia (Russell Crowe), Puerto Rico/America (Joaquin Phoenix) and Denmark (Connie Nielsen).
* The Spartans in ''Film/ThreeHundred'' speak with British accents. Leonidas has a noticeably Scottish accent. This somewhat coincidentally, falls in line with a very long-standing convention used in translating Greek Comedy (which uses accent gags extensively): Attic Greek (used by the Athenians) is represented as the Queen's English, whereas Doric Greek (used by the Spartans) is represented by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_language Scots]]. This equation is so widespread that there is even a variety of Scots that is actually referred as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doric_dialect_%28Scotland%29 Doric]].
* ''Film/BenHur'' had all of its Romans played by Brits, its Hebrews played by Americans, and its one Arab guy played by... a Welshman with a generic Arabian accent.
** Specifically, by Hugh Griffith, the John Rhys-Davies of the mid-20th century.
* In the American-produced movie ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'', all the decadent Romans were play by Britons, while the slaves--a mixed bunch historically, but some of them would have been Roman/Italian by birth--were all played by Americans. Per some film critics, this represented a common trope in Hollywood film-making of the period, in which British accents represented decadent modern Europe, while American accents represented normalcy. Spartacus's love interest was played by English actress Jean Simmons, so to maintain continuity, it is mentioned in the film that the character was born in Britain.
* Simmons also turns up as the gentle tavern maid in ''TheEgyptian''. If you were a strong warrior type or a rough customer in that picture you were played by an American; if you were a noble, elegant or sensitive creature, you were played by a Brit. And that includes Qaptah the thief -- after all, he'd ''tell'' you that he was a noble, elegant and sensitive creature.
* ''Film/LesMiserables1998'', despite the fact that the characters are French. Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, and Claire Danes all fake English accents, although Liam Neeson retains his Hibernian intonation.
** The same goes for ''[[Film/LesMiserables2012 the 2012 film]]'', with a cast of Brits, Americans, and Australians speaking in British accents. (Except for the legitimately British Sacha Baron Cohen, who uses a goofy French accent)
** Even a little Irish courtesy of Hugh Jackman.
* 2007's ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' does something like this: although the Zealanders speak in fake, but at least subtle, Danish accents -- Grendel even speaks [[HistoryOfEnglish Old English]] -- the Geats speak in the actors' natural accents, which means that the title character, since he's played by Ray Winstone, is a Cockney ("I'm 'ere to kiw your monstah."), and Wiglaf speaks in an attempt at a Welsh accent.
* In ''Film/{{Alexander}}'', the Macedonian characters are given Irish accents, while the Greeks are given English and Scottish accents, to represent the ethnic divide within Alexander's army. Furthermore, the Greeks are given a number of regional accents, to subtly remind the viewer that Greece was traditionally a number of independent city-states, and not a natural nation-state. "Barbarians" are all given broad regional accents.
* ''[[http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ASxbQHuKris Rise of Evil]]'' gives ''UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler'' a mild British accent.
* This is the case in the 2004 movie of ''[[Film/ThePhantomOfTheOpera2004 Phantom of The Opera]]''--although subverted in the case of Madame Giry, played by British actress Miranda Richardson, who is seemingly the only nineteenth-century Parisian who actually speaks with a French accent. Considering that ''everyone'' else--whether Scottish, English, or American--just speaks in their regular voices, though, you kind of wonder why she bothered.
* In ''Film/TheLastTemptationOfChrist'', all the Romans have British accents and the Jews have American accents (including Harvey Keitel's much-mocked Brooklyn accent as Judas).
* Averted in Sofia Coppola's ''Film/MarieAntoinette''. The actors speak in their normal accents: Creator/KirstenDunst (Marie Antoinette) speaks in a General American accent, Rip Torn (Louis XV) speaks in a mild Texas accent, Steve Coogan (Ambassador Mercy) speaks with a British accent, Jason Schwartzman speaks with a General American accent. (It helps that the movie is done in a tongue-in-cheek style, complete with [[PurelyAestheticEra punk and new-wave music on the soundtrack]]).
* In ''Literature/DangerousLiaisons'' the upper-class characters played by John Malkovich, Uma Thurman and Glenn Close speak plain American English, while the servants have broad Cockney accents.
* In ''Film/TheDuellists'' all the characters are French but most of the cast except the two American leads are British.
* In ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', the elves speak with English accents. Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, who is supposed to be raised by elves, speaks the ([[TranslationConvention human language]]) with an affected, [[OohMeAccentsSlipping slightly questionable]] English accent, but retains his natural Danish-American accent for speaking Elvish.
** And then Éowyn can't decide whether she has an English or Yankee accent.
** Peter Jackson has stated that the reason they let Billy Boyd keep his Scottish accent is because Tolkien based the North-farthing on Scotland, which is the place where many Tooks live, while also noted for hills and having invented Middle-Earth's version of ''golf''.
* In ''Film/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'', all of the characters have British accents, whether played by actual Brits [[FakeBrit or not]]. This is consistent with the ''Sands of Time'' game, on which the movie is based.
* ''Film/EverAfter'' has British English spoken by people (including Creator/DrewBarrymore) supposedly living in 16th-century France, as well as Leonardo Da Vinci.
* In the Marquis de Sade biopic ''Film/{{Quills}}'', everyone speaks in British accents, despite being 19th century Frenchmen — even the guy played by Creator/JoaquinPhoenix.
* ''Film/TheAffairOfTheNecklace'' is another film set in France. All the characters speak with British accents (even King Louis and Marie Antoinette!) save for two: Simon Baker, who couldn't seem to decide whether he wanted to be quasi-Aussie or quasi-English before giving up and just doing some odd blend of the two; and Hillary Swank, who doesn't use an accent at all and talks in full-on American that is just jarring. To add to the confusion, she intones some of her sentences like a British speaker would, turning them up at the ends.
* Parodied in ''Film/HistoryOfTheWorldPartI'' with Marcus Vindictus (Shecky Greene) who speaks in a erudite British accent and pronounces "Rome" by rolling his 'R's.
* If you listen very closely, you can easily tell that [[TheHighQueen the heroine]] of Disney's ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' actually has a British-sounding accent. Apparently this is also one of few animations starring Creator/CreeSummer (the actress who voiced her in this film) attempting to do a British accent.
* Avoided in ''Film/InterviewWithTheVampire''. Cruise, Dunst, and [[Creator/BradPitt Pitt]] all speak with cultivated American diction.
* In ''Film/{{Troy}}'', ''most'' of the cast seem to be using their native accents. Brad Pitt ''might'' be attempting a British accent, but it sounds rather Americanized. Sean Bean even uses his native Northern British accent instead of a more cultivated one. Curiously, the only performers conspicuously ''not'' using their native accents are the two Australians, Eric Bana and Rose Byrne. One has to assume that the director/producer felt that the Aussie accent was the only one that couldn't be believably set in Ancient Times.
* The ShowWithinAShow in ''Film/SinginInTheRain'' takes place among the French aristocracy during TheCavalierYears. This naturally requires dialect training for leading lady Lina Lamont and her very nasal Bronx accent (although the other characters already consider her voice grating anyway).
* ''Film/LifeIsBeautiful'', dubbed into English, keeps the Italian and German accents of the characters. Thanks to TheCoconutEffect, it sounds like some sort of racist joke.
* Probably parodied in ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian''. Sure, it's a British comedy production, so obviously everyone has the accents, but the Jews all have modern-day English names to go with it.
* The Roman soldiers in ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum''. Because they're not "real" Romans but miniatures, and since the spell bringing them to life also gives a T-Rex [[AllAnimalsAreDogs the traits of a dog]], it's possible that the spell sort of "imitates" people's expectations or something, and therefore the soldiers' accents are actually ''caused by'' this trope's prevalence.
* In ''Film/{{Hugo}}'', set in a Parisian train station, the French characters are almost all played by British actors using their natural accents, apart from American Creator/ChloeMoretz, who is faking a British accent.
* Native Australian ChrisHemsworth plays ''Film/{{Thor}}'' in the Marvel Comics films with a rather stylized "classical" English accent (as opposed to, say, a Scandinavian one). Though, granted, this ''is'' true to the source material (see the Comic Books section above). In ''Film/TheAvengers'' this is PlayedForLaughs when Tony Stark refers to one of Thor's speeches as "Shakespeare in the Park" and proceeds to imitate him.
-->"Doth mother know thou weareth her drapes?"
* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' films, the Coruscanti accent (both refined and coarse) is rendered as British, while the Corellian accent is American. Naboo appears to have both.
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', almost every character in the nation of Florin not identified as being from elsewhere speaks with a British accent of some sort, even though the word "florin" is Italian in origin.
* In ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', both Don Diego and Don Rafael (the first Zorro and his archnemesis) speak with British accents despite being Mexican, partly because they are of the nobility, partly because they're played by British actors AnthonyHopkins and Stuart Wilson. The other Dons all have Hispanic accents, however.
* In ''Film/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', the greek gods all have British accents.
* Unusual inversion in the film version of ''The Eagle'': the Roman characters have American accents, while the Briton (as in, ancient Celts) characters are played by British actors speaking in their native accents. For the purposes of the movie, English stands in for Latin while Scots Gaelic stands in for Pictish (an extinct language of which almost nothing is known).
* In {{Film/Pompeii}}, Creator/KieferSutherland, a Canadian who works in California, affects a ''ridiculous'' lisping British accent that makes him sound more like Creator/TrumanCapote.
* In ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'', Australian Heath Ledger and American Matt Damon both adopt English accents to play the German Grimm Brothers.
* Averted in the film version of ''Theatre/{{Amadeus}}''. The setting being 18th-century Austria, most of the characters (who are primarily Austrian German,[[note]]There being no such thing as an "Austrian" in the sense we understand it now at the time[[/note]] but at least one is Italian and presumably a few others are from elsewhere in the Habsburg Empire) and are supposed to be speaking German (by a TranslationConvention, English stands in for German--even in the libretti of the operas; Italian, by contrast, remains Italian) but of course the film is in English. The actors virtually all appear to use their native accents, and as most of the cast of the film was American, this leaves most everyone with American accents. (One courtier attempts a German accent, but everyone else is natural.) This gives Tom Hulce's portrayal of Mozart as a ManChild added sharpness, and improves the Emperor as a comic figure.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy'', by Creator/CSLewis, we meet Merlin, who as a 5th century Briton (he put himself in a trance for when he would be needed in modern times) speaks a form of Celticized Latin. It apparently sounds something like modern-day Spanish.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Creator/TheBBC''/''{{Creator/HBO}} drama ''Series/{{Rome}}'', in which all of the characters speak in various English accents according to their backgrounds and roles. For example, Julius Caesar speaks with an upper-class accent, befitting his position as one of Rome's upper classes, while soldier Titus Pullo speaks with a faint Geordie accent, implying working-class origins. Several actors cover over their Irish accents to play Romans as British.
* ''Series/IClaudius'' uses regionalised British accents to fit the characters' personalities and class. Of course, ''Series/IClaudius'' ''was'' a British production.
* In ''Series/{{Masada}}'', the Roman characters are all played by British actors. The Jewish characters are all played by American actors.
* In the ''{{lonelygirl15}}'' episode "Zodiac of Denderah", a British upper-class accent is used to imitate the French aristocracy.
* Subverted in the Roman section of ''{{Blackadder}} Back and Forth''. The Roman characters start off speaking in TheQueensLatin until an officer arrives who congratulates them on practicing the local (British) language and then continues in actual Latin. RuleOfFunny applies, as the actual local language at this time would be akin to an archaic form of Welsh.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** Rose Tyler asks the Ninth Doctor, "If you're from another planet, why do you sound like you're from the north [of England]?" "Lots of planets have a north!"
** Also played with in the second episode of the fourth series: on the streets of Pompeii, Donna asks the Doctor what would happen if she said to one of the locals 'Veni, vidi, vici', given that the TARDIS translates everything you say and everything anyone else says of its own accord; the Doctor suggests she try it out; she does so, and a stall-keeper replies (in the style of an English shopkeeper) 'Sorry love, I don't speak Celtic.' Apparently, the TARDIS translates Latin into Ancient Britonic, i.e. Welsh.
*** Not Gaulish? (Wouldn't an average Roman say 'Gaulish' rather than 'Celtic'?)
** One official ''Series/DoctorWho'' short story - "The Man Who Wouldn't Give Up" in ''Short Trips: Past Tense'' - suggests the TARDIS [[TranslatorMicrobes Translation Circuits]] have an odd sense of humour, and give people BBC accents because they think it's funny.
* There's a theory that Captain Picard in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' is actually speaking French the whole time and the Universal Translator renders his voice into English as a classy British accent as either a dynamic equivalent of the dialect of French he speaks--presumably a posh, educated form of Standard/Metropolitan French--or simply because it suits his personality. (The other theory is that by the 24th century, the English and French have been fighting and screwing for so long that they've exchanged accents.)
* Referenced in ''Seris/SlingsAndArrows''. The character who plays Hamlet tries to find English accent tapes until another character points out that Hamlet is actually Danish, so he gives up.
* ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand'' has the Roman characters all speaking in approximations of an upper-class English accent. The gladiators have an array of accents, given their varied origins.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'', despite being an American {{Creator/HBO}} adaptation of [[ASongOfIceAndFire novels]] by an [[GeorgeRRMartin American author]], stars mainly British and Irish actors speaking with English accents. The relatively few non-Brits required to speak English (rather than Dothraki) do pretty good English accents. The types of accent tend to vary quite widely even among families, but the Starks and other northern families do generally have variations on various northern english accents and fit the 'blunt, tough, uncomplicated' stereotypes (they also tend to be physically buffer than their southern counterparts), while the richest, most powerful southern families like the Lannisters have much posher, highly affected accents more associated with villainy.
** This is due to the fact that the series' characters represent a FantasyCounterpartCulture to the British Isles, with accents (and locations -- King's Landing = London etc) that approximate the geography of the country. The whole tale is a thinly veiled reference to the historic [[UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses War of the Roses]], a power-struggle fought in England between the houses of York and Lancaster (AKA Stark and Lannister).
** In Season Two, the show has started to assign specific non-English accents to people from outside Westeros. Shae and Jaqen H'gar, both from Lorath, are played by German actors, who speak in their native accents. Carice van Houten speaks in her native Dutch accent, although Asshai is on the opposite end of the known world from Lorath.
* ''Series/TheBorgias'' is full of British accents, though the French characters actually do have French accents. It's just all the Italians that are British.
* The 1977 miniseries ''Jesus of Nazareth'' was dubbed "Jesus of Cambridge."
* The Creator/SamRaimi shows ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' and ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' mostly avert this, giving characters from Ancient Greek history and myth American accents. This can actually lead to some weird areas, since the shows are filmed in New Zealand, where accents naturally fall somewhere between British and Australian.
* A TV dramatisation of the life of Queen Boudicca ascribed upper-class British accents to the Romans - the general advising Emperor Caligula about the British rebellion speaks in the clipped precise tones of a Sandhurst professional officer. Whereas the revolting British tribesmen spoke in lower-class regional accents. The Iceni, not unreasonably, spoke broad Norfolk, whereas the Brigantians (from the [[OopNorth North]]) spoke blunt Yorkshire.
* Because all of the actors, who [[EconomyCast play a variety of characters]], in ''Series/HorribleHistories'' are British, the Romans tend to be TheQueensLatin. There's also The Queen's Greek, Egyptian, and Aztec, although for more modern cultures like France or Germany they sometimes use [[JustAStupidAccent a fake accent]].
* ''Series/AYoungDoctorsNotebook'', based on the semi-autobiographical works of Creator/MikhailBulgakov, is of course set in Russia (partly in [[RomanovsAndRevolutions 1917]] and partly in 1934). The series being a British production, everyone has a British accent--including Creator/JonHamm. (Or at least, Jon Hamm ''attempts'' a British accent). In fairness, Hamm ''does'' play an older version of Creator/DanielRadcliffe, so they must have figured that although the space of 17 years could plausibly give the young doctor an extra six inches in height, a wider frame, and different facial features, him having a different ''accent'' would be a bridge too far.
* ''Series/PompeiiTheLastDay'' predictably has many of the characters speak like this, it being a BBC production with British actors.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Both BookerT and his wife Sharmell attempted British accents (Sharmell semi-successfully, Booker less so) when Booker became "King of the Ring" in 2006, even though they continued to be billed as residents of Houston, Texas.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* It was once humorously noted in ''{{Time}}'' magazine that there is a radio dramatization of the Koran that is read by a British person. So even God has a British accent!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Many productions of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's plays will feature actors attempting an English accent to say their lines, even though the settings of his plays varied widely. This is obviously because Shakespeare wrote the dialogue in Elizabethan English and his plays are always heavily associated with English culture. Elizabethan accents hardly sound anything like modern English accents.
** This trope should (theoretically) be averted in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' because the Scottish accents for the Scottish characters are written into the script. Still, many productions still give Macbeth a Upper-Class English accent.
** Amusingly inverted in an episode of ''BoyMeetsWorld'' in which Stewart Minkis is cast as Hamlet. Having read that Elizabethan-era English sounded quite similar to [[AmericanAccents Appalachian dialects in America]], he attempts to play Hamlet with a 19th-century frontier inflection and ends up sounding like [[TheAndyGriffithShow Gomer Pyle]].
* An interesting variation on this trope comes from translations of Ancient Greek plays, most noticeably in ancient Greek comedies. Nearly every extant play contains at least one joke based on ancient Greek accents. This means that a translator or director needs to delineate some of the dialog with a different accent. British accents are often used, partially because many of the translators are British themselves and those are they accents their most familiar with. Other times the trope is averted, such as when an American gives Spartans a Texas accent to play up the "militant hick" perception.
* In many productions of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan operettas, the actors will put on British accents, even when the operetta in question doesn't take place in England (e.g. ''Theatre/TheMikado'', in Japan).
** This is often to get Gilbert's rhyming and/or puns to work (consider the "Orphan/Often" joke in ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'') and because a British accent makes it far easier to navigate a PatterSong understandably, given the (modern, upper-class) British accent's consonant clarity.
*** That joke requires some creative work with pronunciation to make it work even for an English audience (or at least for the couple of people who haven't seen the play before...) The accent which pronounces "often" as "orf'n" is not only posh, but also a sufficiently old-fashioned version of "posh" that it doesn't correspond with what most people nowadays think of as "the posh accent". So the actors have to perform tricks like turning the "old-fashioned-posh" accent UpToEleven for their preceding half-dozen or so lines in order to make sure the audience are thinking in terms of the right sort of accent when the joke comes along.
* The 2009 revival of A Little Night Music, a musical set in Sweden, was/is performed with British accents by the cast, most of them fake Brits, with the notable exception of Creator/AngelaLansbury. This is exacerbated by the fact that they all speak with different flavors of British accent, with no logic given or implied as to the variance.
* The 2008 concert version of ''Theatre/{{Chess}}'' has an odd inversion, with the British Kerry Ellis affecting an American accent to play a Russian character (the other major Russian characters were played by Americans, one affecting a Russian accent and one [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent not bothering]]).
* In the original production of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', American Steve Barton (who played Raoul) faked a British accent, despite his character being French. The cast as a whole speaks with a British accent even in American productions of the musical. It is debatable whether this is because of this trope, or because they attempt to sound like the original British cast.
** Since Phantom is nearly sung through, it could have something to do with the fact that pronunciation and diphthongs when singing in English tend to take on a more British pronunciation (for example, singing "The phantom of the opera is here!" with an American twang is frowned upon)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* [[Series/TheDailyShow Wyatt Cenac]] discusses this in his comedy special when talking about what the Medieval Times shows will be like in the future. In the future, they will be about American gang violence, and they will all have British accents.
* Discussed by EddieIzzard, with the part of Caesar played by his impression of James Mason. Which is also his favourite voice for {{God}}, incidentally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* All of the characters in the fantasy RPG ''{{Arcanum}}: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura'' seem to have British accents, with the exception of Virgil, who is voiced by an American who sounds like he's trying to sound vaguely English. Certainly, his dialogue (replete with words like "bloody" and "bugger") is written to sound like it's come from a Brit.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' translates different Japanese dialects into differently accented versions of English. One major character, Kid, speaks with an Australian accent. And it's all done [[FunetikAksent through text]] - the game has no voice acting.
* The English translation of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' used this to replace the different Japanese ways of talking: dashing sky-pirate Balthier was given an English accent, whereas Princess Ashe was given a soft high-class American accent. ([[CuteMonsterGirl Fran]] speaks with a [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign Welshy...Indo...Iri...Scot...Russi...Armenian]] - okay, no one knows, but it's an accent.) Al-Cid speaks in an accent that has been called an odd hybrid of Spanish and Russian. The grunts of the Archadian Empire tend to have particularly thuggish London accents. The people of Bhujerba speak with Indian accents.
** In fact, [[spoiler:Balthier's accent actually gives away his heritage,]] since each region seems to speak its own dialect, with the Archadians speaking with the British accents, citizen of Rabanastra to speaking with American accents, the one Rozzarian we hear speak has a Spanish accent, and so on.
** Ondore's accent is vaguely...Scottish or something. Or Gaelic/Irish/Celtic. [[spoiler: He's the narrator, by the way.]]
* Likewise ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' gives most important character British accents for [[KansaiRegionalAccent regional accent conversion]].
** Exceptions: Morrie, the eccentric owner of the Monster Arena, is voiced with an Italian accent and Italian words peppered through his dialogue, the entire city of Baccarat (which is centered around an enormous casino and hotel) is apparently American, and the snowy northern region of Orkutsk is very obviously Russian.
** Most of the characters were given various kinds of British accents. Pickham residents, for example, all speak cockney, Princess Minnie speaks with the Royal We, and the owner of the Sabrecat Trust speaks with an upper class RP so ludicrously pompous that it's played for laughs. His assistant Tom speaks...something.
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening''. Characters will often drop British words such as "arse" and "mummy" into their sentences, but the vast majority of the cast possesses American accents so the trope is only reflected in their choice of vocabulary.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' gives His Highness the Title Character a British accent. Farah, an Indian princess, speaks with the hybrid accent of an Indian person educated by British English speakers, which is actually a common enough accent in the modern world. When ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' rolls around, Farah's been [[strike:developed]] genericised into an ActionGirl, and has a gruff [[OohMeAccentsSlipping American accent]].
** The Prince acquired an American accent when he went all [[{{Narm}} "Badass"]] in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', as well. Luckily, the original voice actor came back for ''The Two Thrones'', though he was actually [[FakeBrit Canadian]].
*** It's even better than that - the actor in the second game is actually English.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' games, Philadelphia-born Rand Miller for some reason gives Atrus a fluctuating mid-Atlantic accent (it should be noted that in "real life" Atrus would have spoken the English of [[http://www.pepysdiary.com Samuel Pepys]]).
** Confusingly, in current Myst canon we are meant to understand that the original Myst game really was just a game "[[LiteraryAgentHypothesis based on]]" the "real" events of Myst, with only the events of the game Uru and onward to be taken as "accurate" depictions of what "really happened". All anachronisms can be retconned this way.
** Not to mention how much his D'ni accent sucks. Of course, everyone's D'ni sucks... and Yeesha, the only character to use it in Uru, gets it even worse.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' has several British-accented characters in both games; Bastila, being portrayed by a Canadian, is the only non-native accent. An honorable mention goes to Louis Mellis, playing Darth Sion - using his native accent, he is a[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Scottish Zombie Sith]]. Although it seems to be Creator/JenniferHale's (she who voiced Bastila) hat to speak with a faux British accent.
** Funnily enough, the same company's ''StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' uses British accents to denote the Empire ([[PuttingOnTheReich especially Imperial Intelligence and the Imperial Military]]).
* In ''Rome: Total War'', a slight variation of the tropes is presented: the Romans all speak with throaty American accents, while everyone else, the Gauls, Carthaginians, Egyptians, Spaniards, Greeks, etc. speak in a sort of generic "foreign" accent, with much rolling of R's and slurring of syllables. And to make it all more confusing: the game's British.
* ''VideoGame/SpartanTotalWarrior'' is also guilty. Every single Roman uses some form of British accent from the vaguely cockney legionnaires to the cut-glass accent of Sejanus.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', nearly every human is British (Creator/ClaudiaBlack, although Australian, has always done a great British accent), except for the occasional character from the [[TheEmpire Empire of Orlais]], who are depicted as essentially being French. Elves and Dwarves are almost universally American (except for [[DepravedBisexual Zevran]], who has an outrageous Spanish [[FantasyCounterpartCulture 'Antivan']] accent).
** Notably, this trope is {{invoked|Trope}} in ''Franchise/DragonAge'': Ferelden is a FantasyCounterpartCulture for England (just as Orlais is fantasy-France), justifying the accents.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'' series is bad for it, too; everyone comes from ''somewhere'' in the British Isles.
** It should be noted that it is set in Albion, the oldest known name for Great Britain. Not to mention the Union Jack underwear...
** Well, seeing as the game is created by a British company, it'd be more of a surprise if the voice actors didn't use their native accents.
* The Roman-themed city building game [[VideoGame/CityBuildingSeries Caesar III]] has generally British sounding voices, as does the ''Praetorians'' RTS.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', Sokolov, a Russian, [[TranslationConvention appears]] to speak with a British accent. All of the other Russians are played with American accents, with the exception of Sokolov's rival, Granin...who speaks with a Russian accent. Then again, he's drunk, and may actually be speaking English in that scene.
* ''VideoGame/RyseSonOfRome'' plays this very, very straight as well. At least it's justified for the Britannians you're fighting...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This trope's lampshaded in WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob's review of ''Caligula'', which featured cameos from Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses contributors impersonating Caligula. Then [[WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown Film Brain]] pops in pissed off that ''he'' didn't get to impersonate Caligula, particularly since ''he'' actually was British (and therefore had the British accent) unlike the others (who didn't even bother faking one).
[[/folder]]

----