The Queen’s Speech to Parliament today gives us another opportunity to observe her pronunciation first-hand.
It is striking that she regularly pronounces enhance as ɪnˈhæns rather than the ɪnˈhɑːns which most RP speakers have. I feel sure she wouldn’t pronounce æ in dance or chance. I wonder why enhance for her has not undergone the usual broadening (backing plus lengthening) in the environment _ns.
There are two well-known exceptions to this sound change for all RP (etc.) speakers: romance rə(ʊ)ˈmæns and finance (stress variable, but always -næns). Speakers vary in the case of stance stæns ~ stɑːns and even more for circumstance (where you very frequently also get weakening to -stəns).
Hm. Why do I feel confident that the Queen would say lance, glance, answer and France with ɑː, while with (to) enˈtrance and fiancé(e) I feel there is a slight possibility that she might have æ?