Royal 'we'

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The royal 'we' is used to emphasize the dignity, majesty and difference of the monarch. A king or queen writing officially calls him- (or her-) self by the plural form of the first person pronoun - "we" not "I". The present (2006) monarch of the Uniterd Kingdom begins an official warrant or Act "We Elizabeth by the Grace of God Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain [etc, etc...]"

Similar phenomena are also called the authorial 'we' and the editorial 'we'. See also first person for an account of a related problem in academic writing.