The language of Queen Elizabeth I

Posted on Monday 23rd September 2013

Cover of Dr Melanie Evans book: The Language of Queen Elizabeth IThe Queen's English has always has its own royal style, but it has not always been as we know it today.

IdeasLab talks to Dr Mel Evans about her research on the language of Queen Elizabeth I and her recently published book: 'The Language of Queen Elizabeth I: A Sociolinguistic Perspective on Royal Style and Identity (Publications of the Philological Society)'.

The podcast features the performance of an extract of a parliamentary speech Elizabeth delivered to her parliament in 1586, in which she delays parliament's decision on the execution of Mary Queen of Scots: Mel explains how this example illustrates Elizabeth’s use of language to get her own way, such as an imagined group of 'we princes', to emphasise her regal status.