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The Queen's English has always has its own royal style, but it has not always been as we know it today.

Cover of Dr Melanie Evans book: The Language of Queen Elizabeth I

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.