Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Royal "We"

(This blog was originally posted on February 13, 2017)

Photo by Rick Hustead

We are not impressed.”

Have you ever wondered where that expression came from? I can’t remember the first time I heard it, but it seems like a long-running joke that members of the British Royal family are said to use a plural pronoun to express displeasure. I don’t know if that is true and they really speak that way, but I highly doubt it. However, since watching the television series Victoria on PBS, I have a suspicion how that tradition may have started and been misunderstood/misinterpreted, as well as why it has lasted so long.

Early in Queen Victoria’s reign as queen of England, her dog, Dash, was a constant companion and apparent confidant of the young monarch. At least in this series, the queen is occasionally shown depicted addressing her dog and even including his unspoken opinion about an issue during a discussion with an advisor. I have no way of knowing if this scenario actually happened, but it made me wonder if these kinds of incidents inspired the royal “we.” Except in this case, rather than simply being a vernacular affectation, the queen genuinely and legitimately meant we. Nonetheless, as generations passed and the little dog likely long forgotten, the expression has lived on—at least in the public’s imagination. It is familiar and comfortable because it has been around so long. It is known.

Consider a tradition you or your family follows. Do you know why the holiday meal must always be prepared in a certain way, using specific ingredients that are not actually included in the original recipe? Upon further investigation, it turned out that some of the original ingredients were unavailable during World War II, so the family improvised the original recipe. The dish turned out well and the substituted ingredients continued to be included in future preparations. Some people call their grandmother as “Nan” or “Gram,” and their grandfather “Paw-Paw” because that is how they were instructed to address their grandparents. Why? My guess is that way back in the family tree a youngster couldn’t pronounce Grandma or Grandpa and the new monikers stuck and eventually became a new subconscious known.

How interesting…

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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