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The majestic plural (pluralis maiestatis in Latin, literally, "the plural of majesty"), is the use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch, bishop, or pope. It is also called the royal pronoun, the royal "we" or the Victorian "we". The more general word for the use of we to refer to oneself is nosism. However the use as majestic plural (to denote the excellence, power, and dignity of the person who speaks or writes) is the most common one.
In pluralis maiestatis a speaker refers to himself or herself using a grammatical number other than the singular (i.e., in plural or dual form). For example, the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman opens thus:
On the Issue of the Basic Law of the State We, Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman...
Western usage 
It is commonly employed by a person of high office, such as a monarch, earl, or pope. It is also used in certain formal contexts by bishops and university rectors. William Longchamp is credited with its introduction to England in the late 12th century, following the practice of the papal chancery. Its first recorded use was in 1169 when King Henry II, hard pressed by his barons over the Investiture Controversy, assumed the common theory of "divine right of kings", that the monarch acted conjointly with the deity. Hence, he used "we", meaning "God and I...". (See Rolls Series, 2.12)[not specific enough to verify]
In the public situations in which it is used, the monarch or other dignitary is typically speaking not only in his personal capacity but also in his official capacity as leader of a nation or institution. The habit of referring to a leader in the plural has further influenced the grammar of several languages, in which plural forms tend to be perceived as deferential and more polite than singular forms. This grammatical feature is common in languages that have the T-V distinction, including those, such as English, which used to have a T-V distinction in the past, but lost it.
Popes have used the we as part of their formal speech with certain recent exceptions. The English translations of the documents of John Paul II dispensed with this practice, using the singular "I", even though the Latin original usually continued to use the first person plural "We".[full citation needed]
British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was widely criticised and met with considerable distain by the press for using the 'royal we', particularly when announcing news that she had become a grandmother in 1989. 
Non-Western usage 
The tradition of the royal we may also be traced to the Mughals of India and Sultans of Banu Abbas and Banu Umayyah. The royal we is used to express the dignity or highest position either understood as strictly hierarchical or as referential to an alternate "higher" than ego identity.
There are many verses in the Qur'an where Allah speaks using the Arabic pronoun nahnu (meaning "we") or its associated suffix. "We" created, "we" sent down, etc. It is also used in the second person in formal diplomatic language, associated with a style or honorific. For instance, the President of Egypt would be addressed as فخامتكم Fakhāmatakum, "Your (plural) Excellency" in formal diplomatic communications (e.g. diplomatic telegrams). (Note that this usage is different from the system of honorifics used in Egyptian colloquial Arabic.)
This usage is also popular among the speakers of the Batangan dialect of Tagalog, while some actors and politicians such as Philippine President Benigno Aquino III have been known to use the Tagalog exclusive form in giving interviews.
In Turkish, it is very common, and in fact proper etiquette, to refer to someone who is not close to you, or someone of high stature as 'siz' (royal "you"). One may also refer to themselves formally as 'biz' (royal "me" or "I"). Because of the agglutinative nature of the Turkish language, there are many variations of 'siz' and 'biz' depending on how you address a person or yourself.
See also 
- Constitution of Oman
- Turner, Ralph V. (May 2007), "Longchamp, William de (d. 1197)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press), doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16980, retrieved 2011-01-12
- "Quran 22:5 – Surah al-Hajj 5". Retrieved 16 April 2010.