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(Maybe should be in the French Language community instead.) Louis XIV famously allegedly said "L'État, c'est moi". But wouldn't he (at least hypothetically) have used the royal 'we', i.e., "L'État, c'est nous"?

(I ask partly because, if the use of the royal 'we' would be correct, it could be taken as evidence he never said "L'État...".)

I'm aware of a related question (Did Louis XIV actually say "The State? I am the State."? Could he have said it?) but that doesn't address the specific wording.

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    A more collaborative/conciliatory royal might use the royal 'we', but a royal who sees themselves as the one & only authority would use "I" so that it would be understood by all who was in power. In modern parlance, we have the management buzz term, "there is no 'I' in team". Also, this question is not about history, it's more about language & how it is used to convey power. – Fred Apr 16 '17 at 3:05
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question is more about language & how it can be used to convey power – Fred Apr 16 '17 at 3:05
  • Does French have a royal "we", or is that just an English affectation? – user13123 Apr 16 '17 at 14:24
  • HorusKol - I know that German does. When Francis Joseph became Austrian emperor in 1848, the year of revolutions, there was a joke that the "wir" or "we" in his proclamations stood for Windischgraetz, Jellac, and Radetsky, three generals fighting the rebels. But German is closer to English than French is. The Wikipedia article indicates the royal we is widespread in Europe. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_we – MAGolding Apr 16 '17 at 15:02
  • If he had said, L'Etat c'est nous, it wouldn't convey the idea properly. To effectively say that the State was embodied in his person, he needed to make it unambiguous, and explicitly exclude ministers, court personal, generals, justices, etc. – Luís Henrique Apr 16 '17 at 19:36
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I know that German does. When Francis Joseph became Austrian emperor in 1848, the year of revolutions, there was a joke that the "wir" or "we" in his proclamations stood for Windischgraetz, Jellac, and Radetsky, three generals fighting the rebels. But German is closer to English than French is. The Wikipedia article indicates the royal we is widespread in Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_we1

And here is a discussions that mentions its use in French, Spanish, German:

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/majestic-plural-or-the-royal-we-pluralis-majestatis.1091632/2

And this site says:

Queen Elizabeth I certainly used it, as did many Russian rulers and French rulers.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-royal-we.htm3

Thus I think nous would be used as the royal we in French.

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