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The English We Speak

Intermediate level

The royal treatment

Episode 220530 / 30 May 2022


We’re marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee – that’s 70 years as British monarch – with a royal expression. Learn how to describe being treated like a very important person.


Hello and welcome to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. I’m Feifei…

And I’m Neil. Hang on a minute, Feifei. Your champagne and caviar will be arriving in just a minute.

Champagne and caviar? But we’re recording a programme. 

Yes, and when we’re finished, your Rolls Royce will be arriving to take you back to the palace.

Rolls Royce? Palace? Are you OK?

Oh would you prefer a limousine?

Right, Neil. What’s going on?

I’m giving you the royal treatment. 

Ah, I see. To ‘give someone the royal treatment’ means to behave towards them as if they are very important.

Exactly. It means to treat someone in the way a member of a royal family would expect. Now let’s hear some examples of this expression in use.

I met my boyfriend’s parents for the first time last week and they gave me the royal treatment. We went out for a beautiful meal and then the theatre afterwards.

You get the royal treatment when you book hospitality tickets in the Premier League. Free food and drinks and an amazing view of the match.

I can’t stand the new boss. He really expects the royal treatment from everyone. He’s not THAT important.

You’re listening to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. In this programme, we’re marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee – that’s 70 years as British monarch – with a royal expression.

If you ‘give someone the royal treatment’, you treat them very well – as if they were a king or a queen.

Exactly. So, Neil, where’s the champagne and caviar?

What champagne and caviar?

That you promised at the start of the programme.

Oh, I just made that up – in order to teach our listeners a useful expression.

So, I guess I’ll be getting the train home as usual.

Sorry – no royal treatment for you today. Bye!


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