The Genre of the Royal Crisis Address

This article offers a rhetorical analysis of the addresses delivered by six Northern European monarchs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. The analysis establishes a new genre with distinctive traits and functions: The royal crisis address. This genre has two constitutive traits: To demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and to constitute the citizens and encourage them to behave in the right way. The genre also has three optional traits: to provide thanks, to empathise with those affected, and to reassure and inspire the nation. In a national crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, these rhetorical functions will also be performed by national leaders, however, because of the apolitical position and charismatic and historical power of the royals in the North European monarchies the royals can perform these functions with a special authority. We describe how this is done through the five functions and through epideictic and constitutive rhetoric

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