In certain formal contexts in Middle and Early Modern English, the sovereign of England would use the royal we to refer to themselves. At approximately the same time, English had a T-V distinction where the formal second-person forms "ye" and "you" were also the plural pronouns. So the first- and second-person plural pronouns were both used at one point to indicate respect or social distance.
My question is, has the third-person plural ever been used in a similar manner? Would a peasant in medieval England ever refer to their monarch as they?