NEWS - 5th February 2024 -
Buckingham Palace has just announced that
King Charles has cancer. He has had to give up all public engagements,
but will continue his work as KIng. He has begun treatment in a London
hospital, and is confident that he will be able to return to normal
activity in due course.
Expressions in red – pay attention to these
expressions and their meanings. Some of them are included in
expression and meaning exercise below.
The monarchy has to show that even kings are in touch with ordinary
people. Here Charles talks with schoolgirls in Northern Ireland
III, crowned in London's Westminster Abbey on May 6th 2023, actually
became King in September 2022 immediately after the death of his
mother Queen Elizabeth II. There was no need for any delay nor any
discussion; according to the Act of Settlement passed by the English
parliament in 1701, the crown passes automatically on the death of a
British monarch to the heir to the throne. Until
this eighteenth-century law placed male children before any of their
sisters; in 2013, the British Parliament amended
ending this gender discrimination that had always
in the past.
Modernising the monarchy
2013 change to
the order of succession
of a modernisation of the British monarchy that began in
after the death of Princess Diana in a road accident in
Back in the 1980s, while Diana was becoming a worldwide celebrity,
the rest of the the British monarchy seemed stuck in the past,
attached to old formalities and increasingly detached from the "new"
more informal Britain that had emerged. Following Diana's death, it
was clear that people in Britain wanted a monarchy that was much more
in touch with the mood of
nation. Diana had that
quality, and Prime Minister Tony Blair is remembered for the name he
coined after her death, "the
and formal reaction to Diana's death contrasted sharply with the
of popular emotion that engulfed
Britain in the days after
the tragic accident. People no longer wanted a monarchy without
emotion; the "stiff
was no longer seen as a
virtue, but as a problem.
came as wake-up call to
the monarchy, and particularly to the Queen,
during the final decades of her life, Queen
at pains to create a new image for the monarchy and for
The image of an austere monarch, as created in the 19th century by
Queen Victoria, had had its day,
in its place came a new image of the
monarchy, portraying the Queen as a national grandmother to replace
the People's Princess. And the change of image was a success; by the
time of the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, the British monarchy was
as popular as ever, with opinion polls
the British population were in favour of the monarchy, with less than
a quarter wanting Britain to become a republic.
II was a very popular head of state, probably the most genuinely
popular head of state of any country in the world during much of her
70 year reign; it is a legacy that Charles III will
to follow but a challenge for which he seems to be both ready and
confident of success.
depend to a large extent on continuing, and even accelerating, the
process of modernisation. While very few people in Britain want the
United Kingdom to become the United Republic, that could change if
King Charles fails to keep the monarchy aligned with the expectations
of the people…. and the media.
Royal issues: costs and lifestyles
are regularly raised, and are a perennial problem
monarchy, are the questions of cost and lifestyle. According to
official figures produced for the government, the British monarchy
cost the nation £102.4 million in the 2021-2022 financial year…. a
lot of money at a time when a cost of living crisis was making life
harder for most of the population. On the other hand, according
to analysts at Bloomberg, the Monarchy actually benefits the British
economy to the tune of a billion
pounds a year… about
ten times more than the cost.
spite of what
opponents claim, it is by no means sure that abolishing the monarchy
would mean more money for other purposes. Back in 2016, a lot of people
claiming that Brexit would be a big boost to the UK
in the event it has proved to be the opposite, and
in 2022 the
UK economy was lagging
behind all other G7 nations.
however that he needs to be
seen to be
reducing the wealth of the Royal Family and the
people who benefit from it. Bloomberg estimated in 2022 that the
British monarchy owned property worth about £19
while selling some of this would make little
or no difference to royal lifestyles, it would
symbolic gesture. We can therefore expect some sales of royal
property in the coming years, along with other signs that the
monarchy is in touch with twenty-first century expectations.
king, Charles was known as an environmentalist,
a keen supporter of
organic agriculture, and someone who was acutely aware of
social problems of British cities. The "Prince's Trust",
which he personally set up in 1976, is a major British charity
that works with problems of homelessness
and unemployment among young
people who are struggling at school and at risk of exclusion, and
Charles's social and environmental credentials are
assets that will help him to take the monarchy
will need to build on the monarchy's other great assets, its
permanence and its position above politics. Ask people in Britain if
they want to abolish the monarchy, and just over 20% may say "yes".
Ask them who they would prefer to have as Britain's head of state,
and there is no agreement.
of the monarchy, only one thing is sure, and that is that King
Charles's reign will be shorter than that of his mother. Will the
monarchy survive beyond him? Probably yes, but nothing can be
Word guide Heir: the person who inherits - inherit:
receive something from another person who has died -
amend: modify, update - gender: sex
- in earnest: seriously - mood: sentiment,
the way people feel -
outpouring: wave, surge - decade: period
of 10 years - opinion polls: studies of what people
think - legacy: something that one inherits -
perennial: continuing year after year - boost: help
- property (UK) - real estate (US), buildings and
land - environmentalist: person who is
concerned by the natural environment, a green -
charity: a non-profit association -
credentials: qualifications, experience -
1. Words, expressions and meaning. Choose the
nearest equivalent of each of the
following expressions: click the down arrow and select the correct
had ... prevailed
in touch with...
was at pains to:
to the tune of
in the event
was aware of
Below are four sentences
taken from or adapted from the article.
Rephrase each one in your own words, starting (and finishing)
with the prompts
given. The boxes will expand to take the text you type
came as wake-up call to the
The monarchy .
King Charles needs to be
seen to be
reducing the wealth of the Royal Family
People must wealth.
A cost of living crisis was making life harder for most of
For King Charles, success will depend to a large
extent on continuing the process of modernisation
Unless he continues to successful.
Remembering what was written.
Complete gaps in the article from memory; if you cannot remember the
exact terms that were used, try to fill in the boxes with expressions
that are factually and grammatically correct.
in the 1980s, while Diana was becoming a ,
the rest of the the British monarchy seemed
past, attached to
old formalities and
from the "new" more informal Britain that .
Following Diana's death, it was clear that wanted
monarchy that was
touch with the
of the nation. Diana had that quality, and Prime Minister Tony Blair
is remembered for after
her death, "the People's Princess."
The Queen's slow and formal
death contrasted sharply with the popular
that engulfed Britain in the days after the tragic accident. People no
wanted a monarchy without
emotion; the "stiff "
was no longer seen as a virtue, but as a .
There is just so much in this text to get into: this is a topical text
that is likely to remain topical - and maybe polemical - for
foreseeable future. Deliberately rich in useful
vocabulary, common idioms and expressions , it is about people
need little or no introduction as they are among the most recognised
people in the world.
Students' familiarity with the issues and the people concerned mean
that new vocabulary is intrinsically easier to apprehend and
understand, as meanings are suggested by context. Even if there were no
vocabulary guide, C1 level students should be able to understand the
text and comprehend the sense of new vocabulary in much the same way as
they do when reading in their own first language.
This text is full of interesting vocabulary. Most tricky words and
expressions are either explained in the word guide, or
included in the words and expressions exercise.
A few are not, and teachers may want / like to explain them, er clarify
The Act of Settlement : an
Act is a law passed (or to be passed)by Parliament. To settle in this
case means to come to an agreement, as in settle ones differences.
The stiff upper lip. Showing
a stiff upper lip means not showing (much) emotion in difficult
situations. It is an expression that was in the past used as
a compliment, but today is often used as a criticism.
Had had its day (or had had
its time) - was over, was finished.
To be as popular as ever:
stress the structure used here, with as... as ever. Not "as never".
During much of her
70 year reign; an unusual use of the word much, meaning a large part of..
We could also say For much of her....
would make little
or no difference. The quantifiers littleand no
are often combined in expressions like this.
and unemployment. These two words are
excellent examples of how words are formed from root words,
by adding prefixes and suffixes (endings)
Listening and remembering. - Paused reading.
This is the oral equivalent of the written gap-fill exercise /
Play or read this extract from the text, stopping at each of
the █ markers,
and invite students to say or write what the next words
should be. Try to get students to remember the exact words used, but if
they cannot do so, accept any answers that are both
grammatically and factually correct.
in the 1980s, while Diana was becoming a █
worldwide celebrity, the rest of the the British monarchy seemed █ stuck in the past, attached to
old formalities and █ increasingly
detached from the "new" more informal Britain that █
had emerged. Following Diana's death, it was clear that █ people in Britain wanted a
monarchy that was █
much more in touch with the █
mood of the nation. Diana had that quality, and Prime Minister Tony
is remembered for █ the
name he coined after her death, "the People's Princess."
The Queen's slow and formal █
reaction to Diana's death contrasted sharply with the █ outpouring of popular emotion
that engulfed Britain in the days after the tragic accident. People no █ longer wanted a monarchy without
emotion; the "stiff █ upper
lip" was no longer seen as a virtue, but as a █ problem.
Warm up exercises: the
characters talked about in this article are not just Royalty,
they are Celebrities, and as such are known to people all over the
world. It is unlikely that your students will know nothing at all about
them. So start by asking students - possibly working in pairs - to
write down or say what they know about: 1. King Charles III,
2 The Queen (Elizabeth II), Princess Diana.
Some may also know something about Tony Blair. The
picture at the top of the page shows two other people. Who
are they ? Some of your students are likely to know that on the left is
Prince William, and on the right is Queen Camilla, Charles's wife.
Text study. First play the audio version of the text (open the
audio player at the top of the page). The audio text is carefully read,
and students should not have any difficulty following it. Go
right through the text from
start to finish, without stopping. If you think that this will be too
much for your students, stop before the sub-heading Royal Issues -
costs and lifestyle.
Next, explain anything that needs
explaining, but NOT the expressions that are used in the exercises.
Individual or group / pair work.
The vocabulary and rephrasing exercises can both be done by
students individually, or else working in pairs. Pair work in this
context involves discussing, justifying one's opinions, and reaching
Final stage. This
article lends itself to a lot of different classroom or homework
activities. a) Text contraction (reduce the 900 word article
to less than 300 words), b) Students make up
questions on the article, and ask their partners (or the rest
of the class) to answer them. c) Write a short
article in favour of / attacking the institution of monarchy.
d) Role plays or sketches e) If I were
King Charles, I would ......
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