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     Volume 4 Issue 32 | February 4, 2005 |

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How much do you know about the British monarchy?

1. Have a look at these statements and decide if they are true or false.

2. Now read this article and check to see if you were right.

1.Fifty Years of QE II_
2002 was Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee. Two months of celebrations climaxed in a pop concert at Buckingham Palace and a national holiday on June 4th. Yet while these events seemed to mark the continuing popularity of the monarchy in Britain, the year ended badly for the Royal family with strange accusations of corruption emerging in Princess Diana's ex butler's trial for theft.
Indeed, much has changed since the Queen took the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on February 6th 1952. Attitudes to the monarchy in Britain have changed significantly. There are also, however, many things about the British monarchy which have stayed the same for hundreds of years.
The results of a recent Observer newspaper opinion poll show how much British ideas about the royal family have changed. According to this poll, 25% of people think that when the Queen dies, she should not be succeeded by Prince Charles, but that the monarchy should be abolished and Britain should have an elected head of state (like the American president). 27% of people also think the Queen should abdicate in this Jubilee year. Above all, more than one in three people think the £8.9 million civil list (the public money which is given to the Queen to help support her family and maintain her residences) should be axed.
Even if the monarchy changes, though, there are still some incredible anachronisms about the British royal family that probably won't be changing. According to the 1701 Act of Settlement, it is still illegal for a member of the royal family to be a Catholic or even to marry a Catholic. Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that the law is "discriminatory" and has promised to try and change it, but this will be very difficult, because at least 15 Commonwealth countries also have to approve the same legislation.
Similarly, the 1848 Treason Felony Act makes it a criminal offence to support abolition of the monarchy even by peaceful means. No one has been prosecuted under this law since 1879, but a recent controversy resulted in a high court judge saying that the law was still applicable.

5.______________________________ Seeing as the Queen is both head of state and head of the Anglican church, this theoretically means that Britain is a theocratic state! Bishops and religious leaders automatically have a seat in the House of Lords a part of parliament for which people cannot vote. Britain, unlike other modern states, has no written constitution or bill of rights. 6.______________________________ So what does the future hold? When the time comes, will Prince Charles become King Charles III? Let's hope he won't meet the same end as his predecessor, Charles I, decapitated in 1649 in Oliver Cromwell's republic. (The republic ended in 1660 when Charles II returned to the throne.) 7.______________________________ Who knows? There are even signs that a "return to monarchy" is happening in Europe. Ten European countries still have a monarchy (Belgium, Denmark, the UK, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden), and kings have offered to return to states such as Romania and the former Yugoslavia in an attempt to resolve political crises in those countries. In Italy, a recent constitutional change has even made it possible for the exiled male members of the royal family to return to their country!

5. Can you find these words in the text above? Use the clues below and complete the crossword.


1. a,b,c,e,f,g,I,,k& L= true
3. 2-b, 3-g, 4-e, 5-d, 6-c, 7-a
4. a-Act of Settlement, b- coronation, c-% who think QEII should abdicate, d- national holiday, e- million pounds, e- Charles
5. 1-abdicate, 2-discriminatory, 3-anachronism, 4-abolish, 5-decapitated, 6-resolve, 7-theocratic, 8-exiled
The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll


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