How much do you know about the British monarchy?
Have a look at these statements and decide if they are true
Now read this article and check to see if you were right.
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.
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!
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
(R) thedailystar.net 2004