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The Royal Family

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Many members of the Royal Family'undertake official duties in Britain ana abroad. Their various responsibilities reflect tradition, their own personal interests and Britain's former imperial status. For example, among her many titles the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) is Chancellor of the University of London, Colonel-in-Chief of eleven Army regiments, including the 8th Canadian Hussars and the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps, and President of the Save the Children Fund, for whom she has travelled widely.

The Royal Family's money comes from two sources government funds and their own personal wealth, which is considerable. On the one hand the Queen is certainly one of the richest women in the world, while on the other her power is limited by the fact that so many of her expenses are paid for by government money. Parliament has had effective control of the monarch's finances since the seventeenth century.

TASK 2. Look at the chart

The Royal Family

Numbers show order of succession to the Crown



















The Queen Pnnce Philip The Duke of Edinburgh Princess Margaret    
Prince   Princess   Princess   Captain   Prince   Sar^h   Prince  
Charles The Prmte of Г Diana The Princess   Anne The princess Г Mark Philips   Andrew Т he Duke of Г Duchess of York   Edward  
Wales   of Wales   Royal       York          
Prince Prince Peter Zara Princess Princess    
William   Henry   Philips   Philips   Beatrice   Eugenie    

TASK 3. Answer the questions

1. What powers does the Queen have in government?

2. Who is next in line to the British crown after Prince Charles?

3. How can Parliament control the Royal Family?

4. What connections can you find between the Royal Family and the world outside Britain?

5. Which member of the Royal Family has the highest number of public engagements?

TASK 4 Read the text.

The Queen is really a figurehead representing the country, but she has the power to prevent any politician from establishing a dictatorship. The Queen and her family are a symbol that people can identify with. The British public is obsessed with the details of the royal family life, and when people feel that the Queen has problems with her children, or her sister, they see her as a "real person" with the same worries and anxieties as themselves.

The monarchy has not always been popular. During the late 19th century there was a growing republican sentiment, but the personality and family image of the Queen, her father and grandfather have removed that feeling. The Queen is probably the wealthiest woman in the world, most of the money coming from family investments rather than the state. Her state salary (the Civil List) pays for her servants and transport. In recent years the Queen has become a roving ambassador for Britain, and if we calculate the increase in trade after a royal visit abroad, the nation probably makes a profit from her activities, and that does not take into account the income from tourism in Britain generated by the monarchy and great state events such as royal weddings.

Just how popular is she? In the late 1980s a newspaper conducted an opinion poll. People were asked, "If there were no monarchy, who would you vote for as President?" More than 80 per cent chose the Queen. Prince Charles came second, closely followed by his father, Prince Philip. The prime minister of the day was the fourth - with 2 per cent of the votes.

TASK 5 Explain the meanings of the following words and expressions.

- a figurehead;

- obsessed with;

- a growing republican sentiment;

- a roving ambassador;

- an opinion poll.

TASK 6 Listen to the interview and then read the tapescnpt

When it comes to selling newspapers, nothing increases the circulation figures more than a right royal scandal. There's no doubt about it. The British public are

fascinated by their figureheads. In fact, most people seem to feel quite strongly about the royal family, one way or another.

I spoke to Patrick Orman Ward from England and Jean O'Sullivan from Ireland about their feelings for the British monarchy. First, I asked Patrick if the royal family was important to him.

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