Interested in the UK and the British Royal Family? Don't know who all these dukes and duchesses are? In this lesson, I'll explain how the British monarchy works. You'll learn about the members and titles of the royal family, the history of monarchy in the UK, and how our constitutional monarchy works. I'll answer questions like: What is the queen's job? Why is there no king right now, even though Queen Elizabeth II has a husband? Who will inherit the throne?... and more. Watch this lesson to understand the royal family and the culture of monarchy in the UK.
TAKE THIS QUIZ TO TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE: https://www.engvid.com/british-royal-family/
Hello. I'm Gill at engVid, and today's lesson is all about the British Royal Family. Okay, so if you probably see items in the news about our royal family, you'll have seen the queen, Queen Elizabeth; maybe her husband, Prince Philip; but they're a big family, and also not all countries have a royal family so I've just put this lesson together with a bit of information to tell you a little bit more about them. Okay, right, so the British Royal Family are also known as the House of Windsor, because Windsor is their name, which comes from Windsor. This place here, Windsor Castle is one of their homes. So years ago they decided to use the name Windsor.
So, some people like the royal family, admire them. They think of them as kind of celebrities, just like film stars, and sports celebrities. They're reported in the newspapers in a similar way. You get gossip about them. In some newspapers who like to write a lot of gossip, if they've heard something, it may not be accurate, but they've heard a story about some member of the royal family, and they print the story. They might have a photograph to go with it. So they're always in the news, the royal family, for one reason or another, either a good reason or a bad reason. Pretty much every day you can hear something about the royal family or read something in the newspaper. So, some people do like them, and even, you know, think of them as celebrities, and maybe give too much time and thought to them.
But then at the other extreme, some people dislike them because they're thinking of the fact that they spend a lot of money, they have all these buildings which are expensive to look after, people say: "What work do they do?" They don't seem to do any work, so why should they live such rich lives if they don't do anything? But, of course, a lot of the royal family do things all the time. They're not working for money always, sometimes they do that as well, they have jobs some of them with a salary, but some of them, they may not be working and being paid for it, but they're doing kind of diplomatic work, they're meeting visitors from other countries, they're being kind of ambassadors, that sort of thing. So they keep busy, and they're patrons of charities and they go to events, and they give their support to things and so on. So, a lot of the royal family do keep quite busy trying to live useful lives, and so I think if they didn't do that there would be a lot more sort of criticism of them. But because you can't see that they're doing things, working hard, that stops a lot of people from criticizing and saying we shouldn't have a royal family. Some people are called Republicans, and they say we should have a president instead of a queen or a king. We should have a president and a prime minister instead of a queen and a prime minister. So there are Republicans around and have been for more than a hundred years, people who wanted to get rid of the royal family, but it hasn't happened yet.
Okay, so the kind of system we have in the UK, it's called a constitutional monarchy. The "monarchy" part is to do with the royal family, with the queen. The monarch, so the word "monarch" means king or queen. The "constitutional" part is to do with politics, and the government, and parliament. So what happens, really, is the government, the MPs, the ministers in parliament, they make the decisions. The government makes the decisions. And if they have a new piece of, an act of parliament, a new law, for example, the queen just has to sign it. If it's been democratically decided already by the politicians that this will become law, the queen can't just say: "No, I don't like that. I'm not going to sign it." She just has to sign it because it's gone through a democratic process. So that's why it's a constitutional monarchy. It's the monarch or king or queen governed by the parliament, by the politicians. Okay.
So, let's have a look at some of the vocabulary which is fairly simple most of it. So a king or queen is the monarch, the head of state if you like. Usually any children they have will be prince or princess, so prince for male, princess of female. There are some other titles used as well, which are sort of high aristocratic titles. Duke for the male, duchess for the female.