I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post.

Ambivalent: Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something.

Resonance: The power to evoke enduring images, memories, and emotions

Constant: Remaining the same over a period of time

Severed: Cut off or separated, especially abruptly.

Sobriquet: A nickname or term of address, often one that is sarcastic or critical.

Commemoration: The act of honouring the memory of a person or event, especially by a ceremony or monument.

Initiate: To start or bring about, often a process or course of action.

Hog: To take or use more than one’s fair share of something.

Burden: A heavy load or responsibility, something that is difficult to bear.

Toxicity: The quality or state of being poisonous or harmful

I’m often asked by my students, what my opinion of the British Royal family is. I’m often taken aback by the question, because I’m rather ambivalent towards them, so don’t really have one. I’m not alone, because when I look at the resonance over the past 40 years, the affection to the Queen has remained constant, but the rest of the Royal family have good and bad days.

In November 2021, Barbados officially severed ties with monarchy, which reigned over the island nation for over 400 years. Now, there are only 14 Commonwealth realms around the world, and one has to ask how long they will remain tied to the monarchy.

I had no idea that the British royal family held so much appeal to the Germans, when I arrived here nearly 30 years ago. Naturally, with no royals of their own, the boulevard press look at the other Royal families around the world to grace the covers of their magazines. Understandably, the death of the people’s Princess, the sobriquet used for the very popular Lady Diana, The Princess of Wales, was newsworthy in Germany, as it was all around the world. On the Sunday after her death, on August 31 1997, I walked along the Königsallee in Düsseldorf, to buy a newspaper at the International press kiosk. A lady, who had seen me buy a copy of the Sunday Times, asked if I was from England, because she wanted to have a British person sign a book of commemoration she had initiated. I have no idea why it was so important, but I did it all the same.

In the following years, the interest around the British royal family increased, and has remained at a steady level since then. New Princesses have come, more children have been born, yet the Queen, in her 70th year on the throne, still hogs the headlines. In fact, the people of Great Britain enjoyed an extended bank holiday in June 2022, with street parties to celebrate her jubilee.

What are the benefits of having the Royal family, apart from the British workforce getting an extra day holiday? In 2019, over 3 million people visited estates owned by the Queen. The British Tourist Council estimates that the monarchy generates approximately $770 million per annum. However, they are a burden to the tax-payer too. Collectively, they cost the British taxpayers around $86 million in 2018/19, money which many believe could be better spent on the ailing National Health Service. With the average salary at around £32,000, the Queen’s income of around £42 million, tends to raise a great deal of toxicity too.

No doubt the pros and cons for having the Royal family will be discussed for many years to come. What is your opinion? Share it in the comments below.


To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

Queen - The royal family

Click on the image to watch a video about The Royal Family

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