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Brit it! - Blog o kulturze brytyjskiej i języku angielskim Brit it! - Blog o kulturze brytyjskiej i języku angielskim Brit it! - Blog o kulturze brytyjskiej i języku angielskim

2.05.2016
poniedziałek

Long Live the Queen

2 maja 2016, poniedziałek,

In April the UK and Commonwealth celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday. There were a number of celebrations across the world to mark the occasion.  In the UK it was celebrated by beacon lighting across the UK.  Photographs of the queen with her grandchildren and great grandchildren were a social media hit.  To celebrate her Majesty’s special day, here are some insights into the royal family.  Have you got a favourite British royal? Let us know via the comment box.

Queen Elizabeth II with her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren; Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

Queen Elizabeth II with her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren; Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

The Queen, and her family, are well-known worldwide. This is in part due to the influence of the British Empire; during the colonial era, many countries across the globe were under British rule. People often said that „the sun never sets on the British Empire” – this was because due to the expanse of the British Empire, the sun would always be shining on one of its territories. Whilst the British Empire has ceased to exist, the formation of the Commonwealth of Nations means that Queen Elizabeth 2nd is the monarch, or ruler, of countries besides just those that make up the United Kingdom.

The Queen’s official Diamond Jubilee portrait, 2012; Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

The Queen’s official Diamond Jubilee portrait, 2012; Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

In the UK today, the British public tends to be rather fond of the Queen. Since most other European countries don’t have a monarchy, we feel proud of ours. In 2012, we celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Across the United Kingdom, celebrations took place. There were street parties in local communities and also official festivities taking place up and down the country. Since Kate Middleton joined the Royal Family (by marrying Prince William), lots of younger people have become interested in the monarchy. Kate Middleton is not royal by birth; this makes her someone which the public can relate to. The British press print lots of articles on what she wears and how to achieve her look. The birth of Prince George also resulted in celebrations, alongside the sale of lots of products with pictures of his face on.

Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their two children; Image credit: mirror.co.uk

Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their two children; Image credit: mirror.co.uk

The Royal Family also has an important role in tourism for the UK. Lots of people visiting London head to Buckingham Palace in the hope that they’ll catch a glimpse of the Queen. There are often big crowds, with many people attempting to take selfies with the palace. When people think of the UK, they often think of the Queen as she is such an iconic figure. There is also a picture of her face on every coin and note in our currency.

British currency; Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

British currency; Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

The Queen has several other residences. She spends Christmas at Sandringham in Norfolk (east England). She also takes summer breaks in Scotland, at Balmoral Castle. Windsor Castle is another official royal residence, which has been used for centuries by royals.

Balmoral Castle; Image credit: britainirelandcastles.com

Balmoral Castle; Image credit: britainirelandcastles.com

We are so proud of our royal family that our national anthem is, essentially, a homage to our Queen (or King, depending on who is currently on the throne!). I hope that as a nation we continue to be proud of our heritage and culture; although many feel ashamed of our colonial past, there is now time to make amends and help other nations.

A version of this article appeared on our LearnEnglish website in April 2015. This website is another excellent resource for insights into UK Culture and English language. 

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