Talking to Amber about the UK’s Royal Family, including our thoughts on the upcoming wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, some royal gossip & rumours, and also a Royal Family Quiz with questions about the monarchy today and in history. So, expect to hear our thoughts and some facts about this very traitional British institution. Notes available.
Here’s an episode about the Royal family.
You probably know that recently we had the news that Prince Harry is going to marry his gorgeous girlfriend Meghan Markle. I don’t know if that made the news where you are.
There’s going to be another royal wedding next year. This is actually quite a big deal for the UK.
You might be wondering what British people think about all of this. What do we think about Harry and Meghan and what do we think of the Royal family in general?
Well, I can’t ask every single Brit what they think, but I can give you my opinions and the opinions of Amber, who I am talking to in this episode..
Also this gives us an opportunity to chat generally about the Royal Family on the podcast again, and that’s usually a subject which attracts quite a lot of interest from abroad.
Also, in this episode Amber and I have prepared some quiz questions about the royal family.
I wonder if you know the answers.
So first you’ll get a discussion of Harry and Meghan, and then a royal family quiz.
Let’s see how much you know about the royals and hopefully this episode can help you you learn a few things about the British monarchy that you didn’t know before, including some scandals, some rumours, some big moments in history and other interesting facts about this most traditional of British institutions.
—- Conversation Notes and My Quiz Questions —
Amber mentions “Christmas-abilia” – this is not a word! She just made it up. She meant ‘bits and bobs relating to Christmas, like decorations and things in her flat.
It sounds like “memorabilia” which means: objects that are collected because they are connected with a person or event that is thought to be very interesting. (Cambridge Dictionary)
e.g. Beatles memorabilia, or memorabilia from the royal wedding. Stuff like this:
Prince Harry is marrying Meghan Markle next May.
- Who is Meghan Markle?
An actress from the TV show “Suits”
Background – Rachel Meghan Markle is of Dutch, English, and Irish descent through her father. Don’t know about her Mum but apparently she was African-American. She was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles. Describing her parents, she has said, “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African-American … I have come to embrace [this and] say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident, mixed-race woman.”  (Wikipedia)
Catholic (sounds like Wallace Simpson – the woman Edward VIII chose to marry)
- What do we think of her?
Royal Family Quiz – Luke’s Questions
How much does it cost the UK taxpayer per year (on average) to maintain the royal family?
About 66p in 2016. That’s the part that comes from the treasury.
The family also gets money from other places. (see article)
Where do the royals get their money from?
2 or 3 main sources.
Sovereign Grant – about 15% of the profits made by the Crown Estate. That’s money made from all the properties owned by the Queen. I’m not sure how the money comes in – it’s probably rent, ground rent, entry fees for visitors etc. All that money goes to the government, who give back 15% of it two years later.
The Privy Purse – profits from all the land and assets that have been owned by the royal family for generations. Residential, commercial and agricultural properties. It’s about 184 km2. Between 2015-2016 that was about £17.8m. That pays for expenses incurred by other members of the family.
Private savings and personal fortune. The Queen herself owns properties which she inherited from her father, including Balmoral castle in Scotland. She also has a large art collection apparently. This is all worth about £340m.
Who was Edward VIII and what did he do?
How many monarchs can you name from the Queen back?
Who has to die for Harry to take the throne? (Can you tell me the line of succession?)
The Queen, Prince Charles, George, Charlotte – they all have to go before Harry can become king.
Queen – Charles – William – George – Charlotte – Harry – Harry’s Kids (none) – Andrew – Andrew’s kids (Beatrice and Eugenie) – Edward – Edward’s kids – Anne – Anne’s kids – no idea.
Queen Elizabeth II (born 1926)
(1) Charles, Prince of Wales (b. 1948) B D W
(2) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (b. 1982) B D W
(3) Prince George of Cambridge (b. 2013) B D W
(4) Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (b. 2015) B D W
(5) Prince Henry of Wales (Prince Harry) (b. 1984) B D W
(6) Prince Andrew, Duke of York (b. 1960) B D W
(7) Princess Beatrice of York (b. 1988) B D W
(8) Princess Eugenie of York (b. 1990) B D W
(9) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (b. 1964) B D W
Which living royals (in the nuclear family) are divorced? Did they have affairs?
(Diana, Sarah Ferguson – both had affairs which were leaked in the press)
Which royal was once given a toe-job?
What gives the monarch his/her power?
It’s a covenant with god! Haven’t you seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail?
What would happen if the Queen murdered someone?
Nothing, apparently. She can’t be prosecuted. Amber disagrees.
True or false?
- The Queen has her own poet. True – poet laureate is officially the poet to the monarch and is paid in sherry. TRUE
- The Queen can fly and regularly pilots her own helicopters and light aircraft. Her favourite is a Harrier Jump Jet which she sometimes flies over Dartmoor where she enjoys blowing up deer. FALSE
- By law, all pubs in the UK must display a picture of the Queen behind the bar. FALSE
- The Queen and Winston Churchill once had an affair. FALSE
- The Queen doesn’t really like Scottish people. FALSE
- The Queen smokes cigarettes. FALSE
- The Queen smokes pot. DUNNO – probably FALSE. Queen Vic used it.
- The Queen owns all dolphins which swim in British waters. TRUE
- The Queen owns all the Swans on the River Thames. TRUE
- The Queen writes ‘the laws of the land’. FALSE – she gives them ‘royal assent’.
- The Queen is in charge of the government, including the PM. FALSE – not really in charge of them, but she officially invites them to form a government on her behalf.
- The Queen’s powers include visa free travel, veto (refusal of royal assent) and invisibility. TRUE (except the invisibility – we think)
Will Megan be a princess when she marries Harry?
Which member of the royal family talks to trees and believes in homeopathy?
What you just heard there was The Queen’s speech from 2015. That was actually the Queen’s voice. Have you heard her speak before?
She speaks in a heightened RP, or as some might say “very posh English”.
I don’t know if you can recognise it, but to me it’s unmistakable. For you it might just sound like clear speech (which it is – she does speak very clearly), but for me there are certain features of her voice that are a dead giveaway that this person is really posh, and honestly this kind of “posh” accent isn’t how most people speak. For example, my Dad and I speak clearly but we don’t have this posh accent.
Every now and then I’ll hear someone speaking with this kind of accent and it’s a sign that they come from an upper-class background. There’s a lot more to say about this subject and I intend to explore it further in later episodes.
Anyway, thank you for listening to this episode. I look forward to reading your responses in the comment section.
Have a great day, morning, afternoon, evening or night and if you are celebrating Christmas this year I hope you’re starting to get into the Christmas spirit.
By the way, our baby hasn’t arrived yet, but it could be any day now. I don’t know how that will affect the podcast, but if there are no new episodes for a week or two, that’s why. I think I should be able to record something for you, so I don’t think there will be a big delay, but anyway – if you don’t hear from me from a bit, it’s probably because I’m changing nappies, dealing with visiting family members, and generally in a sleep deprived condition.
Alright then, thanks for listening and speak to you soon I hope.
For now, bye bye bye!
Harry & James Hewitt
They look pretty similar, don’t they?