Read the texts, give a summary and discuss them.
The Royal Family
At present the British royal family is headed by Queen Elizabeth. When the Queen was born on the 21st of April 1926, her grandfather, King George V, was on the throne and her uncle was his heir. The death of her grandfather and the abdication of her uncle brought her father to the throne as King George VI.
As a child she studied constitutional history and law as well as art and music. In addition she learned to ride and acquired her enthusiasm for horses. As she grew older she began to take part in public life, making her first broadcast at the age of 14.
The marriage of the young Princess Elizabeth II to Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, took place in November 1947. She came to the throne after her father’s death in 1952 and was crowned in Westminster Abbey in June 1953.
Among Queen Elizabeth’s many duties are the regular visits she makes to foreign countries, and especially those of the Commonwealth, whose interests and welfare are very important to her. The Queen has done much to signify the formalities of the monarchy, including allowing the BBC to make a documentary film about the every day of the royal family. She also started the tradition of the «walkabout,» an informal feature of an otherwise formal royal visit, when she walks among the public crowds and stops to talk to some people.
The annual Christmas broadcast made by the Queen on radio and television has become a traditional and popular feature of the season, and there were widespread celebrations and special programmes of events in 1977 to mark her Silver Jubilee.
The Royal Family
From the reign of King George VI up to September 1990
The Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was born in 1926 and served in the Royal Navy. He takes a great deal of interest in industry, in the achievements of young people (he founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 1956) and in saving wild animals from extinction.
The Queen’s heir is Charles, the Prince of Wales, who was born in 1948, married Lady Diana Spencer and has two children, Prince William and Prince Harry. The Prince of Wales is well-known as a keen promoter of British interests.
In recent years he has become outspoken on such controversial topics as modem architecture, violence in films and on television, and standard of English teaching in schools. His wife Diana, the Princess of Wales (often called in mass media Princess Di), has won the affection of many people by her modesty, shyness and beauty. She is one of the most popular members of the Royal Family, widely admired for her commitment to helping children throughout the charities, of which she is patron, and her support for the aged and ill, particularly AIDS sufferers.
The Queen’s other children are Princess Anne (born in 1950), Prince Andrew (born in I960) and Prince Edward (born in 1964). Anne, Princess Royal, has acquired a reputation for being arrogant, but in recent years has become quite popular with the general public.
She is widely known for her interest in horses and horse-racing. She is now the president of the Save the Children Fund, Chancellor of the University of London and carries out many public engagements.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, served as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy. In 1986 he married Miss Sarah Ferguson (Fergie, for short) and has two daughters. Prince Edward is keen on the theatre. This interest began while he was at university. He has quit the Royal Marines, and is now pursuing a career with a theatrical company.
The Queen Mother, the widow of the late King George VI, celebrated her ninety birthday in 1990 and continued to carry out many public engagements every year. The Queen’s only sister, Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon, is one of the most unconventional members of the royal family. She is well-known for her charity work, including her support for Barbados, the Girl Guides Association, and the St. John Ambulance Brigade.
(from «The Monarchy in Britain »)
heir — наследник • спадкоємець
abdication — отречение • зречення
enthusiasm — увлечение • захоплення
to make one's broadcast — выступать в радиопередаче • виступати у радіопередачі
duke — герцог • герцог
to crown — короновать • коронувати
signify — выражать • виражати, висловлювати
monarchy — монархия • монархія
annual — годовой • річний
widespread — распространенный • розповсюджений, поширений
keen promoter — ярый защитник • завзятий захисник
mass media — средства массовой информации • засоби масової інформації
commitment — приверженность • прихильність
Settling Down in England
My name is Martin Anderson. My wife and I are Danish. As a matter of fact, many of my ancestors were English. I was born in England, and was originally of British nationality. I lost my parents when I was a baby and lived in Denmark with my grandmother, so that Danish is really my native language.
We arrived in England last February at five o’clock on a Wednesday morning. We were both sick on the journey. To make matters worse, I left my camera on the ship. Few visitors experienced such an unfortunate beginning to their stay, and we certainly wanted to go straight home again.
We stayed for a week in a hotel, and were then lucky enough to find a house in the suburbs of London. It is not so convenient as our flat in Copenhagen, but it is less expensive. I am studying at the Local Technical College and, in addition, often attend public lectures at the University of London on as many subjects as possible, chiefly to improve my English. I am an engineer and have worked for several years at a factory. Our two children have joined us. My wife is working as a part-time nurse in a hospital.
Most of our neighbours are kind, but often ask dull questions, such as «What is the weather like in Denmark?» or «What kind of games do you play?»
We have made a few close friends, who often invite us to their homes. One of them even fetches us in his car on Sunday mornings and brings us back in the evenings. He speaks Swedish and has an elderly Swedish housekeeper, so we chat for hours in a language that is in some ways similar to our own.
Our children can already speak English more fluently than we can, and are always making fun of our mistakes, but spelling causes all of us many headaches.
(from «First Certificate in English Course for Foreign Students » by Ona Low)
ancestor — предок, прародитель • предок
to be sick on the journey — утомиться от путешествия • втомитися від подорожі
to make matters worse — более того, в довершение всего • більш того, понад те
experienced — опытный, знаюший, квалифицированный • досвічений, кваліфікований
unfortunate — несчастливый, неудачный, неблагоприятный • нещасливий, невдалий, несприятливий
to go straight home — отправиться прямо домой • піти прямо додому
to be lucky enough to do smth. — удаваться, везти • таланити
convenient — удобный, подходящий • зручний, догідний
expensive — дорогой, дорогостоящий • дорогий, коштовний
technical college — технический колледж • технічний коледж
in addition — в дополнение, вдобавок • на додачу
to attend — посещать, присутствовать • відвідувати, бути присутнім
to improve — улучшать, совершенствовать • покращувати, вдосконалювати
to join — соединять, связывать, присоединяться • з’єднувати, приєднуватися)
neighbour — сосед, соседка • сусід, сусідка
dull — унылый, хмурый, пасмурный, скучный • похмурий, понурий
to make friends with smb. — подружиться с к.-л. • затоваришувати з кимось
to Invite — приглашать, звать • запрошувати
to fetch — принести, привезти, заходить, заезжать (за к.-л.) • принести, привезти, заходити
fluently — бегло • вільно
to make fun of smb./smth. — смеяться над к.-л./ч.-л. • сміятися з когось/чогось
to cause — быть причиной, поводом; вызывать • спричиняти