KINGS AND QUEENS   „A workmate of mine showed us pictures today from his trip to Africa. Apparently, he saw a ceremony of a proclamation of a local king,” says Timothy when he comes back from the office. „How did they proclaim him?” Julia is interested. „Well, they made an official announcement first that he is not the heir apparent any more (= the person with the right to receive the title from another person when they die), that he has become the king. Then they had a big feast with food and dancing, they wore costumes in all the bright colours you can imagine, and now they address him as ’Your Majesty’ and ’Your Highness’, and he rules the kingdom (= governs the country of which he is the king). That must have been great to see, don’t you think?” „Sure. Do you know that my grandmother Helena, the one who lives in London, actually was there on the day that Elisabeth II came to the throne (= became queen)? She was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, and my grandmother was there to see it.” „Wow… That must have been impressive. What do you think of monarchy in general, though? As an institution? Isn’t it a bit outdated (= old-fashioned and therefore not as good as something modern)?” „Hmmm…” thinks Julia. „Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t necessarily like to live in a country with a monarch (= king or queen), but it’s fun to look at the other countries who have them.”   More contexts for the new words:
  • He outlived all of his brothers and many of his friends. (= to live or exist longer than someone or something)
  • As an ambitious student, I always tried to outdo everybody else in the class. (= to be, or do something, better than someone else)
  • The thief wasn’t able to outrun the policewoman on a bicycle who was chasing him. (= to move faster than someone or something)
    EXERCISE 1 Give words or expressions for these definitions. Try to remember the words from the text without looking back at it.  
  1. ………………………… = king or queen
  2. ………………………… = the next king or queen
  3. ………………………… = an official announcement
  4. ………………………… = old-fashioned
  5. ………………………… = to govern
  6. ………………………… = a way of addressing the king
    EXERCISE 2 Put the words into the correct order to make questions and then answer them.
  1. monarchy/ think/ outdated/ you/ is/ Do?
  2. apparent/ current/ Who/ the/ Britain/ heir/ in/ is?
  3. queen/ was/ Britain/ the/ king/ or/ When/ of /crowned?


  In the text above, the word ’colour’ is used, spelled in the typical British way – with 'ou’. In American English, the spelling would be 'color’. This is symptomatic of the general spelling rule: words which in British English are spelled with 'ou’, drop the 'u’ in American English. More examples include: – American: behavior, British: behaviour – American: favorite, British: favourite – American: honor, British: honour – American: neighbor, British: neighbour There is an exception to this rule: American usage most often retains the 'u’ in the word ’glamour’    


  A/ Have you seen the Queen’s diamond necklace? B/ Yes, I have. It must have cost a KING’S RANSOM.   A king’s ransom is a large amount of money.    


  1. If you TAKE (something) OVER, you start doing a job or being responsible for something that another person did or had responsibility for before.
After the death of Queen Elisabeth, Prince William will probably take over the throne. He took over from the previous headmaster in February.  
  1. If you HAND something OVER, you give something to someone else.
There have been public protests, urging the old king to hand over the power to his son. We were ordered to hand over our passports.     EXERCISE 3 Match the two columns to make meaningful sentences with the idiom and phrasal verbs you have learned.
  1. John Smith has taken                 a) ransom for his villa.
  2. Can you take                                b) over the cooking while I walk the dog?
  3. He paid a king’s                           c) over the control of the company.


  PRINCE CHARLES   Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is the eldest son of Queen Elisabeth II and, as such, the heir apparent to the throne of Britain. However, he is widely despised for what he allegedly did to his first wife, Princess Diana – namely, ruining her life and bringing her to an unfortunate death. The public never grew to like his second wife, Camilla, and scorn Charles for marrying her. His elder son, Prince William, is second in line of succession, but has a lot more public sympathy. The public would much rather see him on the throne than his father.   GLOSSARYdespised – hated – allegedly – as some people say – to grow to do sth – to start to do sth – to scorn sb – to disrespect sb   download lesson (pdf)


  1. monarch
  2. heir apparent
  3. proclamation
  4. outdated
  5. to rule
  6. Your Majesty/ Your Highness
  1. Do you think monarchy is outdated?
  2. Who is the current heir apparent in Britain?
  3. When was the king or queen of Britain crowned?
  1. c
  2. b
  3. a