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British Culture – Baby George: 3rd in line to the throne

Royal Baby:

Here we are! Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are now the proud parents of George, born on Monday 22nd July at 4:24 pm, in the same hospital that William was born in: St Mary’s hospital!

After more than 9 months, we have finally discovered that the royal baby is a boy! He is very lucky to have 3 first names: George Alexander Louis!

Photo from www.guardian.co.uk

Why were these names chosen?

Now, the only thing we want to understand is: why these names?

To choose a name for a future King is very hard… A lot of names cannot be used any longer. For example:

–          “Richard”, because Richard the Lionhearth was a warrior
–          “Henry”, because Henry VIII has a poor matrimonial reputation
–          “Edward”, because the last King Edward gave up the throne in 1936 after falling in love
–          “James”, because of wars against Protestants and Catholics
–          “Charles” & “William” are already used.

It was obvious that the baby would have “George” as his first name! The last King named George was George VI, the father of Elizabeth II. The flag of England is the “St George’s Cross”.  It’s highly symbolic.

And Alexander? What are the explanations? According to some experts, it’s a political reference to Scotland, where 3 kings had this first name and in reference to the second name of Elizabeth II: Alexandra! Finally, Louis was more unexpected. Apparently, it’s a reference to Louis Mountbatten, Prince Charles’ uncle.

So, what’s the best first name? What do you think about them?

 

King or Queen? Who’s next?

Elizabeth II is currently the Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. But who will be next? A Queen or a King?

Until 2011, males were always first in line to the throne, so if a King or Queen had a daughter and then a son, even though the daughter was older, the son would always be the next King. Girls would only become Queen if there were no male heirs to the throne. However, the UK has now dropped this rule and anyone (whether it is a boy or a girl) can be first in line to the throne. That means that whether Will and Kate had a daughter or a son, their child would be the 3rd heir to the throne.

 

What does heir to the throne mean?

‘Heir to the throne’ and ‘next in line to the throne’ mean the same thing – if someone is next in line to the throne or the first heir to the throne, this means that when the current King or Queen dies or stands down, whoever is heir to the throne will become the next King or Queen.

So, if we have a look at Elizabeth II’s family tree, we can see who will be the next sovereign of the United Kingdom. Her son, Prince Charles is next in line to the throne. But if he refuses or if he dies, Prince William, Elizabeth II’s grandson, will become the future King.

Finally, George, the son of Catherine Middleton and Prince William, is the 3rd heir to the throne and, although it’s hard to believe because he’s only 4 days old, he will probably become the King one day!

Have fun with English

Royal family quiz – how much do you know about the Royal Family?

1. What year was the Queen born?
a. 1932      b. 1926      c. 1919

2. What are Will and Kate’s official titles?
a. Duke and Duchess of Cornwall      b. Duke and Duchess of Oxford      c. Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

3. How many rooms does Buckingham Palace have?
a. 775      b. 960      c. 592

4. Which of the following is not one of Prince William’s first names?
a. Charles      b. Louis      c. Arthur

5. Prince Harry is William’s younger brother. However, Harry is just a nickname! What is his real name?
a. Albert      b. Henry      c. Philip

6. The Queen is fluent in another language apart from English. Which one?
a. French      b. German      c. Greek

Last week’s answers

1. An astronaut’s equipment is very heavy!
2. Our planet, the Earth, orbits around a huge star called the sun.
3. There are 8 planets in our solar system.
4. We can see a lot of stars shining in the black sky tonight!
5. The commander is piloting the rocket into Space.
6. Sputnik was the first satellite launched into space by Russia.

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