Conversations In English - The British Empire's Longest Reigning Monarch Queen Elizabeth II Has Died
The reign of Queen Elizabeth II ends. Today in our English listening lesson we talk about why Queen Elizabeth II was so popular and we say our goodbyes.
Few people can lay claim to being able to shape history, and fewer still can lay claim to being able to shape history for so long. I know history has a habit of repeating itself, but I feel it is unlikely that we see another Queen Elizabeth II in the twilight years of the British commonwealth.
Modern media shone a bright light on the British monarchy in recent years, and much of what we have discovered has been uncomfortable to watch. However, not so for Queen Elizabeth II and her mother. These ladies were different, dignified with a strong sense of duty to the British commonwealth. We will miss them both.
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Sure, here are the simple definitions in the format you requested:
- Habit: A thing that you do often and almost without thinking.
- Twilight: The time of day when the sun is just below the horizon, especially the period between sunset and dark.
- Monarchy: A type of government where a king or queen is the leader.
- Caliber: The quality of someone's character or the level of their ability.
- Eulogy: A speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, usually someone who has just died.
- Interwoven: Things that are closely connected or cannot be separated.
- Humorous: Something that is funny or makes you laugh.
Hi there. Today I'm just going to talk about the death of Queen Elizabeth II. At the time of making this podcast, I've only recently heard the news, though this podcast will go out in a few days' time. There will be many eulogies to Queen Elizabeth II. A 'eulogy', E U L O G Y is a speech or a piece of writing that someone makes after a person has died, all about them, all about their life. So this is my eulogy to Queen Elizabeth II, but use this podcast as a piece of English language listening for your learning as usual, just the same.
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
In one sense, as I've said to you before, I am not a royalist. I'm not a supporter of the idea of monarchy, but I do have respect for the Queen. I think she's had a difficult job to do, and I think she's done it really well.
She's not just been the Queen within the UK, within Great Britain. She has headed up the Commonwealth of Nations. So there are many other countries in the world who have the queen - 56 countries to be precise! And those countries include South Africa, Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia, Cameroon, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, to name but a few. All these countries have had the Queen as their figurehead.
Queen Elizabeth has been queen for 70 years. It was of course, her Platinum Jubilee this year in 2022. She came to the throne in 1952 at the age of 26. So she's reigned seven years longer than Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years. And there is hardly anyone who remembers a time when Queen Elizabeth wasn't queen . She's been a constant in our lives, no matter how old you are.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has seen 15 Prime Ministers come and go. She started with Winston Churchill. Can you imagine that? And she appointed just a few days ago, the latest Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
Just imagine the conversations that the Queen has had over time. She's been part of history, privy to history. Her life has been so interwoven with the history of the UK, with events in the UK for the last 70 years, it's hard to think of being without her.
Whether or not you're a supporter of the Royal Family, I think that the Queen has played her role very thoughtfully and with great dignity. She's won admiration from many people, especially in her old age. She remained completely 'on the ball', as we say, even into her nineties. Astute, funny, humorous, and very perceptive - people who met her and knew her - that's what they say.
She understood what was going on. And she asked intelligent questions right through, into her old age. And she had a sense of fun and mischief, which caused people to warm to her.
My favourite memories of the Queen are the two videos that she made, one in 2012 for the opening of the Olympic Games and the other one more recently this year, only in June for her Platinum Jubilee, she made another amusing video.
So the first one was for the 2012 Olympics and she made a short video with the actor, the lovely Daniel Craig or James Bond. This video began with James Bond being admitted to Buckingham palace, walking along with some corgis, the Queen's favorite dog.
British Royal Guards and The Military Band perform at Buckingham Palace. Today in our English listening lesson, we'll talk about why the queen was so beloved, and we'll say our goodbyes.
And it starts off with the Queen in her study. She says, 'Good evening, Mr. Bond.' And he says, 'Good evening, your Majesty.' And then the pair of them proceed to go to the back of Buckingham palace, get into a helicopter. And then we see them flying over London and then over the Olympic Stadium, what later has become the O2 venue - the 'Millennium Dome' in East London. And we see the Queen and Daniel Craig parachute out of the helicopter and into the Olympic Stadium. And this video was shown timed with her arrival into the stadium to open the Olympic Games, with her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Wearing the same dress as she wore on the video - a nice touch. We like that one!
The second of these videos was more recent, as I say, in 2022 in June. And this video showed the Queen having tea with Paddington Bear. If you've ever read the Paddington Bear stories, they are very sweet. I read them as a child and enjoyed them immensely. They're written by Michael Bond. He's a sort of 'master of understatement', if you like, in his writing. So Paddington Bear in the video is having tea with the Queen. And of course, if you know Paddington Bear, you know that everything goes wrong.
So he ruins the afternoon tea, but he says To Queen 'Perhaps you would like a marmalade sandwich? I always keep one for emergencies.'
Without hesitation, the Queen replies. 'So do I!' And then, 'I keep it in here!' And she produces a marmalade sandwich from her handbag. I had always wondered what the Queen kept in her handbag.
I love these moments best of all, because it shows her sense of humour and it shows her as a human being, despite all the 'pomp and ceremony' surrounding her role.
She will be very much missed. There are a lot of changes to come on the back of this. We have to get used to saying 'the King' and 'His Majesty' and our coins and our stamps will have to change. That just seems really bizarre!
I've included links for these two videos in the transcript. So if you haven't seen these videos, take a look. I hope you enjoy them just as I did.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
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