British English Lesson-Royals Battle With Privacy Ep 729

Screen Capture courtesy of the BBC TV announcement, Kate, Princess of Wales has Cancer. Improve your English with current, real-life stories.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 2916 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 15 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 8.8 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

English Listening: Public Figures and Private Lives

🚀 Improve Your English with Adept English! Join in on our latest English lesson on The Privacy Dilemma of the British Royal Family. Perfect for anyone who wants to polish their English fluency! 🎧

Lots of great benefits packed into this lesson:

  • 🗣️ Improve Speaking & Listening Skills
  • 💡 Engage with Current Topics like King Charles & Queen Camilla's challenges
  • 🎓 Tips & Insights for exams and fluency
  • 🆕 Learn Idioms, Grammar, & Pronunciation
  • 🔥 Hot Topics: Privacy Rights, Social Media Speculation, & More!
  • 🎁 Exclusive: Buy our Most Common 500 Words Course for a language boost!

✔Lesson transcript:

The digital age has ensured that privacy becomes a luxury of the past.
⭐ Edward Snowden

This Englishlesson will give you an opportunity to hear British English used in real everyday discussions about current events. You will learn new words like "privacy" in a natural setting, making them easier to remember.

Plus, you get to understand how English speakers talk about sensitive topics, such as the privacy of well-known people. This experience will sharpen your listening skills and boost your confidence in understanding and speaking English about real-world issues.

I don't think privacy is something you're granted; it's something you take for yourself.
⭐ Jodie Foster

Learn English easily! 🇬🇧 Listen to our latest lesson on the British Royals and improve your skills. Check it out on Spotify, YouTube, or today!

More About This Lesson

Today we explore the intriguing balance between privacy and public interest through the stories of the British Royal Family. This English lesson mixes current affairs with English learning, making it as fascinating as it is educational.

Privacy is not something that I'm merely entitled to, it's an absolute prerequisite.
⭐ Marlon Brando

Here's a sneak peek at what you can expect:

  1. Learn current vocabulary on privacy and health.
  2. Practice listening to varied English accents.
  3. Understand complex topics like public figures' privacy.
  4. Improve comprehension of real-life news stories.
  5. Gain insights into British Royal Family dynamics.
  6. Discover cultural aspects of the UK and royalty.
  7. Hear pronunciation of specific words spelled out.
  8. Learn the importance of common words in English.
  9. Exposure to handling sensitive topics in English.
  10. Encouragement to share thoughts on global issues.
Privacy is a myth. What we have is a daily choice regarding how much of ourselves we reveal and to whom.
⭐ Yuval Noah Harari

Understanding the balance between personal privacy and public interest is crucial, especially for public figures like the British Royal Family. Here are the main takeaways:

  1. The Royals' Privacy Battles: Learn how they navigate the public eye.
  2. Royal Secrets Unveiled: Discover what's hidden from the public.
  3. Global Fascination: Understand why their stories captivate us all.

Stay updated and learn English with news about the Royals. Improve your skills on Spotify, YouTube, or Join us now!

Questions You Might Have...

It can feel like a high-wire act trying to maintain the delicate balance between respecting privacy and serving the public's interests, much like observing the British Royal Family as they gracefully navigate the bright lights and bustling streets of London.

  1. How does listening to discussions about the Royal Family help me learn British English? Listening to podcasts or discussions about current events, including the British Royal Family, helps you immerse yourself in the language. You get used to the rhythms, vocabulary, and phrases of British English. It's like being in the UK, soaking up the language through topics that grab people's attention.
  2. Why is the privacy of the Royal Family such a big deal in the UK and internationally? The Royal Family is a blend of personal lives and public duties. Their privacy sparks debate about what the public has a right to know versus what remains private. This discussion is not just a British thing; it fascinates people worldwide, giving insights into British culture, media, and public interest dynamics.
  3. Can focusing on the most common words in English improve my language skills? Absolutely! Understanding and using the most common words in English can significantly boost your fluency. It's about mastering the basics that form the foundation of everyday conversations. This strategy simplifies learning, making it easier to progress to more complex topics.
  4. How can learning about the challenges faced by figures like the Royal Family enhance my English learning? It adds context to your learning. By following stories about people like the Royal Family, you encounter new vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and cultural references. It turns language learning into a more engaging and relatable experience.
  5. What should I do if I find podcasts about complex topics like this difficult to understand? Practice and patience are key. If a podcast feels too challenging, break it down. Look up new words, listen to sentences multiple times, and use resources aimed at learners, like the Most Common 500 Words Course. Over time, your understanding and fluency will improve, making complex topics more accessible.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Privacy: The right to keep your personal life and information a secret from others.
  • Abdominal: Related to the abdomen, which is the middle part of your body where your stomach and other organs are.
  • Doctored: Changed in a way to make something look fake or not real.
  • Crop: To cut the edges of a picture to make it look better or to fit a certain size.
  • Rumour: A story that people are talking about, but it's not clear if it's true or not.
  • Guarded: Being very careful about what you share with others, especially personal information.
  • Speculation: Guessing about something without having all the facts, leading to rumors.
  • Quell: To stop something, especially by using force or a strong reaction.
  • Perception: The way you think about something or understand it.
  • Relentless: Continuing in a severe or extreme way without stopping or getting less intense.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: British English Lesson-Royals Battle With Privacy

Public Figures and Private Lives

Hi there. Today, how about some English listening practice with slow news? Let's look at the complications surrounding the privacy of public figures, and specifically the recent challenges faced by the British Royal Family. Privacy, P-R-I-V-A-C-Y, that means 'the right to keep your personal matters private, the right to keep them secret'. And if you're a public figure, meaning someone who is well-known and recognised, like members of the Royal Family, of course this can be a problem. This podcast is great practice at understanding English language, and it deals with a very current topic. So current, in fact, that the news has changed while I've been recording this podcast. And this is a topic which is of interest inside the UK, but is also of great interest internationally as well.

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.

Don’t forget the Most Common 500 Words - key to raising your level of English

Before I go any further with this podcast, just a reminder that if you struggle with the podcast, if you find the podcast difficult to understand, then you would benefit from practice at the most common words in English. Our Most Common 500 words Course would really, really help you. It makes sense to focus on those words which we use most frequently. Check that out. The Most Common 500 Words Course is for sale on our website at

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Prince Charles and Queen Camilla in the news

OK, so the British Royal Family has been in the news such a lot recently. And of course, they're in the international news as well. King Charles is a figure admired by many people, and he's facing a health challenge. The full details aren't known, but we do know that King Charles is undergoing treatment for cancer at the moment. And this means that Queen Camilla is stepping up into the spotlight, taking on royal duties with grace.


An AI image of a fictional palace guard shutting the gates implying privacy. Learn vital vocabulary with the 500 most common words.

©️ Adept English 2024

Recently, I noticed that she's been referred to officially as 'The Queen'. I think that was from the start of this year, perhaps. It's a title that carries weight and history, of course. But perhaps it was felt that we needed to get used to the term 'The Queen', no longer meaning ‘Elizabeth’. Perhaps we needed a gap, it was felt, before we could call Camilla 'Queen'. Anyway, Camilla seems to be doing her duties rather well, and is proving much more popular than people thought she might. And of course, we wish King Charles all the best with his treatment and a speedy recovery.

William, Kate and Privacy

Now, let's turn our attention to William and Catherine, or as they are formerly known, the Prince and Princess of Wales. Recently, concerns about Kate's health and concerns about the family's right to privacy have sparked many discussions. Imagine that difficult balance of public interest and the need for personal privacy. We all like our personal privacy, don't we?

I wonder if you come from a country that has a royal family, or whether you're listening in a republic. It may be that our preoccupation with 'The Royals', as they get called, seems quite strange to you. But recently, there has been a period of time where Catherine, Princess of Wales, or Kate, as she's more usually known, hadn't been seen in public.

What details have been given? And ‘we deserve to know more’

We've been told by Buckingham Palace earlier this year that Kate had had 'abdominal surgery'. So 'abdominal' just means surgery 'to the abdomen'. A-B-D-O-M-E-N. And 'the abdomen' can mean 'the stomach', but really it just means 'the middle of the body'. 'Abdominal surgery' could be lots of different things.

Prince William is pretty guarded about privacy anyway, and we understand that. I think he sees newspapers and the press as something of an enemy. Again, understandable after the death of his mother Diana in 1997. That's a very well-known story, of course. So we expected that William would want to protect Kate's privacy around this medical procedure. But there have been ridiculous amounts of speculation going on online on social media. Much more than anticipated. And as the Royal Family are largely publicly funded, people have been saying, "We deserve to know more."

Kate’s photograph backfires

Then came the photograph released to celebrate Mother's Day in the UK, showing Kate and her three children, George, Charlotte and Louis. And a very lovely photograph it was too. Kate looked well and happy. The problem was that the photograph was then rejected by several of the large international news agencies. The reason?

They said it had been 'doctored'. So 'to doctor' something, D-O-C-T-O-R, just like a medical doctor. That means, in this context, 'to change it in a way that makes it seem fake or unreal'. That's 'to doctor something'.

It turns out that Kate herself edited the image slightly. As any of us might do before we send out a photograph to family and friends. We might crop it. That's C-R-O-P. That means 'change where the edges of the photograph are'. We may change the colour or the light, all to make it look better. The problem was when the photograph was rejected by the news agencies, that fuelled the speculation online even further. Had the photograph been changed in a way that altered Kate's appearance? So a move which was intended to quell those rumours, to stop that massive amount of speculation actually seemed just to have made things worse. A 'rumour', R-U-M-O-U-R, means 'a story that's circulating, that's going round, being told, and people don't know whether it's true or not'. That's a 'rumour'. What social media is full of, of course.

Can We Really Escape The Grip Of Fossil Fuels?

Kate’s trusted London clinic has a security alert

Next in this nightmare for William and Kate came the news that the London clinic, which the royals use, and which Kate had attended for her operation, had a problem with members of staff. A member of staff had attempted to access Kate's medical records. Of course this is of great concern because this is the clinic where King Charles is also being treated. And in fact it then emerged that two more members of staff had attempted to access medical records. Quite rightly the clinic took this very seriously and took action.

There's no suggestion that any medical information was leaked, but this just seemed to keep the story running.

A shock announcement by the Princess of Wales last Friday

And now sadly news has broken even as I've been writing this podcast. And now the reason for keeping things private has become clear. It's been announced that Catherine, Princess of Wales, aged only 42, also has cancer and has been having treatment like her father-in-law, the King.

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This is a massive shock to everyone. And the story was - which Kate herself told in an interview - 'They waited until the three children were off school for the Easter holidays before they told them'. So their silence is now completely understandable. Sometimes isn't it true that just one critical piece of information changes everything and changes people's perceptions?

News that makes the silence completely understandable

What's been happening and the lack of information now makes complete sense and engages our sympathy. The hope is now that Kate has spoken for herself and explained the situation and that people on social media will leave it alone, will stop the relentless speculation on the subject. Of course, we wish Kate well in her treatment and recovery. What a lot the British Royal Family are dealing with at the moment.

Those of you who listen to the podcast regularly probably already know I am not an ardent fan of the Royal Family. I'm not a royalist, but neither am I a fervent Republican. With what's going on for the British Royal Family at the moment, it's worth remembering that they're human beings and a family like many others and they deserve to be given some peace right now. Let us know what you think.


Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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