Hello, and welcome to this English listening practice podcast. Today we are talking about the British Queens Platinum Jubilee 2022, while we improve your English listening skills. In this lesson, you will learn all about the UK monarchy while you learn English. The important thing for successful listening practice is to listen to a lot of authentic material and familiarize yourself with the patterns and the feeling of it. And if you have a sweet tooth, listen to the end to find out about an amazing pudding!
There is one thing that Britain is still pretty good at, and that’s putting on a royal parade. All we need is an excuse. This year is a Royal Platinum Jubilee for the Queen. With much controversy over Prince Andrew, and intrigue over Prince Harry choosing his wife over royal life and living in the USA. The British Royal family has definitely been the focus of a lot of unwelcome media attention.
Even with great TV shows like “The Crown” the British monarchy has been struggling to prove that it is still an asset to the British people. So it’s time for some “feel good” positive attention to justify the privilege, and the costs of keeping a monarchy in a modern democracy.
When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat, instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.
⭐ Queen Elizabeth II
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Controversy Intrigue Monarchy Jubilee Eccentricity Evolving Trifle Knit Reign Custard
This weekend in the UK, it is the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the second. Now I'm not really a royalist, but this is such a big event in the UK, I thought it might be something interesting to talk about. And because this is Adept English, while you're listening to me, your brain will be learning English, learning every day English conversation.
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So the Jubilee weekend is here and we are celebrating the reign, that's R E I G N of Queen Elizabeth the second. She's been around a long time. She's probably the world's best known monarch. So she's known and respected all over the world.
I'm not really a royalist, but I do respect the Queen. She's 96 years old and she is still doing her job - that commands respect. Queen Elizabeth the second came to the throne, so she became queen in 1952, when her father George the sixth died.
1952 2022 - this year is her Platinum Jubilee, so the 70th anniversary, since she became queen.
Her popularity was fairly assured during the 1950s and the 1960s. Probably her popularity took its biggest dip around the time of the death of Princess Diana. She was much criticized in the press, in the newspapers in the UK and around the world for not acknowledging the death of Princess Diana, or certainly taking a while to do this.
However in recent years, the Queen has become much more popular again. One of the factors I believe in this, is the release of the TV series The Crown. If you haven't watched it, that would be a great English language listening exercise to watch The Crown, possibly with English subtitles to help you.
The Crown has been watched all over the world and it's very entertaining.
The Crown may not always be an entirely realistic portrayal. It's not all of it quite true, but it's very entertaining and it makes the Queen and other members of the Royal Family seem much more human. And she's part of history. She started her reign under Winston Churchill. So the start of the series documents her relationship with Winston Churchill . Series Five of The Crown is due to be released later this year. I can't wait.
People don't seem to have quite the same liking and respect for her son, Prince Charles. He's the one who will become King of the United Kingdom, he's the one who will become King when the Queen dies. For a lot of people, they hold against Prince Charles the fact that he had an affair, a relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles when he was married to Princess Diana.
However, Charles has been married to Camilla for many years now. And I think on the whole that people in the UK have forgiven her and seen that she's willing to put in the hard work, being a member of the Royal family as well. In February this year, the Queen commented that she would like Camilla to have the title 'Queen Consort' rather than being 'Queen Camilla', so I'm sure that when the time comes, that's what will happen. I'm not sure what sort of king Prince Charles will make, but we will see.
On the whole people do like Prince Charles's sons - William and Harry are popular. And even despite difficulties in recent years between them - Harry and Meghan of course, live in the United States and William and Kate live here. People still like William and Harry . In the press in the UK, you can find that there are two distinct camps. There are those who support William and Kate and those who support Harry and Meghan - that story's still evolving. Maybe that will be featured in some future episode of The Crown. Maybe if it gets to around Series 10 or 11, we'll get onto this bit!
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There are all kinds of celebrations planned for this weekend. We already have today, Thursday and Friday off work. We have a four day weekend, a holiday because of the Platinum Jubilee.
And what I might call 'British eccentricity' is in evidence all over the place. 'Eccentricity', E C C E N T R I C I T Y - that's a great word! What it means is something that's not normal, something that's different, something that is whimsical and a bit fun. So lots of things that people are doing at the moment are full of 'British eccentricity', a fitting way to celebrate the Jubilee.
A photograph of knitted post box cover. This English listening exercise will help you practice your listening skills.
An example of this 'eccentricity' that I have observed locally?
There is a trend and there has been since the lockdown in the UK for knitted postbox covers, knitted postbox covers. So the verb 'to knit', K N I T in English? That's when you get wool, yarn and long knitting needles and you go clickety, clickety click. And you knit something. It might be a scarf or a jumper - that's 'to knit'.
And this trend in the UK is for knitted postbox covers. So we have our familiar red postboxes where if you want to post a letter and use the Royal Mail, that's where you put your letter - into the postbox. If you drive round and about the place, you'll see that people have made knitted covers for the tops of the postboxes.
We've had one on our local postbox for probably around a year. Periodically it changes. There was Wallace and Gromit last year. Then there were Minions. Then we had a Christmas one and in recent weeks I noticed that there is a beautiful knitted image of the Queen and her beefeaters on our local postbox.
Nobody seems to know who creates these things and who puts them on. Presumably they go out in the middle of the night and they change them. But there are an army of knitters, of craftspeople in the UK, creating knitted tops for our postboxes. You can see them all over the place. It's not just where I live. It's all across the country. So at the moment, there are lots and lots of Jubilee celebration knitted postbox covers, images in knitting of the Queen to be seen. How eccentric is that?
What will I be doing for the Jubilee apart from enjoying four days off? Well, as I said, I'm not that much of a royalist. I might visit London, but the one thing I thought I would do for the Jubilee? I was interested in the competition that was held in the UK, on UK television for the best Jubilee Pudding. A nd the pudding, which won that competition was a trifle - that's T R I F L E.
A trifle is a very traditional British pudding. It's got what we call 'fruit jelly' at the bottom. It's probably got fruit in it as well. It's kind of in layers. And then there's a layer of custard that's C U S T A R D. And on the top, we have a big layer of whipped cream. Very nice. The Jubilee pudding was a kind of extension of this.
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It's got at the bottom pieces of Swiss Roll. These are like a spiral of cake that sit at the side of the glass that the pudding is in. And you can see through the pudding at the bottom because it's made of jelly, orange and lemon jelly.
This pudding has amaretti biscuits on the top, and it's also got a nice layer of 'mandarin coulis'. So a 'mandarin' is a type of orange and a 'coulis' is like a fruit sauce, that's been 'reduced', that's been 'boiled down'. So it's very thick and very tasty. This pudding is also adorned by 'white chocolate bark'.
So that is white chocolate with pieces of candied peel and dried fruit stuck into it.
So my plan is on the Jubilee weekend, whatever else I do, I will make Jubilee, Pudding, and I think I can probably persuade my son to help me with that. I think he might just enjoy doing that. Better get to the shop and get my ingredients as I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one this weekend, making Jubilee Pudding. I better get there quickly before they run out of lemon and orange jelly.
Happy Platinum Jubilee weekend to you! Hope you have a good weekend!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.