Anyone who has lived in the United Kingdom knows that the Royal Family has a special place in British history, not to mention in modern culture. You may have already taken a picture in front of Buckingham Palace in the hope of seeing the queen or simply watched The Crown on Netflix and thought you would be perfect at the heart of this family drama. In any case, members of the royal family are part of British daily life and are destined to remain there.
If you intend to stay in the United Kingdom for a while and want to know everything about The Queen and her court, here’s what you need to know.
1. The population loves them (in its vast majority)
If you travel all over Britain, you will certainly find people who are not very fond of the monarchy – however, they are largely contradicted by surveys conducted throughout the United Kingdom. Apparently, seven out of ten Britons appreciate the presence of the royal family. Perhaps it is a good thing to have an intermediate authority between the people and the government? Or perhaps, as I do, it is because the Queen reminds her subjects of their own grandmother – and I will never let anyone insult my grandmother. NO ONE.
2. They own a host of residences
“Why doesn’t the Queen ever leave Buckingham Palace to greet the crowd? “I often hear people crying with disappointment. The truth is, it’s because it’s never really there. All members of the Royal Family and their extended families own many residences, but the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, have no fewer than eight, which they occupy in turn according to their need to host royal events or desires: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Holyrood Palace, Hillsborough Castle, Sandringham Manor, Balmoral Castle, Craigowan Lodge and Delnadamph Lodge. Half of these homes are in Scotland, about 600 km from London, which is understandable if one considers “how tired the Queen must be of these tourists who are constantly gathering in front of her palace. »
3. They are not “British”.
Originally, the Queen’s family was German and, through the Duke of Edinburgh, the members of the royal family are of Danish and Greek descent. Now that Prince Harry has married the American actress Meghan Markle, the family’s future descendants will also have African-American origins. In many ways, the Royal Family is a metaphor for the eclectic nature of the British people and the diversity of their genetic background.
4. They still hold the supreme power (… well, almost)
Royal authority is no longer what it once was – whereas in the past the reigning monarch alone made such important decisions as the country’s entry into the war or the laws to be passed, nowadays, much of this power has been conferred on the government, in charge of deciding on behalf of the Queen. However, a loophole allows this to be bypassed and certain decisions to be taken outside parliament (where elected representatives vote laws on behalf of the people) and some prime ministers have used this to their advantage in the past, adopting certain motions without seeking the opinion of parliament. Sneaky ministers.
5. Only members of the royal family can eat swans
In any country with a royal family there are some strange rules from the old days that no longer make sense in the modern world. For example, it is illegal to catch whales or dolphins within 5 km of the United Kingdom coast, and any dead representatives of these two species that beached naturally in territorial waters are in fact the property of the Queen. It also automatically owns all the swans that do not speak (probably one of the strangest laws we have ever heard). Stranger still, only members of the royal family are allowed to eat swans. This means that you can neither capture nor kill swans and in fact explains the strange respect or fear that the British have for these imposing white birds. For the record, also know that a swan can break your arm just with its wings – so it’s better not to joke about it, even if it’s allowed.
only with its wings – so it is better not to joke about this animal, even if it were allowed.
6. The Queen is both Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II
This point seems complicated, but it is actually quite simple. Queen Elizabeth is the second of the name in England, making her officially Queen Elizabeth II. However, in Scotland, she is only the first of the name, since Queen Elizabeth I has never ruled in that country, so the current Queen is both Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II at the same time. How fortunate!
7. Prince Philip is not king
Although Elizabeth II is Queen, her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is not King and this is perhaps one of the most surprising facts about the royal family. In fact, a woman becomes queen when she marries a prince and the prince becomes king, but the same rule does not apply to a man when he marries a princess who then becomes queen. Prince Philip received the title at his marriage to Elizabeth (although he had to renounce his Greek royal title in order to marry her), but he was never allowed to become king. An interesting rule, but one that may need to evolve in the future, if the Royal Law is to continue to follow the progressive line recently adopted by its family members.