Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 112

Do you know The Queen?

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by : 
TeresaC

As an English person living abroad, I often encounter many stereotypes from other people about the English. People expect me to be unable to speak any language other than my own, and to drink tea constantly. However, I can speak French, and people are always shocked to discover that I don’t like to drink tea! The most frequently asked question, though, is about the British Royal Family. Everyone asks me if I know The Queen!

My university is just outside London, so I do spend a lot of time in the city. However, I haven’t visited Buckingham Palace since I was little! If you don’t know about Buckingham Palace, it is one of The Queen’s residences, and a huge tourist attraction in London. One of its main attractions is that it is guarded by ‘The Queen’s guards’, who famously must stay straight-faced all day. Because of this, lots of tourists try to trick them and make The Queen’s guards laugh! Traditionally, the guards had to remain straight-faced and serious as a sign of respect and dedication to their work (protecting The Queen). Today, I think it is just to keep tradition! I’ve made all my students laugh by showing them videos of tourists trying everything from joke-telling, to singing, to dancing, and even serenading the guards to try to break their serious expression. However, true to their jobs, the guards never smiled!

When I was five years old, it was my ambition to be The Queen of England - I wanted to make the rules! My reply to the question, ‘do you know The Queen?’ - apart from ‘no’, of course! - is ‘if you were a king or queen, what would you do? Would you invite the public in to your palace for a chat or for tea?’ Often they say no. Instead, one boy told me that he would give away a small present to each person who visited his castle. Another told me that she would make a rule that no-one could wear black clothes - instead they would have to wear bright colours to make everyone happy.

Discussion

How would you try to make The Queen’s guards laugh?
If you were the Queen or King of your country, what rules would you make?

Comments

congduy2001's picture
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congduy2001 23 June, 2015 - 03:56

Usually the guards don't smile or laugh with anyone to show their seriousness. I'm thinking about jokes and funny stories or nitrogen because nitrogen makes people laugh.
But if I become the king of my country, there are some rules I want to make:
1. All houses must use solar energy to make electricity
2. People must treat each other by love
3. Stop polluting and plant more trees

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 23 June, 2015 - 14:11

I agree with 3 and 2! But what are the benefits of solar roofs for those people living in the area which has a rainy season for about 6 months a year...? ⭐︎

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dzeni's picture
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dzeni 20 March, 2014 - 15:15

I would tell them some jokes but I`m sure that it won`t manage.
If I were the queen of Montenegro I will:
-help poor and ill people
-take care of environment
-improve the education system
-use solar energy and biofuels
-build new hospitals with latest technology
-fight against discrimination and crime

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 25 March, 2014 - 19:09

Hi dzeni! These are fantastic ideas. I've recently been talking about the environment, so I particularly like those! Do you know any jokes in English? 

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dzeni's picture
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dzeni 26 March, 2014 - 14:54

Hi TeresaC! I don`t know many jokes in English but here`s one.
Teacher: Name two animals that live in a cold region?
Student: A polar bear and his wife.

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justcricketforme's picture
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justcricketforme 2 February, 2014 - 08:50

Well it would be worth trying! If I were the Queen of Pakistan, I would:
Not allow schools to teach Maths!,
Make English a must be learned language of Pakistan so the uneducated ones know it too,
Give equal importance to the girls' and womens' sports too and
Do my best to fill up our grounds with international cricket, which have been in wait for five years!

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 2 February, 2014 - 20:08

Hi justcricketforme! Those are fantastic ideas - I especially like your one about maths, since it was my worst subject at school! And your point about equality for girls' and womens' sports is wonderful - equality is very important! How long have you been playing cricket? 

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justcricketforme's picture
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justcricketforme 4 February, 2014 - 13:35

Hi TeresaC! Thanks. Really? I am very bad at Maths too! I'm so horrible in it! I just hate it when boys in our school are given coaching but nothing is here for our sports! Here in Pakistan cricket is like our national game, no one notices hockey and because, I have lived all my life packed with boys, I have been playing cricket since I was five.

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 15 December, 2013 - 16:28

If I met The Queen's Guards, I wouldn't try to make them laugh.
If I were the queen of Serbia, I would make many rules and changes-free education for everyone, equal opportunities for all, no corruption, maybe death punishment for some big crimes, then privileges for mothers and children and for ill people, free health care, punishments for racism and discrimination etc. I know it's very hard to make big changes in a small country, but it's possible. I know I will never be a queen of Serbia, but I"ll maybe become a president of my country, so I'll maybe be able to make all this changes.

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 15 December, 2013 - 20:06

Hi Natalija! Wow, you've got some great ideas! I especially like the 'free health care' - in England we have free health care and I think it is so important and more countries should have it. I hope you do become president of your country one day because it sounds like you'll be a great leader!

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RehinaParker's picture
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RehinaParker 11 December, 2013 - 19:21

Its hard to make the queen's guards laugh...If I were a queen i think that I will do so many things for people and invorement ect

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 15 December, 2013 - 20:08

Hi Rehina! I think that's great - it is so important to look after the environment! I always try to recycle as much as possible and to use public transport. What do you do to try and help the environment? 

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Niluh's picture
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Niluh 11 December, 2013 - 09:55

I think it will be hard to make the queen's guards laugh, as you wrote tourists have tried everything from joke-telling to serenading but they never smile. However, if i meet the queen's guard i will look at them for a long time and stand with straight-faced as they do :p
If i were the queen i will ask people not to waste rubbish in the river and make many parks, so people can enjoy or spend time for free with love ones in the park :)

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 11 December, 2013 - 12:34

Hi Niluh! I think your ideas for if you were the Queen are fantastic! I hate seeing rubbish everywhere, so I agree with you! And I love spending time in the park in the summer. I often have picnics with my friends when it is sunny, and I love to read in the park too. What do you do in the park? Do you like picnics?

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Niluh's picture
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Niluh 11 December, 2013 - 14:16

Hi Teresa! Yes, i like picnic. I love to chat with others, eat snacks and play games in the park. It's the best place to hang out with low cost i think ;)

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