Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №18/2006


Дополнительные задания к книге “Britain in Brief” В.В. Ощепковой и И.И. Шустиловой


Text 1

The British Monarchy Today

  • The Monarchy and Its Powers & The Formation of the Commonwealth & The Queen – the Head of the Commonwealth & Parliament and the Monarch

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. This means that it has a monarch (a king or a queen) as its Head of State. The monarch reigns with the support of Parliament. The powers of the monarch are not defined precisely. Everything today is done in the Queen’s name. It is her government, her armed forces, her law courts and so on. She appoints all the Ministers, including the Prime Minister. Everything is done, however, on the advice of the elected Government, and the monarch takes no part in the decision-making process.

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Once the British Empire included a large number of countries all over the world ruled by Britain. The process of decolonisation began in 1947 with the independence of India, Pakistan and Ceylon. Now there is no longer an empire. But the British ruling classes tried not to lose influence over the former colonies of the British Empire. An association of former members of the British Empire and Britain was founded in 1949. It is called the Commonwealth. It includes many countries such as Ireland, Myanma, the Sudan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others. The Queen of Great Britain is also the Head of the Commonwealth, and so the Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand...

Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen is very rich as are other members of the royal family. In addition, the government pays for her expenses as Head of State, for a royal yacht, train and aircraft as well as for the upkeep of several palaces. The Queen’s image appears on stamps, notes and coins.

Parliament consists of two chambers known as the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Parliament and the monarch have different roles in the governing of the country, and they only meet together on symbolic occasions such as the Coronation of a new monarch or the Opening of Parliament. In reality, the House of Commons is the only one of the three which has true power. It is here that new bills are introduced and debated. If the majority of the members are in favour of a bill it goes to the House of Lords to be debated and finally to the monarch to be signed. Only then does it become law. Although a bill must be supported by all three bodies, the House of Lords only has limited powers, and the monarch has not refused to sign one since the modern political system began over 200 years ago.


the Commonwealth Содружество (политическое и экономическое объединение, центром которого является Великобритания. Включает 54 независимых государства. В Содружество входят также зависимые территории Великобритании, Австралии и Новой Зеландии)

chamber палата парламента

the House of Commons палата общин (нижняя палата парламента; играет главную роль в осуществлении его законодательных функции)

the House of Lords палата лордов (верхняя палата парламента; невыборное учреждение; участвует в осуществлении законодательных функций парламента; является высшей апелляционной инстанцией)

bill билль, законопроект


Are the following statements true or false, according to the text? (T/F)

1. The monarch takes an active part in the government’s decision-making process.

2. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are constitutional monarchies and the Queen of Great Britain is the head of these states.

3. India, Pakistan and Ceylon are former members of the British Empire.

4. The powers of the monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords are defined precisely.

5. Her majesty Queen Elisabeth II appoints all the Ministers except the Prime Minister.

6. Parliament and the monarch meet once a month.


Match these words from the texts to their meanings.

1. to reign
2. precisely
3. to appoint
4. expenses
5. to define
6. the majority
7. to sign
8. to be in favour of
9. to refuse
10. royal

a) exactly, clearly
b) relating to a queen or king or the members of their family
c) to rule officially a country (about a king or queen)
d) to not give someone what they ask, or not let someone do what they ask to do
e) to support an idea
f) to write your name on something in your own personal way
g) most of the people or things in a group
h) to choose someone to do a job or have a position
i) to describe cleary and exactly what something is
j) money you spend as part of your job that your employer later gives back to you


A. Find sentences with the verbs in the Passive forms and translate them into Russian.

B. Make the necessary changes to transform these sentences from the Active into Passive:

1. No one can define the powers of the monarch precisely.
2. The Government does everything in the Queen’s name.
3. They formed an association of former members of the British Empire.
4. The Queen signs a bill.
5. The Government pays for the Queen’s expenses as Head of State.
6. The Queen appoints the Prime Minister.


A. Discuss this question in pairs:

What does the term “a constitutional monarchy” mean?

B. Summarise the text by answering these questions. You should talk for 1 to 2 minutes.

1. Which are the powers of the monarch?
2. How did the British Empire change after 1947?
3. Who pays for the queen’s expenses as Head of State?
4. Which of the three bodies (the monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords) has true power?


I. 1. F; 2. T; 3. T; 4. F; 5. F; 6. T

II. 1. c; 2. a; 3. h; 4. j; 5. i; 6. g; 7. f; 8. e; 9. d; 10. b

By Viktoria Oschepkova,
Irina Shustilova

to be continued