by Stephen Andrews
Wherever you live, you’ll probably have seen the Coronation of King Charles on Saturday 6th May.
It was quite a popular event!
Hundreds of people gathered on the Mall in London (some camped out for days) and the celebrations went on until Sunday the 8th of May. Lots of street parties took place all across the country, with music, food and dancing. And there was also a concert at Windsor Castle with pop stars like Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.
The British generally love this kind of thing and, actually, the Coronation, apart from being a good excuse for a party, is also quite important historically.
That’s because it’s the first time the UK has had a King since George VI who was on the throne from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. (You might have seen the film about him, ‘The King’s Speech’ which was all about the stutter he suffered from.) When he died, his daughter, Elizabeth, became Queen. She was quite amazing. She was the longest ruling monarch ever and reigned for 70 years and 214 days, from 6th February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was a tough lady!
Here state funeral was, understandably, another major event. People queued for hours to see her coffin lying in state in London, including Shigeri and me!
Charles I and II
So, if Charles is the third British King with that name, who were the two others? Well, they were around quite a long time ago.
Charles I was King from March 1625 until January 1649. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very popular because he did things like raising taxes. He fought lots of unpopular battles in England and Scotland. Anyway, because of all this, he finally came to a bad end and was tried, convicted and executed for high treason in London. Basically, people got fed up with him and chopped his head off!
Charles II was King from 1649 until 1685. Unlike Charles I, he became known for his friendliness. However, he was very fond of the ladies and Charles acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses! He died from an unexplained fit – which is better than losing your head!
The new King Charles
Like his predecessors, Charles has had his fair share of ups and downs, mostly during his marriage to Princess Diana. She became even more popular with people than the Royal Family itself and, rather too late, it turned out that she and Charles weren’t very compatible. Also, he was having an affair with Camilla, now his wife and the new Queen. It all ended rather tragically with Diana’s death. And, lately, he’s had to put up with the controversy caused by his son, Prince Harry and his wife, Megan.
So, thinking about it, Charles’s life has been pretty turbulent one way or another, a bit like the other Kings called Charles. Maybe the name brings bad luck!
On the plus front, though, he has done a lot of good things during his time as the Prince of Wales (his title before becoming King). For example, he started the Prince’s trust, which gives educational and skills training to disadvantaged young people. He also cares about the environment and was one of the first influential people to acknowledge the threats of Global Warming. He’s interested in the creative arts, too, and loves the theatre and painting. Also, he seems to have a good sense of humour.
So, all in all, whether you care about UK royalty or not, he’s probably not a bad King to have.
By the way, if you want a dramatised version of all the things, good and bad, that have happened to the Royal Family over the years, be sure to catch ‘The Crown’ on Netflix. Once you start watching it, you won’t be able to stop!
Talking ‘Posh’ like the Royals
If you want to be like the Royal Family, then you have to learn how to talk ‘posh’ which means upper class. (Also known as being a ‘toff’.) Here are a few essential phrases and words to get you started.
Gosh (oh dear) – ‘Gosh, that man was rather ghastly!’
By jove (wow) – ‘By jove, I really enjoyed that cream cake.’
Jolly good or Jolly bad (very) – ‘That was a jolly good film.’
Rather (very much) –
A: 'Do I think she is handsome?’
Beastly (nasty) – 'Darling, please stop being beastly to your brother.'
Terribly (extremely) – 'I'm afraid I divorced him because he turned out to be terribly dull.'
Chap (person) – “Steve is a very good chap.’
Old bean (old friend) – Hello, old bean, how the devil are you?'
Blotto (really drunk) – ‘Been drinking since lunchtime. Absolutely blotto.'
Orf (off) – ‘Please bugger orf.’ offを/ɔːf/と発音する。普通offは/ɒf/と発音。
Spiffing (very good) – ‘Our day out was absolutely spiffing.’
Ta-ta (goodbye) – ‘Ta-ta until tomorrow.’
Toodle-pip (goodbye) – “Toodle-pip, old chap. See you next week.’
Tiffin (tea) – ‘I say, shall we have a spot of tiffin?’
Poppycock (nonsense) – ‘That’s a load of old poppycock!’