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Contents : The British Royal Family...............................................................................................3 The Royal Family Tree...................................................................................................4 Public Role and Image....................................................................................................5 Royal Ceremonies and Rituals........................................................................................6 The Buckingham Palace..................................................................................................11 The Crown Jewels...........................................................................................................16 Dictionary........................................................................................................................20 Bibliography....................................................................................................................21

The British Royal Family

The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Although there is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the Royal Family, and different lists will include different people, those carrying the style His or Her Majesty (HM) or His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) are generally considered members, which usually results in the application of the term to the monarch (the king or queen),the consort of the monarch (his or her spouse),the widowed consorts of previous monarchs (Queen Mother or Queen Dowager),the children of the monarch, the male-line grandchildren of the monarch and the spouses and the widows of a monarch's sons and male-line grandsons.

Members of the royal family belong to, either by birth or marriage, the House of Windsor, since 1917, when George V changed the name of the royal house from SaxeCoburg and Gotha. This decision was primarily taken because Britain and her Empire were at war with Germany and given the British Royal Family's strong German ancestry, it was felt that its public image could be improved by choosing a more British surname. It is interesting to note that the name of the aircraft which bombed London and south-east England at this time were Gotha bombers. The new name chosen, Windsor, had absolutely no connection other than as the name of the castle which was and continues to be a royal residence. Members and relatives of the British Royal Family historically represented the monarch in various places throughout the British Empire, sometimes for extended periods as viceroys, or for specific ceremonies or events. Today, they often perform ceremonial and social duties throughout the United Kingdom and abroad on behalf of the UK, but, aside from the monarch, have no constitutional role in the affairs of government.

Royal Family Tree

Public Role and Image Members of the Royal Family participate in hundreds of public engagements yearly throughout the whole of the entire United Kingdom, as formally recorded in the Court Circular, to honour, encourage and learn about the achievements or endeavours of individuals, institutions and enterprises in a variety of areas of life. As representatives of the Queen, they often also join the nation in commemorating historical events, holidays, celebratory and tragic occurrences, and may also sponsor or participate in numerous charitable, cultural and social activities. Their travels abroad on behalf of the UK (called State Visits when the sovereign officially meets with other heads of state) draw public attention to amicable relations within and between the Commonwealth and other nations, to British goods and trade, and to Britain as a historical, vacation, and tourist destination. Their presence, activities and traditional roles constitute the apex of a modern "royal court," and provide a distinctly British and historical pageantry to ceremonies (e.g. Trooping the Colour) and flavour to public events (e.g. Garden Parties, Ascot). Throughout their lives they draw enormous media coverage in the form of photographic, written and televised commentary on their activities, family relationships, rites of passage, personalities, attire, behaviour, and public roles. Senior members of the royal family often drive themselves instead of having a driver. Members of the Royal Family carry out public duties; these individuals receive an annual payment known as a Parliamentary Annuity, the funds being supplied to cover office costs. These amounts are repaid by The Queen from her private funds. Though always voluntarily subject to the Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes, the Queen agreed to pay taxes on income and capital gains from 1992, although the details of this arrangement are both voluntary and secret. At the same time it was announced that only the Queen and Prince Philip would receive civil list payments. Since 1993 the Queen's personal estate (e.g.

shareholdings, personal jewellery, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle) will be subject to Inheritance Tax, though bequests from Sovereign to Sovereign are exempt. Royal Ceremonies and Rituals London is a royal city and has preserved its ceremonies and traditions over hundreds of years. Some are every day and some are every year. The most traditional ceremonies and most popular attractions are the Trooping of the Colour and the Changing of the Guard. Searching the Houses of Parliament Before every State Opening of Parliament, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster by the light of old candlelanterns. This precaution has been undertaken every year since 1605, when the "Gunpowder Conspirators" attempted to blow up parliament on the day of the State Opening. The State Opening of Parliament. Dating back to Medieval London, this ceremony marks the beginning of the new parliamentary year and features peers and bishops in traditional robes and a royal procession involving the State Coach. State openings usually take place in November, or soon after a General Election. On the day of the Opening, the Queen travels from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament in the Stage Coach (a gold carriage). Once the Queen arrives at Parliament the union flag is lowered and replaced by the royal standard. The Queen, wearing her crown and ceremonial robes then processes through the Royal Gallery to take her place on the throne in the House of Lords, from where she sends her messenger (Black Rod) to summon the MPs. When he arrives at the House of Commons, the door is slammed in his face, symbolizing the right of the Commons to freedom from interference. He must then knock three times to gain entry and deliver his summons.

The Queen sits on a throne in the House of Lords and reads the "Queen's Speech". It is tradition for the monarch to open parliament in person, and The Queen has performed the ceremony in every year of her reign except for 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with princes Andrew and Edward respectively. No King or Queen has entered the House of Commons since 1642, when Charles I stormed in with his soldiers and tried to arrest five members of Parliament who were there.

Ceremony of the Keys One of Londons most timeless ceremonies, dating back 700 years is the ceremony of the keys which takes place at the Tower of London. At 21:53 each night the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower, dressed in Tudor uniform, sets off to meet the Escort of the Key dressed in the well-known Beefeater uniform. Together they tour the various gates ceremonially locking them, on returning to the Bloody Tower archway they are challenged by a sentry. "Who goes there?" "The Keys." answers The Chief Warder "Whose Keys?" the sentry demands. "Queen Elizabeth's Keys." "Pass Queen Elizabeth's Keys. All's well." A trumpeter then sounds the Last Post before the keys are secured in the Queens House.

Changing of the Guard. Changing the Guard is the traditional ceremony performed at Buckingham Palace involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard. The proper name of the ceremony is actually the Guard Mounting. The troopers wear a full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins hats. The handover ceremony takes approximately 45 minutes during which time the Guards band plays

music to entertain the New and Old Guard as well as the watching crowds. Trooping of The Colour Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the Commonwealth and the British Army. It has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier. The Queen travels down The Mall from Buckingham Palace in a Royal Procession with a Sovereigns Escort of Household Cavalry. After receveing a Royal Salute, she inspects her troops of the Household Division, both Foot Guards and Horse Guards. The Kings Troop are also in attendance. Each year, one of the Foot Guards regiments is selected to troop their colour through the ranks of guards. Then entire assembly of Household Division conducts a March Past around the Parade past the Queen, who receives their salute from the Saluting Base.

Maundy Money. Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday, at Easter. On that day the Queen gives Maundy money to a group of old people. This tradition is over 1,000 years old. At one time the king or queen washed the feet of poor, old people on Maundy Thursday, but that stopped in 1754.

Swan Upping. On the River Thames there are hundreds of swans and a lot of these beautiful white birds belong, traditionally, to the king of queen. In July, the Queens swan keeper sails up the River Thames, from London Bridge to Henley. He looks at all the young swans and marks the royal ones.

The Queen's Telegram This fairly new custom assures aspiring centenarians that they will receive a birthday telegram from the queen on their one-hundredth birthday.On his or her one hundreth birthday, a British person gets a telegram from the Queen. Example of telegram: "I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday on 4th August, 2000. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion."

The Birthday Honours list and the New Year Honours list: Twice a year at Buckingham Palace, the Queen gives titles or 'honours', once in January and once in June. Honours received include: C.B.E. - Companion of the British Empire O.B.E. - Order of the British Empire M.B.E. - Member of the British Empire These honours began in the nineteenth century, because then Britain had an empire. Knighthood - a knight has "Sir" before his name. A new knight kneels in front of the Queen. She touches first his right shoulder, then his left shoulder with a sword. Then she says "Arise, Sir...and his first name, and the knight stands. Peerage - a peer is a lord. Peers sit in the House of Lords, which is one part of the Houses of Parliament. The other part is the House of Commons. Dame/Baroness - these are two of the highest honours for a woman. Ceremonial occasions A ceremony may mark a rite of passage in a human life, marking the significance of, for example: birth (birthday) initiation (college orientation week) puberty social adulthood (Bar (or Bat) Mitzvah) graduation marriage retirement

death (Day of the Dead) burial (funeral) spiritual (baptism, communion)

Celebration of events Other, society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal or recurrent events such as: vernal equinox, winter solstice and other annual astronomical positions weekly Sabbath day inauguration of an elected office-holder occasions in a liturgical year or "feasts" in a calendar of saints Other ceremonies underscore the importance of non-regular special occasions, such as: coronation of a monarch victory in battle


Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis. Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was subsequently acquired by George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte, and known as "The Queen's House". During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front which contains the well-known balcony on which the Royal Family traditionally congregate to greet crowds outside. However, the palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb in World War II; the Queen's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection. The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle poque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London.



The Palace measures 108 metres by 120 metres, is 24 metres high and contains over 77,000 m2 (830,000 sq ft) of floorspace. The principal rooms of the palace are contained on the piano nobile behind the west-facing garden facade at the rear of the palace. The centre of this ornate suite of state rooms is the Music Room, its large bow the dominant feature of the facade. Flanking the Music Room are the Blue and the White Drawing rooms. At the centre of the suite, serving as a corridor to link the state rooms, is the Picture Gallery, which is top-lit and 55 yards (50 m) long.

The Gallery is hung with numerous works including some by Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens and Vermeer; other rooms leading from the Picture Gallery are the Throne Room and the Green Drawing Room. The Green Drawing room serves as a huge anteroom to the Throne Room, and is part of the ceremonial route to the throne from the Guard Room at the top of the Grand staircase. The Guard Room contains white marble statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in Roman costume, set in a tribune lined with tapestries. These very formal rooms are used only for ceremonial and official entertaining, but are open to the public every summer .


. A: State Dining Room; B: Blue Drawing Room; C: Music Room; D: White Drawing Room; E: Royal Closet; F: Throne Room; G: Green Drawing Room; H: Cross Gallery; J: Ball Room; K: East Gallery; L: Yellow Drawing Room; M: Centre/Balcony Room; N: Chinese Luncheon Room; O: Principal Corridor; P: Private Apartments; Q: Service Areas; W: The Grand staircase. On the ground floor: R: Ambassador's Entrance; T: Grand Entrance. The areas defined by shaded walls represent lower minor wings.


The Buckingham Palace Garden, The Royal Mews and The Mall At the rear of the palace, is the large and park-like garden which, together with its lake, is the largest private garden in London. Here the Queen hosts her annual garden parties each summer, and also holds large functions to celebrate royal milestones, such as jubilees. Originally landscaped by Capability Brown, it was redesigned by William Townsend Aiton of Kew Gardens and John Nash. The artificial lake was completed in 1828 and is supplied with water from the Serpentine, a river which runs through Hyde Park.

Adjacent to the palace is the Royal Mews, also designed by Nash, where the royal carriages, including the Gold State Coach, are housed. This rococo gilt coach, designed by Sir William Chambers in 1760, has painted panels by G. B. Cipriani. It was first used for the State Opening of Parliament by George III in 1762 and is used by the monarch only for coronations or jubilee celebrations. Also housed in the Mews are the carriage horses used in royal ceremonial processions.

The Mall, a ceremonial approach route to the palace, was designed by Sir Aston Webb and completed in 1911 as part of a grand memorial to Queen Victoria. It extends from Admiralty Arch, up around the Victoria Memorial, bounded by the Canada Gate, South Africa Gate and Australia Gate, to the palace forecourt. The Victoria Memorial was created by sculptor Sir Thomas Brock in 1911 and builded in front of the main gates at Buckingham Palace on a surround constructed by architect Sir Aston Webb.


Every year some 50,000 invited guests are entertained at garden parties, receptions, audiences, and banquets. The Garden Parties, usually three, are held in the summer, usually in July. The Forecourt of Buckingham Palace is used for Changing of the Guard, a major ceremony and tourist attraction (daily during the summer months; every other day during the winter).

Buckingham Palace is a symbol and home of the British monarchy, an art gallery and tourist attraction. Behind the gilded railings and gates which were made by the Bromsgrove Guild and Webb's famous facade which has been described in a book published by the Royal Collection as looking "like everybody's idea of a palace"; is not only the weekday home of the Queen and Prince Philip but also the London residence of the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The palace also houses the offices of the Royal Household and is the workplace of 450 people.


The Crown Jewels The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are considered to be the most valuable and one of the largest jewellery collections in existence, with a number of famous diamonds and rubies including the Cullinan Diamond (the largest diamond ever found before it was cut). Crowns The collection of Crown Jewels contains various crowns, some of which are used by every Sovereign, others being made personally for Sovereigns or for the Queen's Consort. Typically the crown of a King has a slightly pointed arched top, while that of a Queen has a slightly bowed top. St Edward's Crown was made in 1661. Made of gold, its design consists of four crosses patte and four fleurs-de-lis, with two arches on top. Surmounting the arches is a jeweled cross patte. The Crown includes 444 precious stones. It is used through most of the coronation ceremony and is said to be made of the melted gold from King Alfred's Crown. It is noted by a number of British monarchs to be extremely heavy and difficult to wear. Queen Elizabeth II opted to use a stylised representation of this crown in images of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom..

The Imperial State Crown was made in 1937 for King George VI, and was similar to the diamond crown made in 1838 for Queen Victoria. The present Crown is made of gold and includes four crosses patte and four fleurs-de-lis, with two arches on top, surmounted by a cross patte. The Crown includes many jewels: 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and five rubies. Among the stones are several famous ones, including the Black Prince's Ruby (actually a spinel) and the Cullinan II diamond, also known as the Lesser Star of Africa. Two of the three pearls


dangling from the crown were once worn by Queen Elizabeth I. It is worn after the conclusion of the Coronation ceremony when the monarch leaves Westminster Abbey and at the annual State Opening of Parliament.

The Imperial Crown of India was created when King George V visited Delhi as Emperor of India. To prevent the pawning of the Crown Jewels, British law prohibited the removal of a Crown Jewel from the country. For this reason, a new crown was made. It has not been used since. The Imperial Crown of India is not a part of the British Crown Jewels, though it is stored with them.

Queens consort, the wives of Kings, traditionally wore the Crown of Mary of Modena, Queen of King James II. By the beginning of the 20th century, that small crown was in a decrepit state. A new European-style crown, flatter and with more arches than was traditional in British crowns, was manufactured for Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII. A new crown, more akin to traditional British crowns, was manufactured for Queen Mary, consort of King George V, who was crowned in 1911. The final new consort's crown in the 20th century was manufactured for Queen Elizabeth, consort of King George VI, who along with her husband was crowned in 1937. All three consorts' crowns in turn included the famous Koh-iNoor diamond. This latter Crown of Queen Elizabeth was also worn, minus its arches, by the by-then Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother during Elizabeth II's coronation. It rested on top of the Queen Mother's coffin during her funeral in 2002.


Swords The Jewelled Sword of Offering was made for the Coronation of King George IV. It is the only sword actually presented to the Sovereign during the Coronation (by the Archbishop of Canterbury, to signify that the royal power is at the service of the church); the others are merely borne in front of the Sovereign. It was described by Lawrence Tanner as the most beautiful and valuable sword in the world; the hilt and the scabbard are both encrusted with jewels (which include diamonds, rubies and sapphires) and the blade is of the finest Damascus steel. During the procession in the abbey it replaces the Great Sword of State because that is too heavy to be easily carried.

The Great Sword of State is the largest sword in the collection, and is borne in front of the Monarch by the Lord Great Chamberlain both at the coronation and at the State Opening of Parliament. The gilt handle has crosspieces representing the lion and unicorn and the scabbard is decorated with jewels in the shapes of the floral symbols of the United Kingdom: the rose for England, the thistle for Scotland, and the shamrock for Ireland. The other three swords used are the Sword of Spiritual Justice, the Sword of Temporal Justice, and the Sword of Mercy. The first two symbolize the sovereign's relationship with church and state and the latter represents Curtana, the short sword of Ogier the Dane which he was warned to draw in mercy not in vengeance.


The Orbs and Sceptres

The Sceptre with the Cross was made in 1661, and is so called because it is surmounted by a cross. In 1910, it was redesigned to incorporate the Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, which at over 530 carats (106 g) is the second largest cut diamond in the world after The Golden Jubilee. During the coronation, the monarch bears the Sceptre with the Cross in the right hand.

The Sceptre with the Dove was also made in 1661, and atop it is a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. While the Sceptre with the Cross is borne in the right hand, the Sceptre with the Dove is borne in the left. At the same time as the Sovereign holds both Sceptres, he or she is crowned with St Edward's Crown.

The Sovereign's Orb, a type of globus cruciger, is a hollow golden sphere made in 1661. There is a band of jewels running along the centre, and a half-band on the top hemisphere. Surmounting the orb is a jeweled Cross representing the Sovereign's role as Defender of the Faith. For a part of the coronation, it is borne in the Sovereign's left hand.

The Small Orb, a smaller globus cruciger made in 1689 for Mary II due to her joint coronation with William III. Both the Small Orb and its larger counterpart rested on Queen Victoria's coffin in 1901.


Dictionary 1) endeavour = a serious effort to achieve something, hard work 2) apex = the top or highest point 3) pageantry = elaborate display or ceremony 4) attire = clothes of a particular kind 5) peer = a member of the nobility in Britain or Ireland 6) bishop = a senior member of the Christian clergy in charge of a diocese 7) sentry = a soldier stationed to keep guard or to control access to a place 8) vernal = having to do with the season of spring 9) jubilee = a special anniversary 10) adjacent = near or next to something else 11) gilt = covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint 12) hilt = the handle of a sword, dagger or knife 13) scabbard = a cover for the blade of a sword or dagger



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