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Palace of Holyroodhouse

The UK (Royal Residences)_Lesson Plan

1) Warming-up questions (format presentation)

- Location (off the north-west of Europe)

- The name of the islands it is located on, the biggest island of the group

- seas and oceans it is washed by

- the highest mountain

- the longest river

- the official name of the country

- the difference between the names Great Britain, England, The UK

- the capital

- the countries it consists of, their capitals, emblems, flags

- the UK flag

- the anthem (official song)

- the present head of the country


2) Do you know where the Queen lives? What other homes of the Queen do you know?

(a presentation about Queens official residences with photos+virtual gallery from the official website)




The residences still standing today can be roughly divided into three categories:

Official Royal residences which can only be used as home and office by the present and future kings and queens. As well as being family homes for members of the Royal Family, these are also working buildings which are used for housing the offices of staff from the Royal Household, entertaining official guests and hosting formal events and ceremonies. The best-known of these residences are probably Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

Private Estates are owned by The Queen and are used by the Royal family as home for some time during the year and to earn money through farming or public access to the buildings and gardens. Among them are Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House.

Unoccupied Royal residences are all other buildings in Great Britain which once housed members of the Royal Family and are therefore of historical interest. These buildings are owned by numerous organisations and individuals and many are open to the general public.

We will talk only about the official residences of the Queen.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.

Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year from August to September.

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

The Palace is very much a working building and the centrepiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy. It houses the offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family.

The Palace is also the venue for great Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, all of which are organised by the Royal Household.

More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the Royal Garden Parties.

George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a comfortable family home close to St James's Palace, where many court functions were held. Buckingham House became known as the Queen's House, and 14 of George III's 15 children were born there.

His son, George IV decided to transform the house into a palace.

The King never moved into the Palace. Indeed, when the Houses of Parliament were destroyed by fire in 1834, the King offered the Palace as a new home for Parliament, but the offer was declined.

Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to take up residence in July 1837, just three weeks after she became Queen, and in June 1838 she was the first British monarch to leave from Buckingham Palace for a Coronation. During the reign of Queen Victoria the Palace was rebuilt to make a more comfortable home for the Queen, her husband and their many children.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen, the oldest and the largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today.

The Queen uses the Castle both as a private home, where she usually spends the weekend, and as a Royal residence at which she undertakes certain formal duties.

Every year The Queen takes up official residence in Windsor Castle for a month over Easter (March-April), known as Easter Court. During that time The Queen hosts occasional 'dine and sleeps' events for guests, including politicians and public figures.

The Queen is also in residence for a week in June, when she attends the service of the Order of the Garter and the Royal Ascot race meeting.

Windsor Castle is often used by The Queen to host State Visits from overseas monarchs and presidents.

Windsor Castle is also a busy visitor attraction. Many parts of the Castle are open to the public.

William the Conqueror built the castle in 1080 and it has remained a royal palace and fortress for over 900 years.

Ten British monarchs lie buried in the castles chapel, including the present Queens father, George VI.

Also, the Royal family took the name of the castle as their surname.


Palace of Holyroodhouse


Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is The Queen's official residence in Scotland.

In 1501 James IV of Scotland cleared the ground close to the Abbey and built a Palace for himself and his bride. Later kings and queens rebuilt and enlarged the castle.


Each year, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain around 8,000 guests from all walks of Scottish life during Holyrood week, which usually runs from the end of June to the beginning of July.


While watching the presentation, the pupils complete the table (without the last line).


Name of the castle/palace      
How long has it been used as a royal residence?      
When does the Queen stay there?      
Special features      


Name of the castle/palace Buckingham Palace Windsor Castle Palace of Holyroodhouse
Location London Windsor Edinburgh
How long has it been used as a royal residence? Since 1837 Since 11th centuary Since 16th century
When does the Queen stay there? Most of the year except for the summer, weekends, January, March-April Most weekends, a month over Easter, a week in June A week at the end of June-beginning of July.
Special features The monarchs headquaters Burial place of many monarchs, gave its name to the Royal Family Here the Queen honours the outstanding people of Scotland


3) Questions to check what pupils remember about the royal residences.

Which is the oldest royal residence? Which is the biggest one? Where does the Queen spend most/least of her time?

Which, do you think, is the most beautiful?

Matching (pictures of the residences and their names).


4) Talk about the place you liked most using the table. Why do you like this place most?

Date: 2016-03-03; view: 1258

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