“Nearly 23 million Americans watched Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. Royal families, especially royal weddings, mimic fairytales, Katherine Jellison, a professor of history and a wedding expert, said, and they represent a ‘distant family fantasy figure.’ Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement in November, and with an American joining the British royal family, Jellison said more people will be paying attention to the family leading up to the wedding. ‘We seem to have a need for there to be an official ideal family that’s sort of it’s own fantasy that makes us think, Oh, that could me if I had a lot of money and a castle.” J. Umbarger, The Post
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: The Royal Wedding:FAQ and Answers to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know — and Some Things You Didn’t By S. Lyall and E. Paton, The New York Times
- Who is getting married?
Rachel Meghan Markle, a.k.a. Meghan Markle, an American actress best known for playing Rachel Zane in the long-running legal-intrigue drama “Suits,” is marrying Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, a.k.a. Prince Harry.
2. When, exactly?
Saturday, May 19, 2018. The ceremony is scheduled for noon local time (7 a.m. Eastern time) and will last about an hour. At St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
3. Is that near Buckingham Palace?
Nope. Buckingham Palace is in London. Windsor Castle is in Windsor, a picturesque old town some 20 miles west of London. Windsor is also known for its proximity to Eton College, which is the private high school Harry and William attended.
4. Can I go to the wedding?
Sorry, but no, unless you’re one of 1,200 personal guests who get to sit in the chapel, or among the 2,640 additional people (including members of the royal household and “regular” people who work for charities, community organizations and the like) who have been invited to stand on the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the wedding party enter and leave.
5. Have the invitations gone out?
Yes. On March 22, invitations went out to the first 600 guests. The ink was American, the card stock was English and the invitations were printed by Barnard and Westwood.
6. What if my invitation was lost in the mail?
Don’t fret. You can congregate around the town of Windsor with other non-invitees eager to catch a glimpse of the couple as they process through the streets in a carriage beginning at 1 p.m. local time. Windsor is not the world’s biggest town, so for prime viewing spots you might want to arrive early — like, the day before.
7. Sounds exhausting. How can I watch from home?
The wedding will be televised and live-streamed, but details have not yet been announced. We’ll keep you posted here.
8. Do we know who any of the guests will be?
While the guest list is a secret, there are a number of predictable attendees: Harry’s grandparents… his father and stepmother, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge…As for nonroyals, Harry has a posse of boisterous friends — Guy Pelly, Tom Inskip and Thomas van Straubenzee, among others — who are likely to be there. Meanwhile, Meghan has her own family — her parents, who are divorced but are both expected to attend — and a number of famous friends, including Serena Williams; Priyanka Chopra…
9. What about Harry’s pal Barack Obama?
Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have had a special relationship with Harry since they worked with him on the Invictus Games, the sports competition for injured former service members that Harry founded several years ago…Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it’s causing a lot of nervousness (trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the queen.)
10. Who writes the vows?
The royal wedding vows are likely to follow a rigid script of words and rituals based on the traditional Anglican wedding ceremony prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer.
11. O.K., so tell me about Meghan Markle’s engagement ring.
The ring was designed by Harry himself and comprises a large central diamond from Botswana and some smaller diamonds that belonged to his late mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales.
12. Who are Meghan’s parents?
Her mother, Doria Loyce Ragland is a social worker and yoga instructor who lives in California. Her father, Thomas Markle, Sr., is a lighting director who worked in California for years but now lives in Mexico. The two divorced in 1988. Mr. Markle is expected to walk his daughter down the aisle and give the traditional father-of-the-bride speech at the wedding.
13. How significant is the fact that Meghan is biracial?
Meghan is so different from most royal brides-to-be: She is American, biracial (her mother is African-American and her father is white), divorced and 36, which makes her three years older than her Harry. People of color are underrepresented in British politics and not represented at all in the royal family. Many have said they are thrilled to see someone like themselves in Meghan’s position.
14. Did Meghan have a bachelorette party?
It’s rumored that she had a spa-themed “hen do” (that’s British for “bachelorette party”) at the Soho Farmhouse, which is a countryside arm of the members-only Soho House, in March.
15. Will she have bridesmaids?
Royal weddings rarely feature bridesmaids…The palace has not commented on the subject.
16. Will Prince George and Princess Charlotte be in the wedding?
All the British newspapers are in a state of great excitement over the fact that 4-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte are likely to reprise their roles from their aunt Pippa’s wedding last summer as page boy and page girl. The third child, who will be less than 2 months old on the big day, is unlikely to participate.
17. What will Harry and Meghan’s titles be?
We don’t know yet. Harry is a prince but will undoubtedly get some fancy new title when he gets married. That title will automatically be bestowed on Meghan, too, just as Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge to William’s Duke. Money in Britain at the moment is on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a title that has not been used in the royal family since 1843.
18. Who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress?
That’s the million dollar (or pound) question. A royal wedding dress is one of the most prestigious commissions in British fashion and guarantees global publicity for its designer, whose identity will be kept secret until the last minute.
19. What if my invitation was lost in the mail???
(Sigh) please reread number 6!
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Have students examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of words and ideas that they think might be related to this article.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Royal weddings, mimic fairytales.
- The members represent distant family fantasy figures.
- Many call this fascination escapism.
- Meghan Markle is known for her role in he long-running legal-intrigue drama ‘Suits’.
- Windsor is also known for its proximity to Eton College.
- Non-invitees can congregate around the town of Windsor.
- Watching in person sounds exhausting.
- While the guest list is a secret, there are a number of predictable attendees.
- As for nonroyals, Harry has a posse of boisterous friends.
- The wedding will be a-swirl with all manner of uninformed gossip about the guests.
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.
While the ___list is a___, there are a___of predictable attendees: Harry’s___ Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip; his ___and stepmother, Prince Charles and Camilla, the ___of Cornwall; ___cousins, like Zara and Peter Phillips and ___Eugenie and Beatrice; and of course his ___and sister-in-law, William and Kate, the Duke and___of Cambridge.
WORD LIST: Duchess, grandparents, various, secret, Duchess, father,
number, Princesses, guest, brother,
Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
The wedding/wed will be a-swirl with all manners/manner of uninformed gossip/gossipy about the guests: Who knows who, why they are sit/sitting in their particular spots…Even better, it will be a prime/premiere occasion to revisit/visit the talk about/for the intrigues, allegiances/allegiance and feuds/funds within the royal family itself.
III. Post Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Discussion for Comprehension /Writing
Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.
- Do you agree that Americans are fascinated with England’s royal members?
- Provide examples to back your statement.
- In your opinion, do you think Meghan Markel will encounter problems fitting in with the royal family? Explain why or why not.
- Do you think the fact that Meghan Markel is bi-racial matters?
- Do you personally follow the royals? Why or why not?
- Would you like to become a part of the royal family?
Have each group write a short role-play about Prince Harry and Meghan Markel, or any of the royal family members. For example, one group might want to write the vows Harry and Meghan might exchange. Another group might think about the conversations Meghan’s relatives might have about the wedding.
1-Minute Free Writing Exercise
Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.