Search form

British Royalty Tours the U.S.


  • Social Studies
    --Current Events
    ----World History


Grades 2-up

News Content

Prince Charles, the next King of England, visited the U.S. this month.

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, ask students what they know about the country known as England. Write down the information they share. They might share information such as the Pilgrims set sail from England, England is a friend to the U.S. (an ally in the war in Iraq), England is "ruled" by a king or queen, England is an island country often referred to as Great Britain (comprising England, Scotland, and Wales), England is the home of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling If students do not mention that England has a Royal Family, you might share that information. Currently, Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of England. Kings and queens have been very important in the history of England. Today, they do not have as much power as they did long ago, but the Royal Family is still a great symbol of the country, and it does a great deal of good. Most English people are very fond of the Royal Family.

News Words

Talk with students about the words and terms in the NEWS WORD BOX. Share that England's Royal family does not make laws for the English people. Instead, laws are made by the country's leader, the prime minister, and by the parliament, which is similar to the U.S. Congress. Then ask students to use one of the boxed words to complete each statement below:

  • Many people _____ from their jobs when they reach age 65. (retire)
  • The governor is going to _____ a new statue to women who fought in the war. (dedicate)
  • A _____ group claimed responsibility for last week's bombing. (terrorist)
  • We will vote for a new mayor to ____ our city. (govern)
  • The spot where two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in 2001 is also known as _____. (Ground Zero)

Read the News

Click for a printable version of this week's news story British Royalty Tours the U.S..

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

* Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

* Students might first read the news story to themselves; then call on individual students to read the news aloud for the class.

* Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write a note in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

More Facts to Share

You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.

  • Since the beginning of the 1700s, the English monarch (king or queen) has been a constitutional monarch. That means that he or she is bound by rules of the land and is politically impartial. Prior to that time, monarchs were much more involved in making laws and governing the country's citizens.
  • As Head of State, the king or queen bestows honors and plays formal roles in the Armed Forces and the Church of England. The king or queen is a symbol of national unity, visits local communities, and represents Great Britain around the world.
  • While in the U.S., Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla attended a seminar that drew attention to osteoporosis, a favorite charity of Duchess's; placed a wreath at the Second World War Memorial in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II; visited New Orleans to meet people affected by Hurricane Katrina; visited San Francisco to meet homeless people being helped by a special program; and met children at the "Edible School Yard" in Berkeley, California.

Learn more about Charles, the Prince of Wales; Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; and Princes William and Harry on the official Prince of Wales Web site at

Comprehension Check

Ask students to tell whether each of the following statements is true or false. If the statement is false, ask students to correct it to make it true.

  • Prince Charles's formal title is the Prince of Cornwall. (false, he is the Prince of Wales)
  • Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were married in June. (false, they were married in April)
  • Prince Charles has not visited the U.S. since 1999. (false, he has not visited since 1994)
  • Prince Charles and the Duchess visited Ground Zero in New Orleans. (false, Ground Zero is in New York City)
  • Prince Charles will become King of England when his mother, Queen Elizabeth, retires or dies. (true)
  • England is governed by the king and the Congress. (false, England is governed by the prime minister and the parliament)

Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the News questions that appear on the students' news page.

Follow-Up Activities

Geography. Display a world map. Have students identify the location of England. Ask the following questions about England's location in comparison to the United States.

  • Which country -- England or the United States -- is farther north of the equator? (England is farther north than most of the United States; some students might bring up the fact that Alaska, which is part of the U.S., is farther north than England is)
  • Which country is closer to Africa -- England or the United States? (England)
  • Which country is located closer to South America? (United States)
  • If you were to fly from England to the United States, in which direction would you fly? (west or southwest)
  • Which country is located at 60 degrees North latitude? (England; unless you consider Alaska)
  • Which country is located closer to the Tropic of Cancer? (United States)
  • Which country is located south of Canada? (United States)
  • Which country is found a 120 degrees West longitude? (United States)
  • Which country is located closer to the Arctic Circle? (England; unless you consider Alaska)
History. In recent history, all British monarchs except Edward VIII have reigned until their deaths. Edward VIII's reign began on January 20, 1936. He planned to marry a divorced American woman, but his marriage plans cause such controversy that he abdicated his throne. On December 10 that same year, Edward's younger brother, George VI, took over as King. Print the table below on a board or chart paper. Have students do the math to determine the length in years of each monarch's reign. (Answers appear on the table in italic type.)
Monarch Name Reign Began Reign Ended Reign Length
Queen Victoria 1837 1901 (64 years)
Edward VII (son of Victoria) 1901 1910 (9 years)
George V (son of Edward VII) 1910 1936 (26 years)
Edward VIII (son of George V) 1936 1936 (
George VI (son of George V) 1936 1952 (16 years)
Elizabeth II (daughter of George VI) 1952   (53 yrs so far)


Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-WH.5-12.8 The 20th Century

See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World