The Queen is dead, long live the King
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, passed away on 8 September 2022 at the age of 96. The state funeral service was held at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, followed by a procession witnessed by thousands all along the route to Windsor Castle to show their respect and witnessed by 27 million in the United Kingdom and many more over the world on TV and the Internet. She was laid to rest next to her husband, Prince Philip, in a committal service attended by a few hundred world leaders at St George’s Chapel at Windsor.
As the second-longest reigning monarch in world history, Queen Elizabeth II was admired for her devoted service to the British people and the Commonwealth having regnant over 32 sovereign states during her lifetime and 15 at the time of her passing. She ruled for 70 years and 127 days, surpassed only by the Sun King, King Louis XIV of France (1638 – 1715), who was crowned as a four-year-old boy and reigned for 72 years, 110 days. Queen Elizabeth ii (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was only 25 at her coronation in 1952, which makes her the longest reigning British monarch.
The following 10 Queen classroom activities can be used to celebrate the Queen’s life, but also when teaching about kings, queens and monarchies.
1. Meeting with Royals
Students find it interesting to learn about the rules and courtesies when meeting royalty.
To start your lesson, go through some of these courtesies when meeting with royalty or someone like the president of a country:
Everyone stands at attention. No one may sit unless invited to do so. This is also customary when meeting an important person like a president.
Men give a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.
Remember to have a polite grip – not soft like a wet fish, but not too hard like you’re attempting to crush stone.
On presentation to The King or Queen, the correct formal address is ‘Your Majesty’ and subsequently “Sir” or ‘Ma’am”.
The same rules apply to members of the Royal family, with the title used in the first instance being “Your Royal Highness” and subsequently “Sir/ Ma’am.”
The King or Queen usually have a short chat with the person they meet.
This can be a fun activity in class. Make some students a King, Queen and some members of the Royal family. Then have the other students stand in line to meet them.
For the members of the public, citizens or called “commoners,” or “common folk” in the old days, write a short topic on a post-it note and place it on their chests. It could stuff like pets, hobbies, the weather, etc. The ‘Royals’ then walk past, greet the other students and practice some small talk based on the topic on their chests.
Take turns so that everyone gets a chance to be “King for a day”!
2. ‘God Save the Queen/ King’
I was looking at some videos of the Queen and found that she did something very unprecedented in her reign.
After 9/11, to show support and bring comfort to Americans living in England, the Queen ordered the band at Buckingham palace to play the US national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, during the changing of the guard.
Something that has never been done except during state visits. It was a gesture of comradery at a very emotional moment in history.
Now that King Charles III’s reign has begun, ‘God save the Queen’ has been changed back to ‘God Save the King.’
When talking about the passing of the Queen and King Charles III becoming the new monarch, discuss the lyrics of “God Save the Queen/ King” with students.
3. Make Crowns
Younger students can make paper crowns to decorate and wear, pretending they are the king or queen. I’ve placed some printouts in the description below.
Along with that I also added…
4. Queen Elizabeth II Worksheets
I have also collected a few worksheets about Queen Elizabeth II. A typical day in the life of the Queen, some reading comprehension and a worksheet on the Queen’s birthday.
👑 Queen Worksheets ► https://sendfox.com/etacude
5. King or Queen of Spelling
One student is picked as the class ‘King / Queen of Spelling’. Place a crown on the King/ Queen’s heads and let them sit on a throne in front of the class.
Let other students take turns asking the King/ Queen a spelling question. They can ask to spell a word or what letter a word starts with.
“Queen Jenny, your majesty, what letter does the word ‘castle’ start with?”
They could also hold up objects and ask the Queen to spell them.
“Your majesty King Peter, how do you spell the word ‘lion’?”
If the King/ Queen gets the answer wrong, the student who asked replaces them. If they can make it past 10 questions, they win, and another student gets a chance.
Students that make it past 10 questions should be given a fun award to show parents at home. This can be done with questions related to school work or trivia too.
6. Animal Royal Court
Everyone knows the lion to be the King of the Jungle (in this game we can also have a Queen of the Jungle).
Every King/ Queen needs to have good people around her, people she can trust and depend on. Reliable people in her court. are called courtiers. What qualities should these people possess?
Discuss this question with your students and write down adjectives on the board.
They usually come up with answers like “strong, brave, helpful.”
If they don’t give enough answers, place them in pairs and ask them to come up with 10 adjectives first. Encourage them to find creative synonyms.
After coaching they should be able to add words like “kind, loyal and clever.”
Next, they should think of animals that exemplify these qualities.
For example, elephants are strong and have a good memory, dogs are loyal and brave, cats are clever and resourceful, horses are hardworking and beautiful, and so on.
Once students have a list of animals and their positive qualities, time to play the game.
As the teacher, you are the King/ Queen, put a chair in front of the class and create your court. Students now have to be selected to join your court.
They should choose an animal to portray.
The teacher, in the role of the King/ Queen, calls each “animal” forward.
“You, animal. Come forward into the presence of the King/ Queen.”
The animal moves forward. “What sort of animal are you?” The student says what animal they are.
“Why should you join my court?”
The student then lists two qualities of the animal and explains why the animal should be allowed to join.
The Queen responds, “Wonderful! You may join my court.”
I usually have an area defined, around myself, for the “court,” where the students can sit and feel important.
Obviously, everyone must be invited to join – even snakes.
I usually end this session by having a parade of the class, with each animal moving it’s own peculiar way. Then the entire group “roars” – each according to species -to announce the presence of the greatest Royal court in the land.
7. Queen for a Day
Being the King/ Queen is a powerful position. He or she can make rules that all his or her subjects have to live by.
If students were King/ Queen for one day, what rules or laws would they create?
Place students in groups – They have to come up with rules they would make if they were King/ Queen for a Day.
Here are some ideas:
- Provide homes for all the homeless
- make peace with all countries
- create a handicap-accessible camp
- make sure all people have warm clothes for winter
- make sure everyone has a family
- take in all dogs in pounds and shelters
- make sure all kids have presents on Christmas
- set all zoo animals free
- everyone will donate clothes for the homeless
- not let anyone drink and drive
- not let kids get bullied
- make all money be spread evenly
- make all troops go home
- allow no one to earn lower than minimum wage
- make sure all are fed
- all animals will be treated better
- more jobs
- environmental care
- lower taxes
- better pay and pensions for all
- quality child care for all children
- end all wars
- improve quality of education for all
- ban written assignments
- everyone’s nails/toes must have color
- every day is like Christmas
- everyone must wear colorful clothing
- everyone must have a pet
- everyone must eat corn for dinner
- have all the candy in the world sent to me
- have a HUGE pizza party
- no homework.
Share it with the class and they can also vote on which three new laws they would create as a class
8. The Tribute by King Charles III
King Charles III paid tribute to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II in an emotional speech. It is a lovely speech with a lot of useful vocabulary for intermediate to advanced students to learn.
Print out a transcript – let students read through and underline words they don’t know. They should then find the definitions in a dictionary.
Once that’s done, play the video of King Charles III giving the speech. His accent and his pronunciation is well worth listening to, especially for English learners. Even if they prefer an American accent, we have to expose our students to different accents.
This is a lovely speech and we can use it as a valuable learning resource.
9. Queen Elizabeth II’s Timeline
Queen Elizabeth II had a tremendous life and was a constant figure though out the 20th century.
Ask students to research and create a timeline for her life. They can add historical and personal moments that she had lived through.
I’m sure this will give them a greater appreciation of the past and what she had seen and experienced.
10. Family Tree Activity
Here is the family tree of all the Corgi dogs that the Queen has owned, starting with Susan. The Queen would always keep some of the offspring. ‘Willow,’ the last descendant of Susan’s line, passed away in 2018.
A family tree and more importantly, family history, is the foundation upon which a monarchy is built.
Show your class an example of the British royal family tree introducing extended family member titles such as a cousin, uncle, aunt, niece, and nephew.
Let students create their own family tree and then share it in small groups with other learners. One person from each group can also present their family to class.
These are the famous words Queen Elizabeth II spoke at her coronation in 1956, then aged 25:
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. Her Majesty The Queen.”
There is so much that we can learn from the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Her legacy will live on.