Royalty conversation questions

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This is a potentially controversial subject in some societies, and consequently some teachers may want to carefully consider if they wish to use all of these questions.


  • Does your country have a hereditary king or queen?
  • What is your opinion of such institutions?
  • What functions does the monarch perform?
  • How much money are they paid to carry out these functions?
  • How large is the royal family in your country (if you have one)?
  • How many members of the royal family are involved in the royal "business"?
  • What do you think about members of the royal family involving themselves in affairs of state, the environment or other issues? Should they be allowed to say whatever they think, or should they keep silent in public about such issues?

Privileges and responsibilities[edit]

  • What additional privileges does the monarch have?
  • What additional responsibilities does the monarch have?
  • It is sometimes argued that, as the monarch has a number of privileges that are not available to ordinary people, then he or she also has the responsibility to marry another member of a royal house. What is your opinion?


Typically the monarch acts as head of state. The head of state does time-consuming things like representing the country abroad, meeting other heads of state and performing official and ceremonial duties. Often - though not always - the head of state's power is purely ceremonial. The country is actually run by the head of the government. There are, in general, three ways of filling the head of state role:

  • A hereditary monarch. (Disadvantages include: - thought to be undemocratic. Advantages include: - non-political individual.)
  • An elected head of state. (Disadvantages include: - if an elected politician, then expects to share real power. Advantages include: - democratic.)
  • Combine the duties of the head of government and head of state. (Disadvantages include: - uses up a lot of the head of government's time. Advantages include: - no conflict of interest in the two posts.)

One potential advantage and disadvantage is suggested for each one, do you agree with them? What other positive or negative points can you think of? Which do you think is the best system?

See also[edit]