THE CHANGING FACE OF THE MONARCHY

The royal family has undoubtedly learned the lessons of Diana, her direct physical approach to her public. The Queen smiles a great deal more in public than she used to do. Still she’s reluctant to the efforts of some recently appointed courtiers to mould her image and to make her a “touchy-feely” monarch.

In Britain the monarchy has not always been popular. For many years there were growing republican sentiments. During the reign of Elizabeth II the royal family has undergone considerable changes. The public has become much more informed about the lives of the royal family due to in-depth press coverage. Two of Queen Elizabeth's sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, separated from their wives; both separations occurred amid a flurry of international news. These separations were surrounded by accusations of infidelity and along with the subsequent death of princess Diana damaged the reputation of the royal family. But The Queen seems to have succeeded in making up for all these bad moments.

The personality and family image of The Queen serve to remove the negative feeling. In 1992 The Queen and Prince Charles agreed to pay taxes on their personal income, the first time the monarchy has done so.

The Queen has always been a roving ambassador for Britain, and if we calculate the increase in trade after a royal visit abroad, the nation probably makes a profit from her activities, and that does not take into account the income from tourism in Britain generated by the monarchy and great state events such as royal weddings.

In the spring of 1997, Her Majesty Elizabeth II launched the first official royal Web site, with 150 pages of history, information, and trivia. There is a "visitor's page," where both fans and critics of the Crown can voice their opinions about the Web site, comment on matters such as Prince Charles's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, and express their grief over Diana's tragic death. The site includes colour pictures of royal residences, historical tidbits, and even details about royal finances. Buckingham Palace claims it's the royal family's way of "making the monarchy more accessible". (taken from http://www.just-english.ru/advanced.htm)

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