In this week’s 6 Minute English: The wait is over! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new baby boy has arrived.
Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born on Monday 22nd July and is 3rd in line to be the future king.
In 6 Minute English we talk about what to say when a new baby arrives and what kind of life a royal baby can look forward to.
This week’s question:
When was Prince William – the father of the new baby – born? Was it:
a) 21st May 1982
b) 21st June 1982
c) 21st October 1982
Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.
Rob: Ah, what a familiar sound – a baby crying! Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I’m Rob…
Neil: ….and I’m Neil, hello. So Rob, is that the sound of the new royal baby?
Rob: No – it’s not the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new-born baby – although I’m sure their little one is just as loud!
Neil: Yes – we know all about babies, don’t we Rob, because we are parents. We know all about childbirth – well, almost as much as our wives – and all the advice people give us about caring for our children.
Rob: We do – hold on, I’ll just calm this baby down (Baby stops crying) – that’s better. So, I might have excellent parenting skills but how different are they to the ones William and Kate will need? We’ll be discussing that soon and looking at some of the language of having a baby. But first, how about a question, Neil?
Neil: Good idea.
Rob: How well do you know the British royal family? Do you know when Prince William – the father of the new baby – was born? Was it on:
a) 21st May 1982
b) 21st June 1982
c) 21st October 1982
Neil: I don’t really remember but I’m going to go for b) 21st June 1982.
Rob: Ok – I’ll let you know the answer later on. But now let’s get back to 2013 and the arrival of the latest member of the royal family. Neil, when your baby was born, how did you announce it – or tell people?
Neil: With my first child I phoned and texted. With my second child only two years later it was all about Facebook.
Rob: Indeed. Well, when my daughter was born in the maternity unit at our local hospital, I sent out texts messages to my friends and family. I know people also send out cards or photos of the baby.
Neil: And then later some people have a baby shower – not a shower with water – but a party where people give presents for the baby.
Rob: I’m sure the royal baby will get a lot of presents but when royal births are announced, there is a lot of protocol – or special, traditional ways of doing things.
Neil: Yes, when Prince Charles was born in 1948, the announcement was very formal. Listen to the words that were used in this BBC broadcast….
It has just been announced from Buckingham Palace that her Royal Highness, Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh was safely delivered of a prince at 9.14pm and that her Royal Highness and her son are both doing well. Listeners will wish us to offer their royal congratulations to Princess Elizabeth and the Royal Family on this happy occasion.
Rob: So, the newsreader very formally gave the good news that Princess Elizabeth – now Queen Elizabeth – was ‘safely delivered of a prince’.
Neil: Delivered – that sounds like delivering a letter – but here it means ‘gave birth to a baby’. The newsreader also said that people want to give their ‘royal congratulations’.
Rob: Yes, and he described it as ‘a happy occasion’ – so a happy moment and something to celebrate. But now, once it was officially announced, news about the latest royal birth spread quickly around the world via social media.
Neil: It is the 21st Century Rob – and I think this new baby will have a very different upbringing – that’s the way parents look after the baby. Of course William and Kate will have the benefit of having a nanny – someone to help out with childcare and doing the housework around the palace.
Rob: Very nice. But it has been reported they want to become more involved in caring for their baby than royal parents did in the past. They don’t want the nanny to be a replacement mother.
Neil: Well that’s good to hear and by showing modern parenting skills it may set an example to other parents.
Rob: Of course the new baby is going to lead a very different life to our children. One thing is for sure, ours won’t become king. But babies from all backgrounds need feeding and changing. Not everything about having children is great eh Neil?
Neil: That’s true. I don’t think I’m going to miss those dirty nappies. So come on Rob, it’s time you gave me the answer to the question.
Rob: Earlier I asked you if you knew when Prince William – the baby’s father – was born?
Neil: And I said 21st June 1982.
Rob: You are right. He was born in June 1982 – so would you say he is quite young to be a father?
Neil: These days I suppose he is quite young, compared with me, yes – but those sleepless nights will make him feel older!
Rob: OK Neil, could you remind us of some of the vocabulary that we heard today.
Neil: little one
a baby shower
Rob: Thanks Neil. OK that’s it for this programme. Do join us again soon for more 6 Minute English.
little one: baby
maternity unit: part of the hospital where babies are born
a baby shower: a party where people give gifts for the new baby
protocol: accepted way of behaving at official occasions
delivered: (in this case) given birth to
upbringing: how a child is treated and educated by its parents
nanny: a woman whose job is to help take care of someone’s children
nappies: thick pieces of soft cloth or paper fastened between a baby’s legs to catch solid and liquid waste. The American word is diaper.
6 Minute English – Royal baby talk Transcript Video
Source: BBC Learning EnglishMore Series for You: