Section A – Directed Writing
**Make sure you read Text A and Text B**
Imagine you are a citizen of the UK.
Write a newspaper article, giving your views on whether to keep or abolish the British monarchy.
In your article you should:
Base your article on what you have read in both texts, but be careful to use your own words. Address both of the bullet points.
Begin your article: “Is It All Over for the British Monarchy?”
Write about 250 to 350 words.
Up to 15 marks are available for the content of your answer, and up to 25 marks for the quality of your writing.
evaluate the views given in both texts about the British monarchy
give your own views, based on what you have read, about whether abolishing the British monarchy would be good for the UK.
Section B: Composition
Write about 350 to 450 words on one of the following questions. Answer on this question paper.
Up to 16 marks are available for the content and structure of your answer, and up to 24 marks for the style and accuracy of your writing.
2) Describe a person who works outdoors.
3) Describe a loud noise.
4) Write a story that involves an elderly character.
5) Write a story that involves a character with a secret.
The following passage is taken from an article in a national newspaper about the British monarchy.
Britain’s Royal Family Costs Millions: We should abolish it
The UK’s head of state’s role is purely ceremonial, rather than political. So when a royal wedding happens—William and Kate’s reportedly cost $34 million, paid for by British taxpayers—the debate usually hinges on two questions: popularity, and cost.
The British royal family spend tens of millions of pounds every year on their palaces, security and luxury vacations. The British people increasingly resent this—a recent poll shows that 57% believe the royal family should pay not only for their own weddings.
Royalists often justify the cost to the public purse on the grounds of “value to the economy.” But the story of the royal family’s value to the British economy was simply dreamed up by smart PR professionals to save an institution in crisis. In reality, according to recent research, British taxpayers lose about $468 million a year just to have a head of state. In fact, our monarch is one of the most expensive non-political heads of state in Europe, at least 12 times more expensive than Ireland’s elected equivalent.
The discussion about the value of the monarchy misses the most important point of all: the damage it does to our democracy. The Crown is the centerpiece of Britain’s rotten constitution, giving us a head of state who lacks independence or purpose, who can only do what she’s told by our Prime Minister. The costs of the monarchy are considerable; the gains fleeting, mythical or the stuff of PR fantasies. While Britain may not be a nation of republicans yet, it’s certainly no longer a nation of royalists.
The following passage is taken from an online article about the Monarchy.
The monarchy has worked for 1,000 years in this country. We have grown not just used to it, but are deeply attached to it. The handover from an extremely popular Queen to a slightly less popular son – and, in turn, a very popular grandson – is not going to affect that attachment.
The monarchy has staggeringly high levels of approval: 80 per cent during the Diamond Jubilee Year of 2012. Even at the institution's least popular level in recent years - in 2005, at Prince Charles's wedding - approval ratings dipped to 65 per cent. 65 per cent! That’s an approval rating most Prime Ministers could only dream of.
We are brought up with the monarchy as an extra member of the family. The newspapers and the telly cover their every move – every birth, every death; every triumph, every tragedy; what they wear, what they eat. We know much more about them than lots of our aunts, uncles and cousins.
We are almost surgically attached to the monarchy. You now have to be 70 or older to remember any head of state other than the Queen; and Prince Charles's every move has also been widely publicised ever since he was born in 1948. For good or ill, they get into our souls and minds.
There has always been a minority of republicans. And I sense the historian Dr Whitelock might be among them, when she says, “All of those questions about ‘What the hell do we want this kind of unelected family [for]?' have been held in check because of the Queen.”
There's nothing wrong in being a republican, of course. But you are wrong if you think everyone else is going to start agreeing with you.