Get up-to-date with British news and culture with English UK
30 June 2017

Nobody wants to be king says Prince Harry

Prince Harry surprised a few people this week when he told a reporter that nobody in the Royal family wanted to be king or queen.

He said they were doing their duty "for the greater good of the people".

Prince Harry revealed that he does his own supermarket shopping and that he and his brother William learned how to live a normal life from their mother, Princess Diana. He said he loves doing charity work and making people laugh.

In a sad part of the interview, he talked about when his mother died when he was 12, and he had to follow her coffin at her funeral. "I don't think any child should be asked to do that," he said.

Twenty years of Hogwarts and Harry Potter

It was exactly 20 years ago that the first Harry Potter book was published – and to start with, nobody noticed. But since then the series has transformed children's books and set all sorts of records.

JK Rowling says the idea of the boy wizard came to her on a delayed train journey in 1990. She then wrote the first book sitting in cafes in Edinburgh.

Since then the series have sold more than 500 million copies around the world, and is the best-selling book series ever. The last four Potter books were the fastest-selling books ever.

The Potter series has also been translated into 73 languages and turned into eight films as well as specialist areas in several theme parks round the world, the Harry Potter film set just outside London and a dedicated website.

Most recently, the Potter story has become a new play in London as well as a new prequel film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

No mud at the world's biggest pop festival

Ever heard of the Glastonbury festival? It is a huge event which is held at a dairy farm in the South West of England. The festival began in 1970 and became a regular summer show a decade later, now selling around 175,000 tickets.

Glastonbury is famous for lots of things – mud (it often rains in June when the festival is held), great music, crowds, camping and toilets which aren't very nice.

This year there was no mud because it did not really rain. Headline acts were Radiohead, the Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran, but some of the most popular shows came from older performers like disco band Chic and former Bee Gee Barry Gibb. If you are in the UK you can see some of the acts on the BBC website.

There was also a lot of cheering for the opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Glastonbury will not be held next year – it has a break every five years.

Boys protest about uniform in heatwave

It was very, very hot in the UK last week, with temperatures above 30°C for several days. Roads melted in some places, and railway lines bent.

One group of boys from a school in the South West made the national news because they protested against their school uniform.

Their school says that skirts and trousers are school uniform, but not shorts. They asked if they could wear shorts but were told that they could not – so they borrowed skirts from their sisters and friends, and wore them to school. Some of the boys even shaved their legs on the way to classes.

New rankings for UK universities

There are new official rankings for UK universities, called the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This looks at teaching and student satisfaction rather than research.

The results of the first year of the TEF have been controversial.

More than half of the best-known universities which took part missed out on a gold rating. Lots of newer universities got gold ratings.


previous entry << >> next entry