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The Houses of Parliament

A un mese dalle prossime elezioni, ti portiamo all’interno del parlamento britannico per scoprirne la storia di questo maestoso edificio neogotico e conoscere le funzioni delle due camere, quella dei Comuni e quella dei Lord. Ti parleremo anche della figura dello Speaker, che ha il compito di decidere chi prende la parola e per quanto tempo.

The Palace of Westminster in London is the home of the UK Parliament. Originally built in the 11th century, it was the home of royals until the 16th century when King Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII, gave the building to Parliament.
In the 19th century, a devastating fire destroyed much of the palace. The 1,000-room, neo-gothic-style building that we see today was designed by the architect Charles Barry. Elizabeth Tower features the famous clock and large bell known as Big Ben.
UK Parliament is divided into the House of Commons and the House of Lords. All laws go through the Commons and then the Lords before asking for Royal assent. While the Lords, with its red benches, dates back to the early 19th century, the Commons, with its famous green benches, was completely rebuilt in the 1950s after being bombed during the Second World War.
The Speaker of the House of Commons is an important figure. It is up to her or him to decide who speaks, when and for how long, and to make sure that politicians obey the rules and are polite at all times. When this does not happen, the Speaker shouts “Order! Order!” – which happens quite a lot!
You can watch all debates that happen in both Houses of Parliament online or in person. You can also take a tour that tells you about the history and tradition of the building and how the UK government works.
If you want to know more read this month's issue of Speak Up!