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Top 25 Reasons to Love England

The reasons to love England seem limitless to me. I could go on and on about crumpets and Peter Rabbit and Harrod’s and Cranford and Fanny Price. I’ve discovered that many of my fellow Americans are Anglophiles just like me, and they have their lists of reasons why they love all things British as well. Over time, I’ve compiled the top 25 reasons why Americans love England. You can read the original articles here and here. In fact, the first article is what inspired this blog. So enjoy, and let me know what your favorite things about England are in the comments below!

25) the Royal Guard

What’s black, white, and red all over?

24) Afternoon Tea

Sugar and a splash of cream, please.

23) Castles

Who wouldn’t want to live in a stone-walled, tapestry-lined fortress with straw for carpets and a drawbridge for a driveway?

22) Gardens

The English Garden is apparently a place to be proposed to, to ramble aimlessly on dull afternoons, to escape from unwanted suitors…

21)Double Decker Buses

Let’s just hope they aren’t too top-heavy…

20) Oxford

Second oldest university in the world – quite inspiring.

19) Pubs

They come in pints?

18) Royal Weddings

Occasions for gravity-defying hats and bell-ringing celebration, brought to you live on the BBC.

17) Rain and Fog

The perfect backdrop to the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes or the ramblings of drunken Dickens characters.

16) London

The center of Anglophilia! Everything your heart has ever desired can be found along the banks of the Thames…

15) the Accent

When I get to England, I will wander the streets, talking to random strangers just to hear their accents.

14) the Queen

Revolution or no, Americans still hold a tiny love of royalty.

13) Prince William

No longer on the singles list…

12) History

From ancient stone henge to William the Conqueror to Henry VIII to the knights of the round table…

11) the Way of Life

Rolling countryside, church steeples, knitting by the fireplace, making fresh butter… (apparently, this isn’t true anymore, and I’m living in a dream world)

10) Food 

Bubble and squeak? Hot toddy? Bangers and mash?

9) the Thatched Roof

pure cuteness!

8) the Cars

I wouldn’t mind driving around in a Mini Cooper.

7) the Red Telephone Booth

We don’t even have telephone booths in America… just phones nailed to the concrete.

6) Bond, James Bond

Classy, smooth, debonaire… Sean Connery.

5) Humor

The British have this subtle sense of humor that Americans just don’t have, and often don’t get.

4) Simon 

Simon, television sucks without you.

3) Drama

The BBC has the answers to everything.

2) Music

Perhaps it’s the accent, but I think that Brits can simply sing better than Americans.

1) Literature

Number one! English literature is one of the best gifts to mankind from mankind. Shakespeare, Jane Austen, John Keats, Tennyson, C.S. Lewis, Kazuo Ishiguro, etc. etc.


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Highlights from the Royal Wedding

Well, it’s over now. Prince William is married to Kate Middleton. The Royal Wedding went off without a hitch in full Cinderella style, and the happy couple left for a short vacation somewhere in the UK, since their honeymoon trip to the Middle East was delayed. I had to stay up until after one in the morning to watch the wedding live here in Hawaii, but it was worth it. The whole ceremony was stunningly gorgeous, and although I wondered if it would be all that wonderful to have your wedding broadcast to the world, I was glad I was able to see it. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the Royal Wedding:

The Trees in the Abbey

Kate wanted to have lots of foliage in Westminster Abbey for the wedding, in accordance with her theme of the Language of Flowers. The aisle was lined with maple and hornbeam trees that created a natural avenue for the bride to walk down. When the trees are taken out of the Abbey, they will be planted in Highgrove Gardens as a memorial.

The Hats

Dress code require all female guests to arrive wearing hats, and while some of the women tried to get away with only flowers in their hair, others took their hat choices quite seriously. Rumor has it that Victoria Beckham’s hat was stuck to her forehead with superglue…

The Choir

One thing that really struck me about the wedding was the amount of music. There were some incredible pieces, and I can only imagine how they must have sounded in the vaulted cathedral of the abbey.

The Flower Girls

Technically very young bridesmaids, the flower girls were just adorable in their white dresses, but a couple of them were quite skilled at facial expressions…

The Queen

What’s a Royal Wedding without a queen?

The Dress

Kate’s dress was simply stunning. I was impressed that she went with long sleeves, as I have been rather annoyed by the amount of strapless wedding dresses in fashion of late. Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen designed this one-of-a-kind dress made from satin gazar. I’ve never been much of a fan of lace (I think this has to do with seeing too many instances of lace-abuse in wedding dresses from the ’80s and ’90s), but now I think I’ve changed my mind. Kate’s lace is made from Chantilly and Cluny lace, in a pattern called Irish Carrickmacross. The craftsmen working with the lace for the dress had to wash their hands every thirty minutes!

The Tiara

In her new role as Duchess, Kate wore a dazzling tiara with her elegant veil. The Cartier tiara, made of platinum and diamonds, was borrowed from Queen Elizabeth, who received the tiara on her eighteenth birthday. Something old…

The Uniforms

The men of the Royal Family were dressed at their best for the wedding. Prince William wore quite the bold red uniform of the Irish Guards, while Prince Harry wore the uniform of his new rank as Captain in the Household Calvary’s Blues and Royals.

The Carriage Ride

It wouldn’t have been a fairy tale without the closing horse-drawn carriage ride. This carriage is the 1902 State Landau which was built for the coronation of Edward VII, who was the son of Queen Victoria.

The Second Kiss

Personally, I thought the first kiss was a bit forced…

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Getting Ready for the Royal Wedding

Everyone loves a fairy-tale romance… and even though it is Prince William, I think most of us will try to forgive him for actually getting married. The fact that Kate Middleton wasn’t a princess to begin with… well, it could have been any of us. Since their engagement was announced last November, the details of the Royal Wedding have been leaking all over the place. From the fruit cake to the London Chamber Orchestra to the RAF flypasts – it will undoubtedly be a lavish affair. For a schedule of the events of the day, click here.

For some reason, I haven’t received my invitation to the wedding yet, but there are ways to celebrate from home, I suppose, as I watch from the telly. For instance, I could make my own Royal Wedding Cake – you can find the official cake recipe here.

Another option would be to buy my own Princess Diana engagement ring, but that might be a little extravagant…

Since I won’t be travelling to London for the wedding, I must submit to the indignity of watching the celebration on television. The wedding is scheduled for this Friday (April 29, 2011), but because I’m in Hawaii, live coverage may start at 11:30 the night before (if we even get live coverage). I hope to catch it on BBC America at some point.

William and Kate will be married in the gorgeous Westminster Abbey:

…with a reception following at Buckingham Palace…

courtesy Christian Horcel via Wikimedia Commons

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