Dispatches from the South: Tea with Kate and Wills

These are exciting times to be in Britain. In addition to the exhilaration that comes from living on the knife-edge of national bankruptcy, we have a Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games coming up. Oh, and a Royal Wedding.

This is a new thing for me (Charles and Camilla don’t count) so I am looking forward to it, and if my anticipation falls somewhat short of unbridled joy, it is at least a notch or two above “mild interest.” The country itself doesn’t seem to know how it feels about it; they know they should be excited, but with everything else going on and being so busy helping out with the Easter Pageant, there just isn’t the time to get excited.

They’ll come around, I’m sure of it. A lot of people are moaning of late about the Monarchy and how much it costs and thinking we’d be better off with a republic, but as the day draws nearer, I see more and more bunting going up and a little more heightened interest. They’re British, after all; and when their Queen or one of her close relatives does something interesting, their inner-royalist comes to the fore and they take an interest, whether they want to or not.

Despite our proximity to London and our readiness to go (well, mine, anyway; in our household, I’m the royalist while my wife—the natural-born Brit—is a republican) we have not yet received an invitation. I’m sure it just got lost in the post, but if we do have to stay home and watch it on the telly, at least we have the proper trappings, thanks to yet another exciting circumstance:

I’m calling it my Tin Jubilee—the celebration of my ten-year anniversary. It’s still nearly a year away but, like the Queen, I need time for a big build-up. It also means that I recently passed my lesser-significant nine-year anniversaries. The first of March, nine years ago, was the day I arrived in Britain to stay, and a few weeks after that I was married. We have, therefore, recently celebrated our nine-year wedding anniversary, which gave me more trouble than usual because the traditional gift is pottery.

What sort of romantic gift can you buy a woman that is based around a pottery theme? A flower pot? A new casserole dish? What I ended up buying was a new tea mug, but not just any mug, I got her (lucky woman), an official, commemorative, Royal Wedding mug.

We pondered what to do with it for a while; it was relatively expensive and obviously a collector’s item but my wife still didn’t feel she wanted to display it on the bookcase so she could see it every day and dust it once a fortnight. In the end, we put it in the cupboard with all the common mugs to allow the privileged class see what living in the work-a-day world is like.

But come The Day, we will make certain The Mug is put to use while we are watching the Royal Wedding.


  1. avatarAdrian says

    It seems to me, in the month I’ve lived here, that they’re making more of a fuss about the wedding in the States than here

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