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Ten More Reasons Why Americans Love England
St. George's Cross
Perhaps you are familiar with my Top 15 Reasons Why Americans Love England hub. It was one of my favorites to write, and it gave me the opportunity to talk to many lovely Britons across the pond. Everyone seems to have their own reasons why they love England and all things British, from Portobello Road to the Beatles to Marmite. Anglophile that I am, fifteen reasons just aren't enough anymore! So here are another ten reasons to love England.
10) The Royal Guard
The Queen's Guard outside of Buckingham Palace has to be one of the first pictures that pops into the average American's head when thinking about England. I suppose many of us think that the Guard are hardly human, dressed up in their stiff red-coat uniforms and over-zealous chin-blistering hats called bearskins. They stand so still! Note: Every time the Queen's Guard is portrayed in a Hollywood movie, there is inevitably an American trying to distract one of them from their statue duty.
9) The Afternoon Tea
I often wonder why I'm not in England right now: the sedate and peaceful Englishness appeals to me so much. I imagine rainy afternoons with a Jane Austen book enjoyed at the cozy window seat. And, of course, the afternoon tea. I've heard that High Tea is hardly an institution in most British homes anymore, yet still I dream of cucumber sandwiches and scones and loads of country butter.
8) The Castles
With tales of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, of Robin Hood, of William the Conqueror, the American imagination is fed with pictures of cavernous castles surrounded by moats and drawbridges. Scalloped turrets scrape the sky, holding inside either captured fair maidens or evil-nosed witches or rooms of golden wealth.
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7) The Gardens
Perhaps it's the eternity of time I've spent watching Jane Austen movies and reading her books (in which dramatic events always happen in the garden), but the English garden is definitely something we Americans love and yet know nothing of. Sure we have gardens in America, but gardens with expertly trimmed hedgerows and green-aged statues and clean gravel paths? That's something we only know through the English.
6) The Double Decker Buses
Big, red, and two stories high - the Double Decker Bus is pure British. Maybe they're just there for the American tourists, but they have to be a London institution. To quote Prime Minister Gladstone: "The way to see London is from the top of a bus."
5) The Oxford
Just the name - OXFORD - resonates with history and strength. I think of days spent reading Greek and Latin and studying the by-laws of Parliament. I'm not sure exactly why this appeals to me, but maybe it's just the essence of studying inside stone walls that students have been beating their heads against for ages. Of course, for the more physically persuaded there's always punting along the River Cherwell. (Here I go again, pretending I'm in a Dorothy Sayers novel.)
4) The Pubs
Definition of a good English pub: brick walls, a hand-painted pub sign, a spit-shined bar, plenty of pints of ale, crispy fish and chips, and pipe smoke seeping out of the corner occupied by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Oh, and a hearty assortment of Dickensian characters with thick accents.
3) The Royal Weddings
What?? You mean the British Royals don't have extravagant, sumptuous weddings just for the sake of English-loving Americans? Well... From the beautiful 25-foot train of Princess Diana's dress to the fairy-tale ceremony of Prince Willam and Catherine, Royal Weddings are always important events, and with the invention of television, everyone gets to watch.
2) The Rain and Fog
I know I'm bound to receive some funny looks when I say that rain and fog are reasons to love England, but I'm going to say it all the same. The rainy climate is partly why I feel like I could live in England. There's just something so cozy about it - plenty of atmosphere for the imagination. Or maybe I'm just rebelling against the incessant sunshine of Hawaii...
"Mrs. Preston...." - watch the beginning of "Midnight Lace" for some chilling London fog
1) The London
One of these days, when I become a world traveler and receive my passport, I will find myself stepping off an airplane (or cargo barge, if it comes to that) in my lovely London town. Sights to see: the Eye, the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Notting Hill, Kensington Gardens, the Tower, St. Paul's, Hampton Court, Highgate Cemetery.... ok, I'll stop now.
Let me know what your favorite thing about England is in the Comments Section below!
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