February 23rd, 2011
Since I was 14, one of my most prized possessions has been a Charles and Diana commemorative wedding mug. The mug, with Diana looking uncannily like me as I’d recently begged for “the haircut,” sealed my infatuation with all things British. Limited in my youth to Burnett’s The Secret Garden and an eight track of the Bay City Rollers, I now proudly instill a love of British pop culture in my children through cable’s BBC America, Monty Python and the Arctic Monkeys.
In honor of the current Royal Trifecta (Prince William’s upcoming wedding, awards galore for The King’s Speech, and the Tindall inspired Six Nations win over Italy) I have dusted off my mug and fascinator hat for some tea and quality time mingling with the monarchy. In the best British satirical tradition, my reading/viewing list will be neither informative nor respectful. For those similarly interested, might I suggest the following:
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
In pursuit of her corgis, the Queen stumbles on the local library bookmobile. Her sudden addiction to reading enriches, but also “drains her life of purpose” until she finds a way to move beyond books to fulfill her final duty.
Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin
After one last fiasco involving running through Chelsea wrapped in toilet paper, the Prince and Princess of Wales are parachuted into the wilds of urban New Jersey on a secret mission to conquer America. Working their way across the country, they rise from dishwashers to players in a presidential election. Will they vanquish the land they’ve come to love?
The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston
Revealed to be a Slayer, Queen Elizabeth must defend her realm by battling the vampires who threaten it. Most alarmingly, their leader, the irresistible Mordred, has vowed to rule by her side as king of England—with or without her consent.
Doctor Who: The Second Series
In “Tooth and Claw,” a werewolf of alien origin seeks to establish an earthly “Empire of the Wolf” through a bite to Queen Victoria. Despite Doctor Who’s best efforts, is the mission bearing fruit in today’s monarchy?
A young physician summoned to the court of King Charles II finds himself ordered to marry one of the royal mistresses to temper the anger of the Queen. Not unlike the roaring 20s, England of the 1660s reveled in excess only to come crashing down after the Great Fire and the Black Plague—all brought to life in this period drama.
Most likely, the Queen would not be amused, but given I can now poke her through Facebook, how can she complain?
Are you following the Royal Wedding?