I was born in England, I lived there for 28 years, I am British. So how comes when I emigrated to America, I feel like I’ve become even more British…if that’s even possible? It’s like the longer I’m away, the more British I become. Maybe it’s that I’ve become more patriotic? As soon as I open my mouth and people realise I’m not a local, it’s like I become a British ambassador, answering their questions, telling them what it’s like to live there. But then I’m also surrounding myself with little things that remind me of home, I guess trying to create myself a miniature England.
I guess it comes down to the fact that…
I miss the Queen
When I lived in England, I wasn’t exactly a fan of the Queen. It’s not that I didn’t like her, nothing like that, more that I just took the royal family for granted because they were just always there.
As a kid, the Queen’s Christmas Day speech just seemed like an inconvience. My Nanna made us all be silent while it was on, but we just wanted to play with our new noisy toys, but now I ‘get‘ it. This year (well last year now), Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas without the speech being shown on TV.
I miss the presence the Queen has in day to day life. In the UK, she’s on postage stamps, she’s on the front of all the currency. The USA doesn’t have a ‘uniform public figure’ that’s on EVERYTHING. I feel like I’m missing out by not being in a country that has her on the currency. I even got my Mum to send me over a new £5 note and a new £1 coin.
On a recent trip to the Jelly Belly Factory in Kenosha, there was a picture of the Queen made out of Jelly Beans! I took so many photos of it, whereas if the factory was in the UK, I probably would have focused more on the other pieces of art!
When I was at the checkout in Walmart, I saw a magazine on the shelf with the headline:
“Dying Queen Collapses!”
It shocked me a little bit at how blunt it was. I just felt like it was a little bit disrespectful and could have been said in a nicer way. Yes she’s not been well but I wouldn’t exactly say she’s dying!
The National Anthem of the UK is ‘God Save The Queen’. It just seems nice to be singing about someone that wouldn’t hurt a fly and is respected by so many…rather than in the USA singing about the ‘land of the free’. As an expat I don’t feel that freedom, I feel trapped. Fancy taking a gap year and travelling the world for a year? You enjoy it US citizens, if I leave for more than 6 months, I get kicked out of the country and lose any right to then come back and live here.
There’s no one in America that people look up to in the way that people respect the Queen and the Royal Family.
I get excited every time I see Buckingham Palace on the news
Every time Buckingham Palace is on the news, I can’t help but send a Snapchat of it to my Mum. It’s like “Yay! Home!”…even though it’s not MY home. It fills me with warmth to see something so close to home on the TV in a country so big that’s filled with enough of its own news!
I miss the history!
In the USA, something built in 1880 is considered ‘old’ and on the historical register. That’s not old. It almost makes me want to laugh. To give you a small comparison, the Tower of London dates back to the 1070’s. THAT, is old and historic.
I wear things with the Union Jack on
Since living in the USA, it’s made me proud to be British. I recently read my Great Grandad’s diary that he wrote back in 1944/45 and fell in love with this passage he wrote:
“There’s something that an Englishman is born with, that no other nation can obtain. I don’t know what it is, at least I cannot express it on paper, but one of the ingredients is guts, the will to smile when things are tough, and the determination to never humble himself, plus a sense of humour, that cannot under any circumstances be suppressed.” – Frederick Hedges
I’m proud to have this trait running through my veins.