Saturday, February 5, 2011

Royal Fever – Why We Feel it More than the British

4 February 2011 | By Laura Trevelyan

As the royal wedding approaches, Nicky Perry is making elaborate plans to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage. "We're going to have ourselves a right old knees-up," says the exuberant owner of Tea and Sympathy, the British-themed tea shop in Manhattan's West Village. Nicky envisages a street party, complete with Morris Men and bunting. New York is a city full of subcultures, and in the British expatriate world, royal wedding fever is taking hold.

Royal wedding commemorative mugs are proving very popular at Tea and Sympathy. "Americans are buying them," says Perry.

"People are fascinated by this wedding," she explains. "They loved Diana, then the fascination died down a bit, and now there's this beautiful princess-to-be and people can't wait to see what she's wearing, what her shoes are like, they want to know every detail."

Mara Saksin, a graduate student and one of Tea and Sympathy's American customers, is also excited about the wedding. She feels William's life has paralleled her own. "William is my age, and even though we live 3,500 miles apart I saw him grow up. I was at a friend's party the night Diana died, and I felt his loss, so I'm glad to see him marrying someone he loves. I just got married myself."

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