Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the film Darkest Hour. Becky reviewed a classic novel (Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope) and a biography (Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy). Gaele reviewed four books: a women’s fiction novel by a debut author (Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s), a novel about a road trip through England and Scotland with a 66-year-old woman (The Runaway Wife), a story about being a boomerang child (Escape to the Country), and another escape by a young woman, this time to Rome (One Summer in Rome). Sim shared information about the soundtrack, and the making of it, for the film On Chesil Beach, which opens today!
I was successfully ignoring the royal wedding until Monday, but the world got excited and swept me up in it.
Race in the UK. I follow a couple of British black activism feeds on Facebook. They’ve been pretty blasé about the whole thing, pointing out that the presence of Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace has even less potential to end racism in the UK than the presence of Barack Obama in the White House did for the US.
However, it was from one of those feeds that I learned that the Most Reverend Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American elected as presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, will deliver the sermon at the wedding. For those of you not up on the relationships between protestant denominations, both the Episcopal Church and the Church of England are part of the world-wide Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church was formed in the US after the American Revolution when it was no longer appropriate for the clergy to swear allegiance to the King.
The Archers. I regularly listen to a podcast of The Archers, the world’s longest running soap opera, a BBC4 Radio Show. They ignored the royal wedding until Monday, too. But, then we started hearing about cakes and banners decorated with both the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack. I’m touched that the American flag is featured in the British celebration — it makes me feel like a welcome spectator, rather than an interloper.
Saturday at Windsor Castle. I won’t get up early to watch the wedding tomorrow, but I’m sure I’ll spend at least an hour looking at photos of dresses, hats, carriages, and kisses. There are lots of fun details, including the schedule, maps of Windsor, and an interview with the Crown Equerry Colonel who runs the royal mews in this article from the Telegraph.
Will you watch the royal wedding?