Our teatime theme inspired by Buckingham Palace, “A Royal Celebration,” is here, and ushering in this celebratory menu theme was the serendipitous birth of another royal baby.
Tearoom guest and friend of Mary Alice, Wilfrid, a published writer and expert on all things to do with the British monarchy, was thrilled to speak to us on the subject of a royal arrival and the perseverance of the royal family. Having been brought up in England, Wilfrid moved to the United States when he was just five, and still maintains strong ties to his homeland. “I feel as though I am always in England in my heart.”
Wilfrid’s house is a traditional New Mexico home on the outside but transports his guests to an English cottage as they enter. Images and relics from the royal family are neatly displayed throughout. Every wall is covered with images picturing the royal family, some signed and all of them collectibles. Eager to give his guests a tour, Wilfrid points to his favorites, sharing their respective histories, scandals, and ties to each other without hesitation. He often quotes the royal family from various books and dramatizations or televised events he has seen.
Just as William and Harry lost their mother due to a car accident at a young age, Wilfrid lost his father in the same way at just thirteen. This similarity partly fueled the connection he felt to the royal family; he was inspired and influenced by their perseverance. “They were some of the first members of the royal family that really started to open up about their feelings,” Wilfrid says. “The English are so stoic; they really started to show the world that it is okay to show your emotions.”
With perseverance etched into their history, the royal birth means a great deal to the identity of the British people, and in many ways it represents a bright future for the monarchy. “The royal family itself inhabits such a large part of the mindset of the nation.”
Wilfrid emphasized this significance in a family that many look up to: the royal family. “They say that the Queen metaphorically is the land. In many ways, the birth of a new member of the royal family and the promise of a continuation of the monarchy means the promise of fertility for the British people and their country, in the same way the land will provide them sustenance.”
Just in time for our teatime theme, Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, recently welcomed their first baby on Monday, May 6th! Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (his name declared in the days following the birth announcement) is seventh in line to the throne, and he is Queen Elizabeth II’s eighth great-grandchild. “With this baby, there would likely be more privacy,” Wilfrid speculated. “He isn’t second or third in line to the throne. It is extremely unlikely that this newest member of the family would end up as monarch. They will likely keep him out of the limelight, especially early in life, and limit his access to the press. The royal family enjoys their privacy.”
With a jubilant reception from Great Britain, this new baby’s arrival represents the continuation of the royal family and its future. It shows promise for the politically nonpartisan monarchy, which, in turn, represents unity for the British people. With Wilfrid’s vast knowledge of the British monarchy and holding Great Britain in his heart, the Tearoom’s ties to England feel all the more relevant.
Some other interesting opinions from Wilfrid on the royal family:
- Some traditions surrounding a royal arrival: “Princess Diana had her baby in a hospital, while most of the time a royal baby is born in Buckingham Palace, as tradition would have it. There have been modifications to tradition; for example, Diana sent her boys to school, while most of the time a royal prince or princess would be tutored in the palace.”
- On the Netflix series The Crown: “It takes some liberties, but you have to when you’re making a dramatization like that. They are minor liberties; a lot of it is based on true events. My favorite episode so far is ‘Dear Mrs. Kennedy’ in Season 2.”
- On the queen: “She has a dry sense of humor. Her mother taught her to appreciate the absurdity of situations in life. The Queen is actually rather shy. She has a quaint stoicism; these are old English virtues.”
- On former King Edward VIII: “The Duke of Windsor abdicated, creating scandal for the royal family; this was when the royal family was at its lowest point in recent history. It was unknown what the future looked like for the British monarchy; his abdication changed the course of history for the crown.”
- Wilfrid’s favorite royal family member: Prince George, the Duke of Kent (1902–1942), younger brother to King George VI. (Join us at our special event to find out why!)