Welcome to The Anglofile, a weekly newsletter about the United Kingdom from two people who… live in America.  

We are Eva and Allie, two New Yorkers who share a longtime appreciation of the delights and absurdities of British history and culture, in particular the royal family. Once a week, we will celebrate (and occasionally skewer) bits and bobs about our beloved kingdom across the pond. We will feature interviews with genuine English people and answer important questions like: "What is Pease Porridge?"*

The Anglofile believes that the country of residence on your passport isn’t necessarily the one in your heart.


We aren't judgmental. We just think it's fun to rank the royal family against each other based on headlines from the past week. 
  • Up five points: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Topping the list this week, Meg gave a stirring speech to graduates of her former high school, Los Angeles’s Immaculate Heart, condemning police brutality and sharing memories of her childhood during the LA riots of the early ‘90s. "George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered," she said. It's rare to see a royal weigh in on anything more political than whether or not one should speak to one’s plants — but should it be?
  • Up four points: Prince William. We’re used to Harry being the brother with “feelings.” But this week it emerged that Wills has secretly been volunteering for the crisis text line, Shout. He is one of 2000 volunteers trained to respond anonymously to texts from those in need. We’re not ready to declare the presence of a real human soul, but there might be a glimmer of something in there.
  • Up three points: Sophie Wessex. The Queen has decreed that Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will be the next star of the royal family, and that is that! We know this because The Times of London ran a glowing profile of her, and The Times is often the royals’ mouthpiece. Therefore, we can only conclude that we are reading about Sophie because the royal family wants us to read about Sophie. And we do so love a good media conspiracy!
  • Up two points: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Delighting us this week is the following news: “the Duchess of Cornwall has become such a fan of one brand of bunion-busting shoes that she has built a collection of at least 11 pairs in the past two years.” We are so happy for her and them. 
  • NeutralChuls, Prince of Wales. Additional reports from the Department of Relatability confirm that Prince Charles has a messy desk. We believe his workspace is a wreck not because he works so very hard, but because he never had to learn to tidy.
  • Down five points: Andrew, Duke of Dork.* Prince Andrew hereby cements his position as perma-loser of Windsors and Losers. The US Department of Justice has demanded the UK make Andrew available for questioning over his links to Jeffrey Epstein, and now he’s engaged in a full blown war with American lawyers. This comes on top of news that Andy’s been officially shelved as a working royal. The Times of London confirmed last week that Andrew “will not resume royal duties.” No doubt he is not sweating profusely from his home at Windsor. 
*Also, congratulations to HRH Randy Andy for helping secure a BAFTA nomination for his BBC Newsnight interview, the one in which he gave a very convincing performance of a train wreck wrapped in a plane crash wrapped in the Hindenburg blowing up.


Georgia Platman is a born and bred Hackney gal. In addition to being from East London - which is enough accomplishment for one lifetime - she’s a professional travel writer, copy editor, and media teacher. “I'm a bit obsessed with crafts (learning new ones badly, rather than being good at any of them), and share my poor attempts on Instagram @georgiamakesthings.”

Q: How British are you?
A: So British that most people in the US cannot understand how I say "glass of water" (glahs ohv wohr-ter); I have had to learn to say "glas ah wadder" so as to not die of thirst on my vacations.

Q: Apart from having nationality bestowed on you at birth, what makes you British?
A: I love a good queuing system and get itchy (furious) when people don't adhere to queues.

Q: What sort of exciting things have happened to you on the Tube?
A: The last day that drinking alcohol on the tube was legal, everyone went underground and partied on the trains; an irreverent fuck you to Boris Johnson, who brought in the law as Mayor of London.

Q: What do you like most about Britain?
A: I could say romantic things, like long summer nights, the architecture, or the glorious countryside in the spring, but really it's our sense of humour because it leads to our sense of equality: constantly cracking jokes at our own expense means we're all aware of why we're all equally shit.

Q: What cliché about British people is actually true?
A: That we never say what we mean. English understatement is real – it even has a section on Wikipedia! Never take what we say at face value. Great example.

Q: Favorite London pub?
A: The Apple Tree in Clerkenwell is a beautiful LGBTQ+ space where the staff are so welcoming to anyone who wants to be there. There's an amazing rainbow staircase, a fireplace, awesome food, dogs are allowed, and it somehow manages to be totally unpretentious.

Q: Have you ever been inside a palace?
A: Obvs, I'm British, darling! However, these days I prefer not to fund royals (see below) so my favourite palace would have to be a gin palace, like the Princess Louise in Holborn.

Q: Is Prince Charles a cool guy, in your view?
A: Oh no, you've poked the bear. Absolutely not. On a good day, I simply say the UK should be a republic. On a bad day, I sarcastically label the whole royal family "benefit scroungers." It's just an awful, racist, classist institution that perpetuates inequality and the pervasive myth that some deserve more than others by birth. Viva la revolucion!

Q: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, please tell us about your favorite British junk food snack, and why it's your favorite.
A: It's a toss-up between a pork pie (with that greasy, crumbly pastry, that salty peppery pork, and that jelly) and a chip shop saveloy (a deep-fried sausage coated in an almost plastic-like skin that pops as you bite into it: disgustingly low quality but I love them). Apologies to my Jewish grandma.

Referring to the traditional British tea and coffee break around 11 a.m., here are 11 ways we are indulging our unchecked, borderline problematic love for the U.K. from abroad this week.


1. Not Easy Being Cheesy. Britain’s favorite stinky cheese, Stilton, is under threat. Sales are down 30% due to the closing of restaurants and farmers' markets. The Stilton Cheese Makers’ Association is worried this setback will threaten the very future of Stilton by stopping people from pursuing a career in Stilton-making, a highly-skilled craft that requires one not eat all the cheese.

2. “It is very dangerous to try and pull your own tooth.” A British dentist issued a helpful and stern warning to self-isolating Brits. Hang on, there are British dentists? 

3. A Long, Crazy Trip. This week, Britain memorialized the passing of a true rogue that only could have been produced by 1960s London. Sir William Pigott Brown, whose “job” is described as “champion jockey and society man,” passed away at 79, and his obituary must be read to be believed. A highlight recalls Pigott Brown’s legendary parties: “A butler called George was employed to take a wheelbarrow around [his] swimming pool collecting empty champagne bottles, drugs paraphernalia, and discarded underwear.”

4. “My blackness also means that often I’m the only person in court that shares skin colour with my clients.”  Abimbola Johnson, a black criminal defense barrister in the UK, writes about biases in the U.K’s criminal justice system for British Elle. “We're horrified about what has been happening in America,” she adds. “It’s important to stop and look closer to home, to raise awareness about what is happening here.”

5. By Design. Marbled wallpaper is coming back, according to Country Life. Don’t trust us, trust interiors editor Giles Kime, who evidently feels very romantic about design trend comebacks: “The latest is marbling, a pattern that hasn’t been seen since the heady days of the 1980s, when a whole generation of homeowners enthusiastically embraced it, together with other paint finishes such as ragging, dragging, stippling and more."

6. “Some people have said: ‘What if this doesn’t work? You don’t want to end up homeless in a pandemic.’” The Guardian reports on the whirlwind romances of lockdown in Britain, where new couples were presented with the Sophie’s Choice of deciding whether or not to quarantine together. Improbably, some of these premature cohabitations have worked out. One loved up and locked down Brit warns that, “It’s a good job we’re in lockdown because if people could see us, they would puke.”

7. “Real life isn’t exactly a picnic right now. But your summer wardrobe can be.” Brits are picnicking in parks en masse now that the government is easing lockdown restrictions, and the nation’s women have evidently colluded to promote a new fashion trend The Guardian is pleased with itself for dubbing “picnic chic.” This means voluminous sleeves, gingham galore, and flouncy, sensible hems. The newspaper decrees: “If the tracksuit was the uniform of Stay at Home, the picnic dress is Have Fun (but Sensibly, and Outside.)”

8. Telly Time. There’s nothing we love more than British people, except for British women. And Michaela Coel is a very good one. She’s the creator of the U.K. show Chewing Gum, and her new HBO series, I May Destroy You, is wowing America. The New York Times called Michaela “volcanically talented,” while The Hollywood Reporter dubbed her “a vital emerging voice.” Not that we need convincing to watch a new British TV show.

9. Getting Chintzy. We found ourselves sucked into a BBC long read on the surprisingly dramatic history of chintz (the fuddy dud floral originally imported from India) — and we don’t regret it. “Thanks to George Eliot’s coinage of the term ‘chintzy’ in reference to the cheap British imitations of real chintz, as well as its use as a catch-all term for gaudy floral designs, it has come to evoke images of “your grandmother’s curtains”, among other such 'dowdy' things… there are those, however, who would beg to differ.” Do tell!

10. Tea Will Be Served. We ‘borrow’ the below chart from the BBC to prove the British people’s dedication to a proper afternoon tea, or cream tea, complete with sandwiches, desserts, and - uh - tea. Below is a chart showing what search terms have soared on Google U.K when paired with the world delivery and we’ve never seen anything more gloriously British in our lives.

11. “I hope they are fine. I know a fair amount of people involved and it wasn’t easy for them. They’ve taken a big step and made it clear they want a different life. Good luck to them.” Tom Bradby, the journalist who interviewed Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, when she famously said, “I’m not okay,” squeezes more juice out of that interview lemon in The Evening Standard



WHO IS  ______ ? 
Great Britain is a tiny island with a disproportionately large number of sort-of-famous people no one in America has ever heard of. In this pointless weekly column, we will introduce you to Britain’s most beloved extremely minor celebrities. Today, we introduce you to Fearne Cotton.


Is there anything more British-sounding than the combination of two outdoorsy nouns, even if one is misspelled? This is one of our leading theories for the enduring popularity of presenter Fearne Cotton, a 38-year-old tabloid stalwart in the U.K. who has been famous there for twenty years.

If you’ve been reading our weekly “Who Is ___ ?” columns, you’re by now aware that the role of “presenter” provides many more avenues to fame in the U.K. than it does in the U.S. Clearly, Great Britain has a great many shows that need presenting and a great many people skilled in… presenting. 

Fearne is one of them. She’s hosted TV shows, radio shows, and, like any self-respecting celebrity in 2020, now has a podcast

Fearne was a big deal on her own before she married into what might be Britain’s second royal family, the extended clan consisting of Rolling Stones offspring. Fearne married ol’ Ron’s son Jesse, in what was clearly a plot to accumulate more pastoral nouns and attain the name Fearne Cotton Wood. 

Firmly ensconced in the galaxy of British stars, Fearne generates the types of headlines that make us love the extraordinary silliness of celebrity media in the U.K. To wit: “Fearne Cotton unveils new bedroom wall colour” and “Fearne Cotton tackles a HUGE pile of laundry as son Rex, 7, incessantly calls out 'mum' in hilarious clip.” 

And perhaps most relatable, our favorite most recent headline is: “Fearne Cotton reveals photo of herself and the Queen in her home office.” We clicked on the link (to do the work for you), and saw a lovely picture of Fearne shaking HM’s hand. Is Fearne just like us, doing laundry, having colored walls, and proudly showing of life’s great accomplishments? - Allie


The section in which we spend at least 20 minutes researching a topic and release the findings here.


A British Member of Parliament once said, "never mind a General Election, you could bring down the government just by poisoning the water supply at Dolphin Square!"

From the outside, Dolphin Square is an unassuming and rather bland block of flats. On the inside, it’s a festering den of depravity and scandal.

The American investors who built Dolphin Square in the 1930s plonked it down in Pimlico, just a 20-minute walk from the center of Britain’s government at Westminster, making it a convenient and affordable city base for MPs and ministers. And naturally, when you fill 1200 flats with politicians away from their country homes and country wives, nothing good can happen.

Those investors thought they were building the world’s largest social housing experiment, where the classes would cohabit and social hierarchies would melt away. But what they were actually building was the site of many of Britain’s most infamous social and political scandals. 

Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the UK fascist party and husband of Diana Mitford (one of the infamous Mitford sisters) was arrested at their flat there during WWII. British minister and Soviet spy John Vassall was arrested there in the 1960s. Christine Keeler, the call girl at the center of the Profumo Affair of the 1960s, also lived there. As did Winston Churchill’s daughter Sarah, who was kicked out of her flat for throwing wine bottles from her windows.  

The BBC writes “for long-term residents of the square, the consequent parade of journalists marching before their windows was a familiar sight.”

Princess Anne lived there following her second marriage in the late ‘80s, amidst a whiff of scandal when her and her new husband’s love letters were leaked to The Sun. Conservative MP Iain Mills died of alcohol poisoning in his flat there in 1997, thus costing the Tories the parliamentary majority. Former House of Lords peer Lord Sewel was secretly filmed snorting cocaine with prostitutes at Dolphin Square in 2015. 

But surely the most shocking thing of all about Dolphin Square is that there has never been a scandal there involving Prince Andrew. - Eva



Nice work! You’ve made it all the way down here. As a token of our gratitude, we bestow unto ye another edition of Absurd Royal Fact of the Week:

The Queen lived through WWII, and like many a frugal wartime granny, she cuts costs where she can. According to the recent documentary
Inside Waitrose (about the fancy supermarket chain), Her Majesty feeds her two royal Dorgis (cross between a Corgi and a Dachshund) basic economy dog food from Tesco (a more plebian grocery store) which costs only 45 pence a can

But the relatability ends there, because like the snooty aristocrats they are, Vulcan and Candy are
fed according to hierarchy. The Queen’s former dog trainer recounted the royal pups' meal routine to Town & Country, saying, “the Queen got the corgis to sit in a semi-circle around her, and then fed them one by one, in order of seniority. The others just sat and patiently waited their turn.”

Thank you for reading. Please continue to open our newsletter when it drops into your inbox every week, like a jacket potato smothered in baked beans. Dense, starchy, and yet, strangely nutritious.

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*In case you're wondering, pease porridge is a thick mush made from split yellow peas, ham or bacon, and rendered according to that fine British culinary technique known as “boiling." Like many a northern British classic, it can then be fried. 
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*honi soit qui mal y pense*