Tag Archives: United Kingdom

26 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Moving to England

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So you’ve decided to move to England and feel completely overwhelmed by the endeavor. Where does one even begin? Well, aside from packing up your flat, I will help you make this transition as smoothly as possible with these top tips.

This topic actually came about over coffee with my friend Tara. We were talking about ideas for another British book I’m writing and she mentioned moving to England. She knew it would be an enormous undertaking moving from the US to the UK but would love a book to guide her. Consider this your mini guide, my dear friend.

Before You Leave and After You Arrive

I know there is a ton of stuff to get done before you even think about leaving your country for England. Here are some necessities to tackle before you leave and after you arrive.

  1. Immunizations – there are routine immunizations required before moving to England, usually 4 to 6 weeks prior to your arrival. Your jabs depend on which country you come from so check with the CDC for details.
  2. Passport – make sure you have an update one and that it doesn’t expire for at least 90 days after you return to your home country. Remember to keep your passport current while you’re living in the UK.
  3. Work Visa – this is required for most countries right off the bat. Even US citizens, who can stay up to 6 months without one, would be required to get a work visa if you plan to move to England and secure employment.
  4. Banking –Once you arrived, make sure to bring your passport and work visa with you to your bank of choice. Standard bank fees and monetary exchange rates will apply. Check with the British Banking Association for details.
  5. Mail – most national postal services do not provide an international change of address online. Visit your nearest post office for proper procedure.
  6. Phone – using your own mobile service, even if they provide international service, will stick you with a massive bill. Best to get an inexpensive phone or a new SIM card for your smartphone at a UK service provider.

Traveling To and Around England

If you’ve read my post on the London Tube, you learned some helpful tips, tricks, and protocols when traveling by Underground. Below is some other savvy travel tips, as well.

  1. Your Flight – book your flight as far in advance as possible and at off-peak times if you can.
  2. Travel Insurance – A necessary evil in case your trip goes pear-shaped. If all goes well, consider yourself a jammy beggar.
  3. From the Airport – you’ll need to hire a car unless you have friends to pick you up. Rent a car instead of a cab to save loads of dosh.
  4. Oyster Card – this is a must for transport around London and when you want to scamper about the English countryside as well. Make sure to have cash on hand so you can buy a ticket anywhere an Oyster Card is invalid.
  5. Walking, Standing, and Driving – walk on the left, stand on the right when taking the escalator, and do drive on the left if you want to live.

Currency, Taxes, and Credit Cards

  1. Credit Cards – Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. It’s helpful for booking flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars. Check with your merchant to find out the fees and exchange rates that apply. Once you can get a debit card for your British bank account, this will help eliminate the need to carry cash.
  2. Cash – British pounds is the currency of the UK and it’s best to use until you secure your own British bank account. This minimizes banking and ATM fees.
  3. ATMs – use bank ATMs and avoid “independent” ones. Flat transaction fees and percentage charges apply when you use “out-of-network” ATMs so withdraw larger amounts. ATMs are still cheaper than exchanging your cash at a bank.
  4. National Insurance Number – the British equivalent of a social security number so you can work and they can take taxes out. Go to the UK government website for details.

Learning British English

On our BritWordaDay social media channels, you’ll see daily posts of British words. It’s our goal to help you learn these wicked words for when you converse with Brits. Dialects change as you move about England but I’ve got a perfect solution for you.

  1. Learn the Lingo –Great Britain has many dialects and you’ll need to swot up on those as you travel around the country. Trust me. It’s like learning a whole new language. Check out my book for a proper guide to British words and beyond.
  2. Proper Pronunciation – places like Derbyshire (darbuhshuh) and Leicester (lesstuh) are common examples. Listen and adapt to British pronunciations to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.

Basic British Culture and Customs

There are several I could mention here, including the quintessential sarcastic humor employed by Brits regularly. Trust me, if they take the mickey out of you then you’re in. Oh, and they use the word “sorry” quite a bit.

  1. Don’t Take It Literally – Brits rarely say what they mean so learn to read between the lines. Check this out to see several humorous examples.
  2. Compliments – they typically make many Brits nervous and they will often deflect with self-deprecating remarks, even if secretly pleased.
  3. Weather – can be dodgy so it’s best to carry a brolly. Be prepared to discuss the weather…A LOT.

Know Your Onions about Food and Drink

Don’t believe all the disparaging remarks you hear about British food. They have many  tasty dishes both savory and sweet. When in England, ask the locals where they prefer to get their fish and chips or Indian curry.

  1. Tea – the preferred drink of the UK, a solution to most problems (or so you will be told), and, yes, it is a meal. Read my blog post on British tea to better understand this revered British custom.
  2. Drinking – is a national past time in the UK and a cornerstone of British culture. Even if you don’t drink, go hang out a British pub if you want to know the Brits.
  3. Food – the Brits offer many tasty treats like Yorkshire pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding but the Brits do love their offal (organ meat) and you’ll find it in things like Steak and Kidney Pie or Lancashire Hot Pot.
  4. Dining Etiquette – place your napkin on your lap instead of tucking it into your shirt. Say “please” and “thank you”. This is “British Politeness 101” Put your knife and fork together in the middle of your plate to indicate you’re finished. My book has a whole chapter dedicated this sort of thing.

British Electricity and Measurements

  1. Plugs and Voltage – the Brits use a specific 3-prong plug and the outlets are typically 220-240 volts. You can by conversion adapters but if you don’t want to run the risk of frying your blow dryer, buy a new one when you get there.
  2. A Mixture of Measurements – Distances on roads are calculated in yards and miles. Objects are measured in centimeters and meters. Height is stated in feet and inches. Food is weighed in grams and kilos. People are weighed in stones and pounds.

Hopefully, you’re feeling more prepared for your move to England. In my upcoming book this autumn, I’ll be sharing more detail about this very subject. If you want an easy-to-read top guide to British words and the various dialects of the UK for your move to England, then download my book from Amazon or iTunes.


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Have You Heard About Ulster English?

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It’s a UK Dialect of Northern Ireland

Ulster is a province in Northern Ireland and made up of people groups which include Ulster Scots, Mid Ulster, and South Ulster speakers. The counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone are part of the United Kingdom, while Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan are part of the Republic of Ireland. The Ulster English dialect from this region of Ireland has been developing for centuries.

This Northern Ireland language began during the early seventeenth-century colonization of English settlers. However, Ulster English has not only been influenced by British English and Hiberno-English (language spoken in the Republic of Ireland) but also the Scots language and Irish Gaelic.

How I Learned About This Dialect

I never even knew about this language until I started writing my book for BritWordaDay. I began researching dialects of Northern Ireland and discovered Ulster English is the predominate language spoken there. The two major divisions of Ulster English is Mid Ulster and Ulster Scots.

My high school best friend, Jeff, often referred to his mother’s statements as her “speaking Irish” because they had an interrogative tone to them. Come to find out, Ulster English speakers have a noticeable tendency to raise the pitch towards the end of declarative sentences. Perhaps Jeff’s mum has Ulster in her blood.

Distinguishing Words of Ulster English

Irish speakers, as a whole, do not use the words “yes” and “no” very often but instead, repeat the verb in a question as a response. For example:

Question: Are you going to work soon?
Answer: I am (instead of saying “yes”)

Sometimes Ulster speakers use the verb “have” followed by “with me” or “on me” in this way:

Have you money for the train on you?

Ulster English mirrors Irish with the word “you” in its singular and plural form. Instead of “you guys” the Ulster English speakers would say “yous” like certain parts of Pennsylvania. Two other forms of “you guys” would be “yis” or “yousuns” which, again, the Pennsylvania natives would say “you-uns” to a group. It’s funny how particular Ulster English words or close variations have endured centuries after the colonization of America.

Examples and Usage of Ulster English

As a British word specialist, I will not only teach you these Ulster English words but how to properly use them in context. Here are some examples of these Northern Ireland words and their usage.

Using Ulster English

Blade – girl

Look at thon blade. (Look at that girl.)

Bout ye? – How are you?

Bout ye, fella? (How are you, man?)

Craitur/Craytur – creature

Aye, the poor craitur. (Yes, the poor creature.)

Foundered – to be cold

Are ye foundered? (Are you cold?)

Hallion – a good-for-nothing

Shut your gob, ye hallion! (Shut your mouth, you good-for-nothing!)

Munya – great, lovely, attractive

The grub is quite munya. (The food is quite lovely.)

Poke – ice cream

Yous want some poke? (You guys want some ice cream?)

Whisht – to be quiet (a command)

Whisht, ye aul eejit! (Be quiet, you old idiot!)

Ways to Learn More Ulster English

During the month of March, BritWordaDay is running a March Madness campaign for Anglophiles “mad” about British words. The focus is Ulster English, including all things Irish. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to learn more of this amazing Northern Ireland dialect.


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10 Reasons Why I Love Big Ben

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I know I am not alone in my love for Big Ben. This famous clock tower is the most synonymous icon with the United Kingdom. When you Google search London, Big Ben will always be among the top search results for this transcendent city. It’s the primo location shot in many films and Big Ben still one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world.

Everyone has their own love story with Big Ben and I thought I’d share mine with you.

How My Love of Big Ben Started

The first time this young wide-eyed girl saw Big Ben was in the 1953 Disney animated film, Peter Pan. The next occurrence was in the ground-breaking masterpiece, with both live action and animation, of Mary Poppins. I was hooked and believed this clock tower was practically perfect in every way.

As an adult, I am still very sentimental when it comes to Big Ben. In fact, I have a confession to make. I dearly love the Tinker Bell films produced by DisneyToon Studios. I’ve watched each one several times. The animation is flipping amazing, the stories are very clever, and nearly every film includes a shot of Big Ben. Each time I watch the films and see that iconic clock tower, I cry.

I realized the tears were of longing. I fell in love with Big Ben, as a little girl, and wanted to see this amazing clock tower in person. The closest I’ve come, thus far, was seeing it on Periscope. The most amazing experience was a broadcast of the clock tower at midnight all lit up. The quarter bells would chime first, preceding the “father bell” and then, I heard him. It was Ben, the big bell, ringing out 12 times with that unmistakable BONG! Once again, I found myself shedding tears of both joy and longing. The sound was music to my ears but fueled the ache in my heart to personally see my beloved Big Ben.

A Few Facts about Big Ben

Before I get into the reasons why I love Big Ben, I thought I’d share a few interesting facts.

Elizabeth Tower

In 2012, for her Diamond Jubilee, the famous London clock tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower after Queen Elizabeth II.

Silence, Please

The bells of Big Ben were silenced during a few notable events:

  • Winston Churchill’s funeral on January 30, 1965
  • Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on April 17, 2013
  • A lengthy maintenance that was performed for 33 hours on October 25, 2005, on the clock and chimes.

Radio Broadcast

The chimes of this iconic clock tower were first broadcasted by the BBC on December 31, 1923. It is a tradition that continues to this day.

No Outsiders Allowed

The saddest fact I’ve learned, about Big Ben, was its restriction to outsiders. Only UK residents may tour the interior and it must be arranged by a Member of Parliament.

10 Reasons Why I Love Big Ben

Aside from being the number one tourist attraction of the UK, here’s my list of the top ten reasons why I love Big Ben.

  • The Nickname – the name “Big Ben” refers to the Great Bell of the famous London clock tower. It was speculated this nickname came from Sir Benjamin Hall, the overseer of the Great Bell installation. Another possibility of this nickname comes from English Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Benjamin Caunt.
  • Clock Face – there are 312 pieces of opal glass in each clock dial. A special light is illuminated above the clock faces when parliament is in session.
  • The Great Bell – the incomparable “bong” comes from a patched crack in the bell due to the faulty design of the original hammer. The bell was repaired, given an eighth of a turn, and fitted with a proper hammer to apply the correct striking force.
  • At Night –the entire tower is lit up at night and then goes into “lights out” mode after the stroke of midnight. After the stroke of twelve, only the clock faces are still illuminated.
  • Big Ben’s Survival– After a bomb destroyed the House of Commons chamber during WWII, the clock tower survived and Big Ben continued to chime every hour.
  • Queen Victoria – the Latin words, at the base of each clock dial, DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM, which means O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First.
  • Location, Location – Big Ben has been named the most popular film location and seen in countless TV shows and movies.
  • Worth Its Weight in Pennies – a stack of pennies is piled on the pendulum to regulate the clock’s time.
  • Washing Up – using only soap and water, a group of window washers will abseil (rappel) from the belfry down to the clock faces to give them a proper washing up. This cleaning is performed every 5 years.
  • New Year’s Eve – this famous clock tower is the focal point of London’s New Year’s Eve celebration, highlighted by a massive fireworks display.

Do You Love Big Ben Too?

Is anyone else in love with this iconic London clock tower? If so, why? Log into our website and post your comments.

Big Ben Chimes at Midnight


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Royal Warrants, By Appointment to…

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What is a Royal Warrant?

A Royal Warrant is an official authorization given to individuals or companies who supply goods or services to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales for a minimum of five consecutive years.

This formal recognition has been given to tradesman since the Middle Ages for those who supplied goods to the Sovereign. Some establishments have records of royal warrants that date back over 100 years. There are approximately 800 warrant holders at present with over 1,100 issued in total.

How Does One Obtain a Royal Warrant?

Royal Warrants can be given by The Queen, who has granted nearly 700, the Duke of Edinburgh who has granted nearly 40, and also The Prince of Wales who’s granted nearly 160 warrants.

Now, each of these Royal Family members can only grant one warrant to these qualified individuals or companies. However, a business may hold warrants from more than one grantor of the Royal Family.

The Process of Selection

Those applicants for Royal Warrants are screened by a committee and narrowed down to a “short list” for the grantor. Annually, The Queen is given a list of about 30 to 40 qualified companies and either accepts or denies the committee’s or the Lord Chamberlain’s recommendations. For those given Her Majesty’s consent, the warrant is awarded by Lord Chamberlain, The Earl Peel. He is the chief officer of the Royal Household and also the chairman of the Royal Household Tradesmen’s Warrants Committee.

Royal Warrant Holders Association

This association represents individuals and companies applying for or who currently hold Royal Warrants of Appointment. The Association was formed in 1840 to ensure the continued existence of the Royal Warrant as a valued and respected institution. It also administers applications for new warrants and makes adjustments to those in existence. Though the Royal Warrant Holders Association is not a part of the Royal Household, it assists in the interpretation and implementation of the rules that govern the Royal Warrant.

Meeting the Royal Standards

It’s a fairly stringent qualification process and not just a matter of profits, but one of reputation and sustainability. Establishments must provide excellent service, run a conscientious business, and make a positive impact on the community. For example, if a company provides a food product is it made from high-quality ingredients? Is the packaging recyclable? Will the supplier be able to meet the demands of its patrons? It’s nothing but the best for the Royal Family, of course.

The Benefits of Royal Recognition

As it is difficult to qualify for such an honor, the benefits to these merchants are significant, indeed.

  • Royal Coat of Arms – can be displayed on products, in advertisements, on printed material, on the premises, and even on delivery vehicles.
  • By Appointment – an official statement that a warrant has been appointed by Her Majesty The Queen or His Royal Highness Prince Philip or His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, depending on who is the grantor.
  • Prestige – these warrants, of course, give notoriety to patrons of their provision of services and goods to the Royal Family. Fortnum and Mason, being one of the many establishments, is highly popular with all of its customers due to their luxury merchandise and lengthy connection to the Royal Family.

Royal Warrants are held for up to five years. Companies will be evaluated, at that time, for renewal and the current holders must continue to meet the requirements for a re-issue. A warrant may be cancelled at any time. It is automatically reviewed if a grantee dies, leaves the business or if the company has been sold.

The Merchandise Marks Act of 1887 protects against illegal claims by businesses who profess to be in possession of a Royal warrant.

Popular Businesses of Royal Warrants

Whilst you are in England, I thought I’d list a few popular establishments who are in current possession of a Royal Warrant. For a complete listing of Royal Warrant Holders, use this directory to search by Grantor, Trade Category or Region.

  • Cadbury UK – Chocolatiers; Grantor: HM The Queen
  • Fortnum & Mason – Groceries, provisions, and tea merchants; Grantors: HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales
  • Jaguar Cars – Manufacturers of Motor Vehicles; Grantors: HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales
  • Procter & Gamble – Manufacturers of Soap and Detergents; Grantor: HRH The Prince of Wales
  • The Ritz – Hotel, Banqueting, and Catering Services; Grantor: HRH The Prince of Wales
  • Twinings & Co. – Tea and Coffee Merchants; Grantor: HM The Queen

A “Thank You” and an Introduction

I wanted to give a shout out to Zella Watson of Anglophiles United for this idea of Royal Warrants. She is a brilliant, well-accomplished Anglophile who lives in NYC. Zella is, by profession, a writer, editor, and illustrator who also had a career in nursing and archaeology. She’s traveled to 28 countries and 6 continents, the United Kingdom being one of her all-time favorites. Do follower her on Twitter (@Zella_Watson_) and get to know a fellow Britophile who shares my passion for all things British.

Thoughts on Royal Warrants

Would a business that advertises a Royal Warrant make you more likely to shop there? No doubt it would be more expensive and you may not think it worth the money. Have any of you ever visited and bought goods from one of these businesses? Log in and post your thoughts on Royal Warrants.


 

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Titles of the British Royal Family

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“Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom” by Sodacan

Have you ever wondered about the various titles of the British Royalty? How is one to address these various family members? Did you know that titles can change depending on which part of the United Kingdom they happen to visiting at the time? Let’s explore some of these questions which I hope will peak your curiosity further.

Official Titles of Key British Royals

Her Majesty, The Queen

  • Held by: Queen Elizabeth II
  • Manner of Address: Your Majesty and thereafter as Ma’am
  • Official Title: Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

Dukes

The title of Duke is the highest-ranking, other than the Sovereign, and there are several members who hold this title in the British Royal family. The title of Duke to males and Duchess to females, are given upon marriage.

Duke of Lancaster

  • Held by: Queen Elizabeth II
  • Manner of Address: Your Majesty and thereafter as Ma’am
  • Official Title: The Queen, Duke of Lancaster (used only in Lancaster)

Duke of Edinburgh

  • Held by: Prince Philip
  • Manner of Address: Your Royal Highness, and thereafter as Sir
  • Official Title: His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Canadian Forces Decoration, Lord of Her Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.

Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay

  • Held by: Prince Charles
  • Manner of Address: His Royal Highness and thereafter Sir
  • Official Title: His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Grand Master and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council, Aide-de-Camp, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall (England), Duke of Rothesay (Scotland), Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

Duke of Cambridge

  • Held by: Prince William
  • Manner of Address: His Royal Highness and thereafter Sir
  • Official Title: His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn (Scotland), Baron Carrickfergus (N. Ireland), Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen

Duke of York

  • Held by: Prince Andrew
  • Manner of Address: His Royal Highness and thereafter Sir
  • Official Title: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.

Duke of Gloucester

  • Held by: Prince Richard
  • Manner of Address: His Royal Highness and thereafter Sir
  • Official Title: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.

Duke of Kent

  • Held by: Prince Edward
  • Manner of Address: His Royal Highness and thereafter Sir
  • Official Title: His Royal Highness Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, Duke of Kent, Earl of Saint Andrews and Baron Downpatrick, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.

Duchesses

Upon marriage to the respective royal male family member, last names no longer apply and titles of their husbands are given in the female style.

Duchess of Cornwall & Duchess of Rothesay

  • Held by: Camilla
  • Manner of Address: Your Royal Highness’ followed by Ma’am
  • Official Title: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Camilla is legally The Princess of Wales but chose not to use it due is former association with the late Princess Diana.

Duchess of Cambridge

  • Held by: Catherine
  • Manner of Address: Your Royal Highness’ followed by Ma’am
  • Official Title: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus

Duchess of York

  • Held by: Sarah Ferguson (style was forfeit upon divorce)
  • Manner of Address: Your Royal Highness’ followed by Ma’am (applies only to the current)
  • Official Title: Sarah, Duchess of York but formally, Her Royal Highness The Princess Andrew, Duchess of York, Countess of Inverness, Baroness Killyleagh

Duchess of Gloucester

  • Held by: Birgitte
  • Manner of Address: Your Royal Highness’ followed by Ma’am
  • Official Title:  Her Royal Highness Princess Richard, The Duchess of Gloucester, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Dame Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.

Duchess of Kent

  • Held by: Katharine
  • Manner of Address: Your Royal Highness’ followed by Ma’am
  • Official Title: Her Royal Highness Princess Edward, Duchess of Kent, Countess of Saint Andrews and Baroness Downpatrick, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

The Remaining Princes and Princesses

Princess Anne

  • Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, Princess Royal, Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Lady of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Dame Grand Cross and Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order, Dame Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

Prince Harry

  • His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York

Princess Alexandra, The Honorable Lady Ogilvy

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel, The Honorable Lady Ogilvy, Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Michael and Marie – Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

  • Michael – His Royal Highness Prince Michael George Charles Franklin of Kent, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
  • Marie – Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent

What Do You Think of all These Titles?

As I researched all of this, I found it interesting if somewhat excessive with these rather long titles. Do you agree? What do you think of this 21st Century monarchy?

I’ll have to save the origins of these titles for another post or reserve it for the book.


 

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Why I’m Writing Another British Book

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Is the Info Current or Accurate?

As an Anglophile, I’m obsessed with British words and it happens to be my business as well. Awhile back I did some searching online to see what books were available, specifically on British slang. There were very few and most were in print which means some of the information is already outdated. When creating social media content for BritWordaDay, I usually search the internet. However, I do reference a few books on a regular basis but, in some cases, I wonder if the information is truly fresh and current. Languages of every nation are constantly evolving, including British slang words. In my business, I have to constantly keep up. It’s a challenge but one I happily accept.

Case in Point

Recently, as a result of interacting with some of my social media followers, I decided to broaden my British word posts to what’s known as the Black Country region. Honestly, I was nervous as I am not a native Briton, never mind a local of the West Midlands. However, I was still keen to post these Black Country slang words in which these specific followers expressed an interest. After all, people follow BritWordaDay because they love British words.

Oh, no. Did I Screw Up?

There was one word in particular that caused some debate between one follower and me. I saw it in the books I referenced but also from this website I found online, regarding various Black Country colloquialisms. Upon conclusion of the online discussion, this particular follower gave me a link to the very site I had used for the word in question. It turned out, thankfully, my post was correct. Whew! I dodged a bullet on that one.

Natives Not Always in the Know

The Black Country words I used that day began to spark discussion from these particular followers. They commented how they were unfamiliar with some of slang words I posted. One such male follower, from that very area, commented that he did not know some of the words as well. He owned the fact that language is constantly changing, especially where slang is concerned. Even the natives of an area aren’t always in the know.

I Decided on an Ebook

Neon-Book-SignNow that my point of the ever-changing dialects of the United Kingdom has been proved, I knew a printed book was not the way to go. This type of book warranted an electronic format that could be updated, as needed, with the most current slang words of the various regions of the UK.

For those Nook, Kindle, or iBook readers, you know the benefit of the most current version of an Ebook. Anytime the author makes changes and uploads them, a new version of your book can be downloaded to your mobile phone or tablet. It’s completely brilliant and of course, very practical. No one is going to buy a reprint of a book they own unless, perhaps, it’s a Harry Potter novel.

Subjects the Book Will Cover

My goal was to give the most comprehensive list of British words on as many applicable subjects as possible. I made an outline of all the topics I could think of but I didn’t stop there. I created a video and posted it many times on our social media platforms to get you, the reader, involved in the process. I did get some feedback from a few of my followers. Their reward, as promised, will be an acknowledgment in my book. I am more than happy to give free advertisement to these contributors in hopes it will help promote their businesses and social media platforms. I am a firm believer in reciprocity.

Here are the topics I’ve assembled so far:

  • British words – an exhaustive list, sorted A-Z
  • Popular sayings
  • Swear words and insults
  • British words out of fashion but still heard somewhat
  • British food and drink like tea and a Full English
  • British music, particularly those that use British words in their lyrics
  • England, Britain, and the UK – an overview of these regions as well as the various dialects from each.
  • British slang in TV
  • British humor
  • British social etiquette
  • British superstitions
  • British sports
  • British money
  • British schools
  • British clothing and accessories
  • British holidays
  • British transport – London mostly and the rest of England as well.
  • British royal family – past and present

Did I Miss Any Subjects?

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Difference Between England, Britain, GB, British Isles, UK, and the Commonwealth

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Have you ever wondered what is the difference between England, Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, the UK, and the Commonwealth? Well, so did one of my Twitter followers. Therefore, I decided to answer this question so you can have this knowledge all in one place.

What is England?

It is the southern two-thirds of Great Britain comprised of 9 regions. England also makes up about 84% of the UK population.

Regions of England

South West, South East, London (the City), East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West, and North East

What is Britain?

Britain is comprised of both the kingdom of England and the principality of Wales. A principality means Wales is ruled by a prince. Traditionally, the Prince of Wales is the eldest son of the English monarchy. Overall, they are both ruled by the queen and the British government.

What is Great Britain?

People often interchange Britain with Great Britain, under the impression they are the same. However, Great Britain is England, Wales, and also Scotland.

Regions of Great Britain

South West, South East, London (the City), East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West, North East, Scotland

What is the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom is made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain and Northern Ireland combined form the official title of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

UK = England, Wales, Scotland, and N. Ireland

Regions of Northern Ireland

Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone

What are the British Isles?

The British Isles comprises over 6,000 islands, including the United Kingdom.  They also include the Isle of Man, Orkney, the Shetland Islands, Hebrides, the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Lundy Island, and the Channel Islands.

Channel Islands

A group of small islands in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy, France. The principal islands of the group include Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark.

The Isle of Man

It is a self-governing British Crown dependency located in the middle of the Irish Sea. The Isle of Man is neither part of the United Kingdom nor a member state of the Commonwealth. However, its head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor, but its foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of the British Government. People born here are known as ‘Manx’, classified as British.

What Makes Up The Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth of Nations is the United Kingdom plus various independent and sovereign states throughout the world. Most are former British colonies or dependencies of these colonies. Each Commonwealth nation can be categorized in three ways:

Monarchy

Monarchy indicates a Commonwealth country which has its own monarch as Head of State. Below are the Commonwealth nations classified as monarchal.

Brunei, Lesotho, Malaysia, Swaziland, Tonga

Realm

Realm indicates a Commonwealth country which has The Queen as Sovereign. The following are classified as realm nations.

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, United Kingdom

Republic

Republic indicates a Commonwealth country which has a republican form of government. Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth by title but this role does not carry with it any power. The queen represents a symbol of the free association of Commonwealth members. The following are classified as republican nations.

Bangladesh, Botswana, Cameroon, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Malawi, The Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia

What Did You Learn From This Post?

Did you learn something about the differences between, England, Britain, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles, and the Commonwealth? What was a revelation to you? Log in and post your comments.

For a special infographic of the United Kingdom with Regions and Counties, click here.


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