With the birth of a new princess, the countdown to Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest serving monarch in history and the upcoming General Election, the country is in the throes of analysing and celebrating all that is British.
However, according to how we are stereotypically portrayed around the world, I am clearly failing at being a Brit:
1. I have good teeth, and I go to the dentist. They are’t brown or crooked, they don’t stick out and I have them all, unlike the snaggle-toothed lovelies that are always shown on the television.
2. I don’t live in London. It always makes me smile when I am abroad, and their response when they find out that I’m English is “ooh, where in London are you from.” Contrary to popular belief, England is made of millions of towns and cities that are nowhere near London. While I love the city, I live over a hundred miles away.
3. I don’t live in a castle. I live in a little terraced house with a small garden – it’s my own little castle but hardly along the same scale as Windsor. I don’t think I would like to live in a castle anyway – the heating bills alone would be a bitch.
4. I don’t know the Queen, nor am I best friends with Prince William. I am very much a royalist, but I don’t have Prince Harry’s phone number. I’m sure they’re lovely, and I’m certain that if we lived down the road from each other we would be popping round to each others houses all the time, but I have never met any of them. I have, however, met Prince Edward when some of my students did a performance for him. Nice bloke. He seemed a bit quiet, but I bet he’s a scream after a couple of pints.
5. I don’t own a Union Jack item of clothing. However, if I did, I wouldn’t be camping outside a hospital whilst wearing it, waving banners and screaming at television cameras, waiting for a baby to be born.
6. I don’t use red telephone boxes. In fact, it’s very rare that you’ll see any British person using these to make a phonecall. This serves as a place for urinating after a drunken night out, or for tourists to have their photographs taken in.
7. I don’t like tea. My father and grandfather had an obsession with the stuff and would spend their days making endless cups. I, however, think it tastes like socks. Don’t ask me how I know that.
8. I have never watched an episode of Downton Abbey. Try not to fall off your chair. Dame Maggie Smith is a legend, but it just doesn’t interest me.
9. I don’t speak like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, nor like a member of the Royal Family. I grew up in the north of England, which means that I have quite a thick Lancashire accent. If you want to gain an idea, watch a Peter Kay stand up show on YouTube – he is from the same town as me. Common. As. Muck.
10. I’m not a snob. I don’t care how much money you earn, where you’re from and what you own. If you’re an arsehole, you’re an arsehole, whether you’re a rich or poor arsehole.
11. I don’t like football, or come to think of it, cricket or golf. My sister and father are huge Manchester United fans, I grew up near the Bolton Wanderers Stadium, I can tell you what offside is and of course, I’ll watch the World Cup matches. However, I will roll my eyes when I hear the word ‘soccer.’ Take heed.
12. I think English cuisine is lovely and I am more than willing to try food from all over the world. Yes, I have been known to chow down on a face-full of fish and chips in my time, but I have also eaten lots beautiful food at restaurants all around the country. And, to be fair, if you can’t eat a Yorkshire pudding or a crumpet with a smile on your face and a glow in your heart then there is something wrong with you…
13. I can’t queue. I hate them, as I always seem to get stuck between the impatient woman who is tutting, huffing and loudly complaining, and the man with a cold who keeps sneezing into my hair. Where possible, I’ll go away and come back when the queue has gone. Unless I’m queuing to get into a Bon Jovi concert. I never mind queuing for that.
14. I have never worn a bowler hat and I don’t carry a large black umbrella around with me. Nor has anyone I have ever met. In fact, the only people that I have ever seen wearing them are characters in 1950’s films. Oh, and Matt Smith…
What about you? What stereotypes are assumed about you because of your nationality?
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