New Yorkers getting into a British mindset with the upcoming royal wedding

The British-themed shop Tea & Sympathy is a popular stop for New Yorkers looking for some royal wedding trinkets.
The British-themed shop Tea & Sympathy is a popular stop for New Yorkers looking for some royal wedding trinkets. Photo Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto / mauro_grigollo

Even though the United States declared its independence from Britain more than 200 years ago, New Yorkers just can’t quit the royal family.

News of the latest royal baby had everyone all atwitter last month, while Anglophiles were preparing viewing parties to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry to U.S.-born actress Meghan Markle on May 19.

Melissa Turoff, a political and cultural historian who teaches at New York University’s Gallatin School, said the British royal family is “culturally accessible” for many Americans.

“We don’t have an aristocracy or royal history at all,” said Turoff. “So this is pure cultural consumption.”

Nicky Perry, the English-born owner of the popular Tea and Sympathy restaurant in the West Village, said New Yorkers are “living vicariously” through the British.

“That’s fine by us,” said Perry, whose menu features favorites such as Sticky Toffee Pudding and Treacle Pudding with whipped cream or custard. Diners and visitors can also purchase royal wedding souvenir mugs.

The already busy restaurant and shop expects a surge of business and orders as the wedding date draws closer.

“That is going to be fantastic,” Perry said. “We are getting an American princess.”

Myers of Keswick, a traditional British grocery store on Hudson Street, is already fielding orders for royal wedding-themed parties.

“There’s a lot of interest in this wedding because Meghan is American,” said Irene Donnelly, who works at the shop. “People are looking for finger foods like cocktail sausages, cheese and onion potato pastry.”

And there are plenty of places in the city to indulge your urge for British fashion. Reiss, a favorite of new mom and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, has stand-alone shops as well as boutiques in several Bloomingdale’s stores.

“The trench coat is always a popular find for spring but we have seen an uptick as of late,” Bloomingdales said in a statement. “It is the perfect example of quintessential British style.”

Popular U.K retailer Primark, famous for its chic and cheap fast fashion, has one location in Staten Island and is ready to open another one at Kings Plaza in Brooklyn on May 16.

The Downton Abbey exhibit on West 57th Street has a full slate of events in the month of May to celebrate the royal wedding with guest speakers, giveaways and competitions.

Turoff said young women, especially New Yorkers, identify with Markle as a strong female with a multicultural background.

“There is a whole generation of women who grew up with the royals and the question was which brother you liked better,” Turoff said. “Harry’s being taken off the scene by someone who is admired and respected.”

She also noted this year marks some big changes — the addition of Markle and a new status for young Princess Charlotte.

For the first time in history, the tot will hold her place in the line of succession and not be surpassed by her younger brother.

“This is a really cool moment for women and the royal family,” Turoff said.