Not invited to the coronation? Celebrate here with a chip butty, some mushy peas and maybe a pint of good English ale

On Saturday morning, perhaps I’ll torture my family — and possibly the neighbors — with a chorus or two of “God Save the King.”

SHARE Not invited to the coronation? Celebrate here with a chip butty, some mushy peas and maybe a pint of good English ale
Even if you’re not going to be inside Westminster Abbey on Saturday, you can still show your enthusiasm for the coronation, like the person who knitted King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, displaying them on a post office box in Rhyl, north Wales.

Even if you’re not going to be inside Westminster Abbey Saturday, you can still show your enthusiasm for the coronation.

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I’m guessing you haven’t been invited to Charles and Camilla’s coronation on Saturday.

I haven’t either, which is a bit surprising given my lineage: My great-great-grandfather was a cobbler and a breeder of champion chickens in England; my great-grandfather was the manager of a London bus depot until he got caught drinking on the job and was demoted to bus driver — or so the story goes.

It could be that someone in the seaside town of Margate remembers the time when, as a teenager, I was almost arrested for gently shoving an arcade “coin pusher” — the game where you drop a coin into the slot with the futile hope of making it nudge dozens more coins over the lip of a constantly shifting platform. Or the time I was refused entry to a church disco in Southeast London because the vicar claimed I’d caused “problems” there the week before.

Don’t worry — we’re in good company. Fergie, aka the Duchess of York, isn’t going either. She says she’ll watch the event on the “telly.” Neither is Meghan Markle, even though someone at Buckingham Palace apparently took the time to send her a “save the date” email, according to the BBC.

An invitation to the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Didn’t get one of these? Don’t worry, Fergie, aka The Duchess of York, didn’t either.

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The truth is, like a lot of ex-pats, I have a complicated relationship with the place where I grew up. I’ve never felt particularly British, even though I still have a UK passport. I have an Italian father, and when I was a kid, I had a shock of red hair, leading to playground taunts of “Copper top, who won the war, eh?” — referring to World War II.

I’m not alone.

Lucy Pask, another ex-pat, has lived in America for 10 years and calls the northwest suburbs home. She’s part of the Facebook group Windy City Brits.

She’s not expecting any huge gatherings locally in honor of the king — tables sagging under the weight of heaps of English sausages, pork pies, pasties and trifles; a frenzy of Union Jack flag waving.

Part of the reason is that the big ceremony starts before sunrise Chicago time.

“There have been a lot of big game-changing, era-defining royal occasions in the last 10 years. I don’t want to say we’ve got pageant fatigue, but this definitely feels different,” said Pask, who is 45 years old and the mother of two small children.

And it isn’t as though this is likely a once-in-a-lifetime event for Brits of Pask’s generation. King Charles is 74 years old.

“We have 100 years of kings ahead of us. I’m not going to see another queen on the throne,” she said.

She said the event is likely to be “very somber and magical and involve spoons and orbs and scepters.”

Not to mention the Coronation Chair, carved 723 years ago and gouged with graffiti, believed to be the work of generations of choirboys.

Pask said she moved to the U.S., in part, because she wanted to be a “citizen, not a subject.”

“I don’t think we have to see this live. I feel like we’re going to enjoy the highlights and have a moment and celebrate our connection to home, talk about it with family and friends,” said Pask, whose father and in-laws still live in England.

This means there will be a good-sized spread at the Pask home Saturday.

“I’m going to make an enormous breakfast for my family — the full, full English: baked beans, black pudding, sausages, rashers of bacon, eggs as far as the eye can see,” she said.

I agree. Oh, how I miss that delectable English food. What’s not to love about pickled eggs or jellied eels? Or a scrumptious side of mushy peas? How could you say no to a chip butty — a northern delicacy consisting of a fistful of soggy English chips (ketchup optional) sandwiched between two slices of white bread slathered in butter?

A table set with tea accompanied by English scones with strawberry jam and fresh clotted cream.

A feast fit for a king? What could be better than tea accompanied by English scones with strawberry jam and fresh clotted cream.

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Honestly, if I were on death row and had been granted one final meal, I’d abandon my Italian roots in an instant and devour half a dozen Devonshire scones with homemade strawberry jam and fresh clotted cream.

So on Saturday morning, I’ll probably treat my family to a generous helping of baked beans on toast. Perhaps I’ll torture them — and possibly the neighbors — with a chorus or two of “God Save the King.” Then I’ll survey the grounds of my own four-bedroom castle before I put on my knee pads and gloves and pull some weeds.

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