This is the second time I have had the pleasure of reading this book, and it is one that I learn something new from every time I open it. Jerramy opens this book by telling the reader, on page 2, to consider it their English fairy Godmother, and further down the same page tells the reader “This is the British bible I never had but would have killed for.” And after flying through the 300 pages of this text I can see why. Ms. Fine covers EVERYTHING in this text, from what to do on your way to London, (yes, even the way you present yourself for the flight is important), to how to dress for various events or even just days filled with running errands near home. She covers the basics of a dinner party, how to speak so that you don’t give away too much about your upbringing and so that you don’t stand out quite so much as the American that you are. She makes it clear that in some cases the habits we have picked up in terms of grooming and dressing will give a girl an advantage in getting noticed by the English Lord she may be looking to nab.
The book, in each chapter, covers a part of your transition to English life. Jerramy does her level best to save you from so much of the stress and heartache that she went through in her search for her Prince Charming.
As a product of a Southern home I found some of her DO’s and DON’Ts to be things that I already do in my everyday life or that I remember to do around my Grandparents at the very least, but it really is useful to have a place to go to quickly review Continental Dining Etiquette, get some basic guidelines for a tea (slightly different in the South but the basics are still sound), or when and how to write a proper Thank You note. She even includes a diagram of how to tie a proper bow tie, and you never know when that might come in handy.
I first read this book when i began planning my first trip to England, at the time the trip was wishfully slated for the late Spring or early Summer of 2013…now I just pray each night amongst my other prayers that I will make it while Elizabeth II is still on the throne. No matter when I get to go there are so many things I want to do both with the charities I support in the UK and things that every tourist does, and I want to make the most of it. Chapters 4 through 7 of this book make sure that you know where to go to see and be seen (although to make sure you have a guy that is worth your time and comes with a title you’ll need to LISTEN as well). They also clue you in to where to go if you want to watch Harry dance the night away or maybe even get lucky enough to see William without a tie and in jeans having a fun night with the boys or maybe Catherine. There is a handy table that reviews spoken and written forms of address for the various members of the British Royal Family and other members of the British Peerage, because you never know when you will find yourself face to face with an HRH. Case in point: I met Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall when she made a trip to Louisville, Kentucky and I nearly choked on the greeting, I was so nervous…but Jerramy’s notes meant I knew WHAT to say IF I could say it.
I know I have not really hit on tons of specifics, but that is just because there are SO MANY in this book that it is impossible to mention them all. I will say that there is more information in this 301-page book than in nearly all of the resources I consulted in my first few years as a royal blogger, and they are laid out in a way that is super simple to make sense of. This book crams facts into your head without making your head hurt!
The one thing that you never lose in this book is the feeling that Jerramy wants to help you make your dream come true and it doesn’t matter how in depth that dream is. If your dream is to marry His Royal Highness, the Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Jerramy is right there cheering you on, if your dream is to meet and marry a different Prince Charming you still get the feeling that Jerramy is right there, in your corner, cheering you on. And if, like me, you are just planning the most awesome trip to London EVER, well Jerramy has shared many of her favorite spots with you too, and you never know what might happen.