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Royal Superfan: Jonathan Thomas of Anglotopia

Nigel Brown
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When a monarchy is as illustrious as the British Royal Family, it’s no wonder they have some extremely dedicated admirers across the world. In our new series on Royal Superfans, we meet the people who are taking their enthusiasm for the Royals to the next level.

Jonathan Thomas is an American, and founder of the Anglotopia magazine for lovers of all things British. An unabashed Anglophile, Jonathan has travelled across the Atlantic several times in order to attend historic Royal events, and has even appeared as a contributor on BBC News during the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. 

We spoke to Jonathan to find out why he adores the British Royal Family so much.

What sparked your interest in the British Royal Family?

It really started back when Princess Diana tragically died. I remember it having a big effect on me. I was intrigued as all the events unfolded and was glued to the TV during the funeral, even waking up early to watch it. It grew from there into a greater interest in British culture and history.

What is it that you like so much about the Royals?

They represent something solid and permanent in a chaotic world. An old way of doing things. They’re a living link to distant history. It’s not everyone who can say that Queen Victoria was their Great-Great-Grandmother!

Who is your favourite Royal?

Well, other than The Queen herself, I would say Prince William. Mostly because we’re about the same age, got married around the same time and have children around the same age. It feels like we’re going through the major stages of life together, only he’s going to be the King of England one day. We even have the same thinning bald spot on the tops of our heads! 

What are the most extreme lengths you’ve gone to show your support?

Well, I’ve been to England to cover both the recent Royal Weddings and saw the Royal Family in the flesh twice. Granted, I was there in a professional capacity. Still, I wanted to be there and they were two of the greatest days of my life.

How did attending Harry and Meghan’s wedding make you feel? 

I would say what I enjoyed most about it was the feeling in the air, especially in Windsor. It was one of the nicest experiences. People were excited, Windsor was excited. People were just as excited that there was an American joining the Royal Family as they were about the wedding itself. It was nice to see the American flags everywhere intertwined with the Union Jacks. It was a lovely early summer day, people were excited. The atmosphere was electric. It went off without a hitch and was perfectly organized. And then, it was all over and Windsor returned to normal. Days like that are the best days. It’s also a bit bittersweet as that was the last major Royal Wedding we’ll have for quite some time. So, it was a real privilege to be able to experience it.

Do you own any Royal memorabilia or collectables? 

Not really, I don’t really like to collect too many things other than books. I have a Queen Bobblehead and the Solar Queen, if they count for anything!

Why are Americans so enduringly fascinated by the Royals?

I think because deep down, a large number of people still wish we had a Royal Family. Our head of state is a very political thing, it would be nice if our head of state wasn’t political like The Queen. A lot of Americans have English, Scottish, and Welsh heritage, some only back a generation or two and this silent diaspora still has an affinity for the Royal Family. There’s also the celebrity aspect as well, the Royal Family is, at the end of the day, entertaining – even when it’s a scandal. And we like being entertained.

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