New Yorkers held their own celebration Sunday to mark the historic platinum jubilee of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Royal Highness is the only English monarch to reach 70 years on the throne, something which brought plenty of pomp and circumstance to the United Kingdom this weekend. In honor of the occasion, Myers of Keswick – a British import store located at 634 Hudson St. in the West Village — celebrated the momentous occasion by bringing the pageantry to the Big Apple.
Peter Myers was a butcher who immigrated from a small market town in Keswick, England in 1972. Once settled, he married his wife Irene and on July 4, 1985, opened a storefront that offered the best of British goods–Cornish pasties, sausages rolls, and other savory treats. Since then, this small shop has become a staple of the West Village community for over three generations.
Dressed as her royal majesty with a sparkling tiara, Terri Gaffney waved at passersby offering them tea-time delights–scones with jam and sausage rolls with a spot of Prosecco and peach juice.
“We just wanted to celebrate it. It’s a once in a lifetime thing. It’s never gonna happen again. Even in our lifetimes. Charles is 70, if he gets the throne, he’s not going to have many jubilees to celebrate, and she’s just done a lot for the country. So, it’s just a little appreciation and there’s quite a big British community here,” Gaffney said.
Gaffney manages the social media and marketing for Myers of Keswick, a job she obtained after immigrating from Scotland to New York City with her husband eight years ago.
“It feels more special to celebrate in New York because, you know, with Scotland and the divide with the monarchy, when you are out of it you appreciate it a lot more and you see it from a different lens. You see how this country views it, like the idea of a monarchy and our royal family. I understand it a lot better. You just have a better appreciation,” Gaffney said.
New Yorkers — whether they are expats or just anglophiles — flocked to the shop, seeing long lines to pick a commemorative Jubilee teaspoon and other novelties while they purchased their groceries.
Monica Morales was born in Mexico and now lives in Long Island, but every so often she makes a trip into the city to stop by her favorite British store. Morales returned on Saturday from a trip to London with her British boyfriend where they saw firsthand the revelry filling the streets of England.
“YoI was just in London like I came back like yesterday. So, it’s really amazing that I can continue the celebration here in New York, especially that I’m Mexican. So, it’s very interesting to experience it there in London and here in New York,” Morales said.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.