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How to be a Brit in Kansas City

Break out the bitters and pass the crisps. The royals have landed in Kansas City.

Princess Diana’s wedding gown has taken up temporary residence at Union Station. Anglophiles around town pinched themselves when they realized the famous dress would be right here when Diana’s first-born, Prince William, gets married next month. Blimey! A harmonic convergence of royal proportions! British wannabes are more excited than Ricky Gervais hosting a celebrity rehab session.

So we wondered: How can a non-Brit be British in Kansas City? We went straight to the Brits themselves, who told us where to find their food, a cup of good tea and other Brits in Kansas City.

The accent?

You’re on your own, bloke.

Meet the Brits

When love for an American woman brought him to town a few years ago, Ray Caraher wanted to find other British ex-pats, so he started a social club called Brit’s International.

Since 2005 he has attracted 200-some members, people who sound an awful lot like him, like to eat what he does. They know his accent is Wimbledon, not Ireland. They know what pork cracklings are and the proper way to fry up a banger.

But more important, they get one another.

“There is something fundamentally eccentric about Brits, which unless you start to look below the surface goes unnoticed,” London native Neil Ryall says.

“It gets waved off as being simply ‘foreign.’ Whether it was George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Whistler who said of Brits and Americans, ‘Two nations divided by a common language,’ (they) should have added an addendum — ‘and the Brits are nuts!’ ”

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