All posts tagged: london

America’s Nostalgia for the British Aristocracy

It used to be you couldn’t throw a stick in an Oxford quadrangle without hitting a posh, white, Eton-prepped, young man. These days though, you’re just as likely to hit a middle-class girl from Nottingham, sleep-deprived and lugging a backpack, on her way to economics class. It’s clear that modern Americans love the idea of British royalty. From a national obsession with Downton Abbey to a desire for those “oh so lovely accents,” the aristocratic days sure seem dandy to us; and yet, this kind of aristocracy has all but disappeared. Oxford, Cambridge, and Eton each have “Diversity” webpages and their once-impossible-to-penetrate wrought iron gates have been flung open to anyone from any social class from any country. Prestigious, $100,000-per-year boarding schools like Le Rosey have finally begun to dole out hefty scholarships. Hunting outings are now team-building corporate events. A ski trip in the Alps isn’t all that unusual for the upper-middle-class student studying abroad in Europe. (In fact, she probably also goes sailing in the West Indies with her consultant/corporate lawyer/oil maven father during …