Last month, a British invasion of sorts took place in Missouri, with James Bond, Prince William and even Her Majesty the Queen “popping up” to help out.
It all came about because the UK consulate in Chicago has started visiting other places in the States for a week at a time. It hosts events that celebrate the special relationship the UK and the USA enjoy, and build relationships with political, cultural and economic leaders in the region.
It’s been given the moniker of a “pop-up consulate” and it’s not just a couple of people that make the trip. The entire office, both the consulate side and the UK Trade and Investment side relocates. And – this is the fun part – they bring along cardboard cutout “pop-ups” of Her Majesty, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, James Bond and various other icons of British culture to help out. This is how I got to meet the (not real) Queen when the consulate arrived in Kansas City, Missouri.
Almost 1.5 million of the six million Missourians claim ancestry back to some part of the British Isles, and 5,000 Missourians, like me, were born in the UK. In addition, the UK is the largest foreign investor in the state, with British companies employing more than 17,000 people here.
Meanwhile Missouri sends $347 million of goods to the UK, including barrels used in the creation of my favourite Scottish product, Scotch whisky.
During the consulate’s visit …