The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!<br /> ©2017 Mints &amp; honey
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
©2017 Mints & honey

It’s my blog birthday!

Hip! Hip! Hurrah!

OMG!

I can’t believe that on Saturday, October 21st, my blog was 4 years old.

Honestly, I can’t quite believe that just 48 months ago on an Autumn Sunday evening, I decided to put pen to paper and open up a social media thingy.

I mean, when I first started I didn’t even know what social media was all about, and I had never ever met a blogger.

Never, ever.

In real life!

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin - ©Natalie Deduck - Loveandroad.com
Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

And apart from Facebook and who isn’t on Facebook? I knew zilch about social media.

Yep! Yours truly had known nothing about Twitter. Nothing at all!

I mean, I knew it, but I didn’t know it – know it!

But I quickly learnt.

A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!
A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!

I went to the ITB in Berlin and one afternoon, the Head of the European Branch of Twitter did a workshop and showed us step-by-step how it worked. And that was it!

My Twitter page was open and ready to go!

Oh, I used to have a travel diary that was purely set up for friends and family, but this blogging thing was something else.

This.

Was.

Real!

I'm looking gorgeous in the Philippines! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
I’m looking gorgeous in the Philippines!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Four years.

Wow!

So much has taken place that I can hardly stand it.

As a result, this week’s post is going to be about that journey from when I wrote my first blog, to right now. Four years later. Here we go!

THE BRITISH BERLINER IS 4 YEARS OLD. HURRAH! LET THEM EAT CAKE!

The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

Before we go on, why did I start this blog anyway…..?

At the beginning of 2014, I told you that The Tall Young Gentleman was a member of the Boy Scouts of America: Troop 46. Some of the American mothers were new in town and not only was I the only British parent but I was also the New Parent Co-Ordinator at the time….

One of the mothers asked me about skiing in Europe. I recommended the Czech Republic.

Lots of my corporate clients ask me about Britain, I recommend London and my original home-town – Manchester. Thousands, OK, hundreds of people asked me about Germany. I recommend Berlin and then I thought, why don’t I write about my favourite places and they can see for themselves?

So here we are!

Happy Birthday to meeeeee!
Happy Birthday to meeeeee!

My blog is four years old.

Golly!

It’s been an amazing ride. In fact, the last four years have been fantastic!

My blog is a thriving toddler.

And I am exceedingly proud.

He's right in the middle of all the action. Just like my blog!
He’s right in the middle of all the action. Just like my blog!

I’ve had an amazing collection of marvellous stories, visits, and adventures like how I met Prince William.

As you do!

A lot of people, bloggers in particular, don’t like the notion of luck and quite frankly, I’m not one to talk of fate, but when I happen to be in the right place at the right time, I don’t know what else to call it.

So I’m going to say it as I see it.

Are you ready?

Here it comes!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I'm about to sing! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

My toddler blog has been a resounding success because of the jolly good luck I’ve had, flowing with masses of enthusiasm, buckets of really hard work, and shaken and stirred with all the people I have met along the way, who have helped and supported me on my quest to being a fabulous British blogger.

There. I’ve said it!

But before we go any further, I would just like to thank some very important people.

I would just like to thank some very important people - YOU!
I would just like to thank some very important people – YOU!

You!

Yes YOU!

All of you.

Where would I be without your comments, your likes, your opinions and your reads?

Without you this blog would just be an empty piece of cyber-paper floating in the blogosphere. You have all been so amazing and supportive, reading my blog every week, and sharing it with all your friends, family, and associates.

I’ve even had people smiling and recognising me on the streets.

Berlin - very British - rbb
Berlin – very British – rbb
I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin -<br /> © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

In Berlin.

One woman’s smile was so wide, when she discovered that I was just about to sit opposite her on the commuter train! Another guy saw me on my residential gentrified street and screamed outside his van window “Are you that blogger? The British one!” In German of course, so it sounded rather different!

A group of teenaged girls followed me about and giggled as I went shopping in my local supermarket. And being that I live in Berlin and not New York, I got thumbs up, the gruff “I saw you on TV” and appreciative looks when running around town with my signature stripped, dotted or Union Jack pop socks!

I’ve spent an evening with Prince William & Kate Middleton. I’ve been flown to London for the BBC.  I’ve been on TV as a sub-presenter on a panel of British experts – Die Queen in Berlin. I’ve been featured in a documentary. I’ve been on the radio. I’ve been in the newspaper.  I’ve been in lifestyle magazines. I’ve been put on the postgraduate recruitment poster of my university! I’ve been invited to the German Parliament (Bundestag). I’ve spoken at serious academic panels on the issue of Europe, British people abroad, and Brexit. I’ve been given awards as an expat writer. I’ve even been in an independent film!

I’ve already travelled to 8 countries this year. Some of them even twice!

And all because of you.

Thank you all so much!
Thank you all so much!

Thank you so much! I love you all!

So let’s go back in time.

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WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT?

At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It - 2015. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It © Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, Brexit, the Royal Family, Europe, and being British in Berlin!

It’s about a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, her promotion of British-German life, culture, history, literature, theatre, style, Europe, travels around the world, what she does in normal every day life and where she goes.

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THE MOST POPULAR POST EVER

Jesus in Warsaw.
Jesus in Warsaw.

The most popular post is still the one that I wrote about Poland.

It was very tongue-in-cheek. Most people got it, but at the same time most didn’t, so I got a lot of abuse for it.

Ah well!

The blog post was called: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! This post shockingly went VIRAL and I have received 233 comments and up to 113,000 hits in my social media feed!

One hundred and thirteen thousand (113,000) views, hits and shares!

On the Polish Baltic Sea
On the Polish Baltic Sea

Can you imagine that I wrote it three (3) years ago. And it’s still going as strong as ever!

Absolutely Amazing!

Thank you Poland!

I looooove you!!!

THE MOST POPULAR BRITISH POST

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate &amp; the Many-Faced God!
How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

There’s no point in being The British Berliner if I can’t tell you how to, in fact, be British.

You found this post charming: How to be British: Oh and by the way, you need to queue! And so did the trolls and naughty people. Some were so naughty that I had to ban them from my blog!

You also liked, and were impressed by the fact that I was one of the distinguished invited guests of a private event to meet Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and not only that, but I also got to meet one of the stars of Game of ThronesTom Wlaschiha!

How to be British!
How to be British!

If you’re a Game of Thrones nut like I am, you’ll know him as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their appearance at will…

The evening was all a bit of a blur. I’m not easily flustered, but I spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!

THE MOST POPULAR GERMANY POST

Best of Berlin - 4 years and counting!<br /> An Affair with Chocolate - ©Sarah Robinson
Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!
An Affair with Chocolate – ©Sarah Robinson

The most popular post is still actually the very first post, that I ever wrote on my blog! The title: Germany is Boring. Ooops!

Yeah, I got insults and abuse for this post. Mainly from people who never read it.

It received 108 comments and over 18,000 views, shares and hits! I wrote it exactly three (4) years ago, and it still hits a nerve!

Ah well, I’m famous now.

Right. Right?!

THE MOST POPULAR BERLIN POST

At Queen Nefertiti's Party!
At Queen Nefertiti’s Party!

It seems that when you think of Berlin, you think of it as creative, intense, full of energy and free. Yes, you like music, entertainment, glamour and suspense. You loved the Friedrichstadt-Palast – the venue that is the Las Vegas of Berlin in the post: It’s bizarre. It’s quirky. It’s THE WYLD!

Guys. It went VIRAL too and I don’t know how, but you must have loved it, ‘cos I received close to thirty thousand (30,000)  views, hits and shares!

Life is a party. If you've only got 24 hours, then dance on!
Life is a party. If you’ve only got 24 hours, then dance on!

It seems that you guys like to paaaaaarty, ‘cos you were enormously interested in some of the hard-core underground clubs that I mentioned in this post: If you’re going to dance the night away – Do it in Berlin!

Back in the day, I was a serious clubber.

Now I hardly go dancing unless I’m on the VIP list and there’s a driver to collect me…!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017<br /> ©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography

Yay!

THE MOST POPULAR INTERNATIONAL POST

The most popular international post so far was....Latvia!
The most popular international post so far was….Latvia!

This title went to the post about Riga. In Latvia which was my most popular post in 2015!

The people of Latvia were astonishing and really came out and supported my blog on the following post: Riga is gorgeous. Go there right now! This post shockingly went bloody VIRAL too. You really appreciated what I wrote and you liked it, tweeted it, shared it, and shared it, and shared it!

I received 88 comments on my blog but I have absolutely no idea how many comments were made throughout the social stratum as I couldn’t follow them anymore. I also received more than 72,000 hits in my social media feed!

Seventy-two thousand (72,000) views, hits and shares!

I was just over-whelmed in a lovely way.

Absolutely Outstanding!

Thank you.

Thank you Latvia!!

Thank you so much!

Dutch children in traditional costume.
Dutch children in traditional costume.

Having said that, you’re all pretty much liberal-minded and are tolerant on the European lifestyle circuit.

You were shocked, but not too upset to read the following post about what happened at the sex-show in Amsterdam! So here it is: I went to a sex-show in the city of red lights and thin canals: That’s right. 48 hours in Amsterdam!!!

THE MOST POPULAR MOTIVATIONAL /ADVICE POST

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

You obviously love, or want to travel, and need help doing so, as the most popular post of advice was: How to use the train in Poland: 10 tips to help you.

You also liked: How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

Wow!

I have been asked to consult and give advice to people, because of the recent terrorists acts throughout Europe, and to calm people’s fears.

If you’re concerned about travelling in Europe, and need a helping hand, I would be available by Skype or by Email to advice you for an initial introductory fee of €50.00 for 60 minutes. Communication would be either in English or German. Send me an Email with your details, and we’ll take it from there – victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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LET’S EXPLORE AND TRAVEL THE WORLD!

You have to take action to get it!!
You have to take action to get it!!

At the beginning of every new year, it’s the norm to think about what you did last year and what you’re going to do this year.

Travelling and living a life of quality struck a chord with many of you, as readers were worried about how to travel on a budget, how to get holidays / vacations, or even how to take the first step, so I told you how I do it in this post:  How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all!

And this post: How I can afford to travel around the world. Live the life you want!

And also on this post: How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!

My family &amp; I in Thailand - All smiles and bunny ears at the end of a great day at Baanchang Elephant Park.
My family & I in Thailand – All smiles and bunny ears at the end of a great day at Baanchang Elephant Park.

Most of my readers are professional upper-middle-class people. Just like me.

Staying at a €5.00 hostel or jetting off to Cambodia on a whim, just isn’t an option. I mean, who would look after the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabiits or giant iguana?

No seriously. Who?!!

In 2016, I travelled to ten (10) countries and in 2017 so far, I’ve been to eight (8)!

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OMG! Don't I just look like a city babe!<br /> ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Nevertheless, I shouldn’t fail to tell you that the post that totally changed my career from being just another blogger to being totally awesome was: A light, a camera, and a broken arm: Action and drama at the Berlin Music Video Awards That post was written in May, 2014. A little after the 6 month mark!

You were fascinated by the fact that Queen Elizabeth came to Berlin and I got to be a part of that story, and had more requests of interviews that I even knew what to do with. I actually had to turn some of them down!

And why?

No need to worry. I'll do the talking!<br /> © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
No need to worry. I’ll do the talking!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The Queen came to Berlin. I’m British so pass me the Pimms. That’s why! – I hope I did you all proud. You seemed to think so!

I’m delighted!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!
Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR COUNTRY, OF PEOPLE WHO READ MY BLOG IN 2017

  • USA
  • Great Britain
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Canada
  • India
  • Australia
  • Holland
  • Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • And Singapore for the exotic factor!

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Singapore for the exotic factor!
Singapore for the exotic factor!

Surprisingly, I also get a significant number of readers from France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Norway, the Philippines, and Taiwan!

It’s amazing that even though I only blog once a week, consistently I might add LOL, I still manage to attract a huge number of subscribers and happy Twitter fans who read my blog on a daily basis, and all my funny two-line quips! You too can join in the fun and games right here!

Not too shabby I might add!

COUNTRIES I HAVE BEEN TO IN THE LAST 1 YEAR

At Ljubljana Castle - A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Philippines
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • UK – twice

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THE MOST POPULAR GROUP PRESS or FAM TRIP

One of our French guides - Raphael - in Nord-Pas de Calais.
One of our French guides – Raphael – in Nord-Pas de Calais.

Even though I have been to many a press trip my very first press trip to Northern France, seemed to resonate with you most.

It’s still very much worth writing about, so that most popular post is: My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

It was amazing. I’m so honoured to have been invited. It was great, but bloody hard work LOL!

The readers have spoken, now what do I think?

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MY TOP BLOG ACHIEVEMENTS

I'm sorry but I look amazing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m sorry but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro
  • Starting this blog. Hurrah!
  • Getting a MA – University of Chester
  • Becoming The British Berliner
  • Getting on prime-time German TV – Live!
  • Being flown over to London by the BBC!
  • Making a documentary about being a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger
  • Becoming Germany’s answer and expert on modern-day Britain and the monarchy!
  • Being in a feature by Germany’s largest Sunday newspaper!
  • Talking on German TV about Brexit
  • Doing various newspaper interviews about Brexit
  • Getting interviewed on the radio. In German
  • Acting and making an independent silent film with an aspiring German/Finnish film director!
  • Promoting and showing you Berlin
  • Getting newspaper interviews
  • Getting official invitations to Berlin Fashion Week
  • Hanging out with VIP’s at the Berlin Music Video Awards
  • Organising Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!
  • Being invited on my second press trip to Bristol / Bath!
  • Being invited on my third press trip to Luxembourg!
  • Being invited on my fourth press trip to Usedom!
  • Being invited on my fifth press trip to the Philippines!
  • Being invited on my sixth press to Sweden!
  • Being invited on my seventh press trip to Slovenia!
  • Going to three (3) new countries in 2017!
  • Keeping things light but still throwing in tiny issues about the disgraceful situation of Brexit
  • Being invited on discussion panels to talk about Brexit and Europe
  • Being invited to take part in a Twitter conference
  • Being an active member of Travel Massive (the Berlin Chapter)
  • International Travel
  • Regional Travel
  • Local Travel
  • People believing in me, encouraging me, and motivating me
  • Updating my blog website image, logo & business cards
  • Hanging out at the Berlin Film Festival (the Berlinale)
  • Attending the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference – the holy grail of the travel blogging world – for the second time
  • Being recognised among my peers
  • Making an established name for myself as The British Berliner
  • Meeting other real-life bloggers. That was awesome by the way!
  • Talking to and hearing from YOU. Yes, YOU

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MY TOP 6 FAVOURITE POSTS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!

The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.

THE BRITISH BERLINER IS 4 YEARS OLD. HURRAH! LET THEM EAT CAKE!

Happy Birthday. My blog is 4!
Happy Birthday. My blog is 4!

Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate it lots.

Thank you for making this blog real, reading, commenting, and connecting. You’re all amazing.

Here’s to the next blog year. Cheers!

Winter’s coming.

Yay!

This article is not sponsored. It’s my blog birthday!

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The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

Do you have a blog? How long have you had it? Was there anything that you found surprising? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, and Nils Jürgens
©Getty Images

I’m back!

Have you been blown away by the picture above?

I know I have!

Yep!

The British Berliner met Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

I mean,

Omigosh!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Let me just say.

Being a British expat living in Berlin, is a most wonderful thing!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Being British means that you get to go on German TV and talk about The Queen. You get to be in a documentary focused on British people and get a whole chunk of it, about yourself i.e. Me! You get invited to the British Embassy for drinks, a bit of a natter, and to celebrate Ascot, as well as to the Christmas service of the Deutscher Bundestag – otherwise known as the National Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany! You get invited to the oldest university in Berlin so that you can discuss the political and economic issues on Brexit and the EU. You get featured on Germany’s biggest newspaper, and then flown to London by the BBC!

And then the icing on the cake in my opinion, is when you get a letter in the post, summoning you to an “invitation only” event organised for Their Royal Highnesses William, The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge!

Kate Middleton and Prince William – the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, greeting fans in Berlin
©DPA

To say I was excited, is to say the very least.

We were all literally jumping up and down!

Of course.

I mean strolling briskly, blushing and flapping slightly. No jumping around, collapsing and screaming.

We are British after all.

I’m British!

And we aim to keep a coolness about us on the outside while in a sense of panic and dismal anxiety on the inside!

What is it to be British?

A few years ago, I wrote a piece about How to Be British. And you were all extremely interested.

Most of the world seem to be fascinated by all things British and Germany is no exception, and who isn’t curious and fascinated by the Brits who actually live in Germany.

Of which I am one!

Berlin – very British – rbb

Need I remind you that I am The British Berliner?

Need I tell you that being British and also living in the city of Berlin makes a rather interesting combination?

And it all makes perfect sense.

Regardless of Brexit, being British is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Britain is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Being British is to have centuries behind what makes Britain today.

Being British is to welcome and linger on what is old such as cream teas, strawberries in the summer, and cricket as well as what is new, such as an Indian curry, the Notting Hill Carnival and BritPop!

At the Jane Austen Festival

Being British is to understand the issue of what is fair, true and right and what it is to be “a true gentleman,” to keep your word and be “a real lady.”

Being British is surely not about winning the race and becoming first, but about taking part, and shaking the hand of your opponent in “good combat.”

On the cricket field at one of my best friend’s wedding on the Isle of Wight.
In the UK! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Being British is about getting the first round in of a pint of beer, drinking champagne on a sunny day in the park and drinking Pimms on a cricket pitch during a wedding, on the Isle of Wight.

Yes, being British means being the people from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the surrounding islands of the United Kingdom, fifteen (15) other realms from the Commonwealth which include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, fourteen (14) British Overseas Territories including Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands, seven (7) Australian external territories, two (2) New Zealand dependent territories, two (2) New Zealand associated states, and previously Hong Kong that was ceremoniously but reluctantly handed back to China in 1997!

William & Kate in love
©AFP/Getty Images

Being British is accepting that the Royal Family are part and parcel of what makes the United Kingdom unique, and that William and Kate are going to take the monarchy into the next generation of young Brits and Britain today!

Being British means being me!

HOW I MET THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND – PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE!

 

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince William & Prince George
©PA/WireDPA.

I know you want to know all about this but first, just who are William & Kate?

WHO IS PRINCE WILLIAM?

Prince William – the Duke of Cambridge
©Clärchens Ballhaus

Prince William, otherwise known as the Duke of Cambridge, is the second in line to the throne and the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales.

His Royal Highness is married to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, with whom he has two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

The Duke of Cambridge used to work as an Air Ambulance Pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, in addition to undertaking a number of charitable activities and projects and carrying out public duties in support of The Queen.

WHO IS KATE MIDDLETON?

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge
©Art Fund Museum

Kate Middleton, otherwise known as the Duchess of Cambridge, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011.

Her Royal Highness has two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

As well as undertaking royal duties in support of The Queen, both in the UK and overseas, The Duchess devotes her time to supporting a number of charities and organisations.

Isn’t it funny that even though the Royal Couple have been married for six (6) years, we all still continue to call her Kate Middleton!!

WHY WERE THEY ON A ROYAL VISIT TO GERMANY?

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge – arrive in Berlin with their children – Prince George & Princess Charlotte
©Robin Nunn

Well, it wasn’t only an official visit but one in which the children – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – came along too. And of course, the history of Britain and Germany is pretty long.

Being part German n’ all!

Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!

I mean, the Royal Family today stems from the Prussian Bavarian Saxony root of Queen Victoria from the House of Hannover (after whom I am named as another Young Victoria…) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (in Bavaria, Germany)!

And as Prince William himself said at the exclusive Garden Party to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, hosted at the British Ambassadorial Residence in Berlin, Our visit will reflect, and I hope reinforce, the strong and wide-ranging ties between Britain and Germany. These include political, cultural, historical, commercial, sporting, academic and scientific links. 

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge at the British Ambassadorial Residence Garden Party in Berlin
©Getty Images

The United Kingdom and Germany proudly share the same values as open and democratic societies, and the same determination to champion those values and to defend them – not least through our very close defence and security partnerships. Today, we share a fundamental interest in the peace and prosperity of the continent of Europe to which we both belong. 

This relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany really matters.  It is the product of many years of working closely together.  It will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union.  I am confident we shall remain the firmest of friends.”

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days – GB / UK.

And since we all love the Queen, there was a message from her to us, in Germany too.

Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all of you gathered for this special Garden Party, on the occasion of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official visit to Germany.

We have fond memories of our five State Visits to Germany, from our first in 1965 to our most recent in 2015. Over the course of those fifty years, British-German relations have thrived, allowing us to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the 21st century together.

I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will experience the beauty of this country and the warmth of its people when they visit Berlin, Hamburg and Heidelberg.

I hope you all have a most enjoyable evening.

 – Elizabeth R”

You simply can’t get better than that!

THE INVITATION! THE INVITATION!!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Well as you can see above, Prince William and Kate Middleton came to Germany.

Not only that, but yours truly aka – The British Berliner – was one of the distinguished invited guests!

I know!

The invitation was sent to me by the British Ambassador in Berlin, and the Director of the British Council Germany.

Shakespeare Lives and there’s the living proof.
Oh yeah. The skull! ©Frank Böster – The Music Producer – Behind The Couch Studio

I was very honoured.

I received the invitation months ago, but we weren’t allowed to talk about it, so the only person I told, was my brother – The Writer! 

Having said that, you won’t believe how many journalists called my house, and sent me messages asking me about what was going on, where the location was, and even if they could come along as my guest!

I haven’t lost my marbles you know!

Yeah right!

I haven’t lost my marbles you know!

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, at Clärchens Ballhaus – Berlin!

Anyhoo.

On the day, I left bright and early as we were given strict instructions that entry would be for only thirty (30) minutes, and after that, no entry for you!

And official invitations plus passports, would be necessary.

That happened quite a few times and security was enormously heavy!

Oh yeah, our venue was in the beautiful 1895 Clärchens Ballhaus. 

Clärchens Ballhaus – One of the last ballrooms in Berlin. Very shabby chic!

The Ballhaus is one of the last originally preserved ballrooms in Berlin, a wonderful authentic piece of history, tradition, and charm. Very shabby chic!

A perfect example of what the Royal Couple, and incidentally, Berlin is all about! 

Once inside, I was offered some champagne and I made my way to the terrace where “everybody” was.

And for the first time ever, I looked around and I couldn’t see a single person that I knew. This event was serious stuff.

Until I did!

Phew!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him!
©Thomas Wlaschiha

And while quaffing more champagne and chatting to people, I noticed a tall man walk quietly in.

Not that man, but Tom Wlaschiha!

If you’re a Game of Thrones nut like I am, you’ll know him as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their their appearance at will…!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him.

And.

He’s very charming.

Tell me the secrets. Pleeeeease!
©Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha

I tried to get him to tell me some secrets about the plot of Season 7 on Game of Thrones, but he was very professional and wouldn’t reveal anything, so we spoke about the joys and advantages of living in Berlin instead!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

And then we were summoned into the Ballroom.

Could this be it?

Nope!

British DJ Goldierocks – #Royal Visit Germany #Freundship

First, a gathering of cultural celebration.

After all, this visit was about international friendship and so the Director of the British Council Germany – Rachel Launay – came out and spoke a few words of how the evening would be, and to introduce the various factions that made the evening occur, as well as a few guidelines on etiquette regarding the Royal Couple.

And then.

It happened.

And then it happened. Prince William and Kate Middleton just entered the room at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

I saw this tall fellow stride in.

And a few paces behind him was a slim pretty girl.

Yep!

Prince William and Kate Middleton had just entered the room.

Scream!

Silently of course!

Omigosh!

Prince William, & Kate Middleton being walked through by their Aide – Nils Jürgens & Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner on the edge of the photo!
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk
Kate Middleton, Prince William & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

They were huddled to the nearest table which was right next to me!

You can just about see the red cover of my mobile phone peeking out!

Yes!

Next to me!

OMG!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with the Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

I was standing right next to their Royal Highnesses, and the only thing standing between Prince William and Kate and myself, was their Aide – Nils Jürgens!

That’s the taller man standing to the right of Kate Middleton. And very good looking he was too. Ahem!

The evening was all a bit of a blur. I’m not easily flustered, but I spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves but do forgive me, as I wasn’t joking about the blurriness of a shaking hand!

Prince William at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – Duchess of Cambridge & Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha with Sam Riley at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge & Prince William at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Prince William having a drink & Kate Middleton at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton & Prince William right in front of me at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

At one point, both William and Kate were standing right in front of me, and I couldn’t pluck up the courage to say a single thing as I didn’t want to seem forward. I just stood there with mouth agape!

For once in my life, I was utterly speechless!

They must have thought I was slighty deranged grinning like a Cheshire Cat and clapping profusely!

They were wonderful.

Kate Middleton & Prince William looking like any other couple having a great time at a party!
©bernd schönberger

And very, very genuine.

A really lovely couple admired and loved, with good reason.

They really were quite delightful indeed.

And their security team were marvellous.

Every single guest that was present, got close-ups and selfies, of the Royal Couple!
© bernd schönberger
Kudos to the security team who were great, didn’t manhandle or scream at anyone, & were wonderfully calm, professional & extremely polite!
©bernd schönberger

Every single guest that was present got close-ups and selfies, and kudos to the security team who were great, who didn’t manhandle or scream at anyone, as you might get at the White House… but were wonderfully calm, professional (just trying to do my job ma’am), and extremely polite.

Prince William and Kate Middleton – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “worked” the room, shook hands with people, went to meet the UK DJ – Goldierocks – and then they were off!

Meanwhile, I had stopped being flustered and looking like a complete idiot, and began to work the room myself, chatting and meeting new people!

Delicious cocktails after Prince William & Kate Middleton left Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Let’s have cocktails together after Prince William & Kate Middleton left Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

We all drank a few cocktails, and patted ourselves on the back on a very successful evening!

Then I took the tram around the corner, and in twenty-four (24) minutes I was home!

What a charming evening!

Wow!

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Thanks for inviting me!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

HOW I MET THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND – PRINCE WILLIAM, KATE & THE MANY-FACED GOD!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute royal own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

Will you?

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

Have you ever met Prince William or Kate Middleton? Were you amazed by my news? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©AFP / Getty Images

I didn’t want to write about this.

I wanted to write a bit more about our splendid trip to Austria.

Then Article 50 came up, and I simply couldn’t let it go without writing a few things about it.

On the 29th March, 2017, Britain said goodbye to the European Union (EU).

It was not a happy day.

For months, I’ve been involved in debating, talking, TV, radio and newspaper interviews on why my home-country is leaving the EU. In fact, just a week before Article 50, I received an offer to go on German TV to discuss my hopes and fears for Brexit!

See for yourself: Bye-bye Love: Reactions to Brexit and auf Deutsche – Bye-bye Love: Reaktionen zum Brexit.

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
@ JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s not looking pretty.

All over Europe, British expats are rushing to start the process of double-nationality, or permanent residency.

In the UK, European expats are doing the same.

Luckily for me, I’ve been living in Germany for yonks, I’m married, I’m settled, I have a corporate job, and I speak German. And quite frankly, in these uncertain times, it doesn’t hurt to have double nationality….!

However, just to re-assure you, the British Ambassador for Germany – Ambassador Sir Sebastian Wood – on the status of UK citizens in Germany,  categorically said that “there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU.” You can see his video speech here.

Brexit. Please don't go! ©Der Spiegel - Getty Images.
Brexit. Please don’t go! ©Der Spiegel – Getty Images.

After sixty (60) years of friendship, Brexit is the worse disaster that has happened to the EU since the beginning of World War 2!

Last June, my fellow British compatriots voted in a referendum on whether the UK should leave or stay in the EU.

The people voted to leave.

You know my opinion about this, but here’s a reminder:

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?
We're not leaving!
We’re not leaving!

It was quite upsetting and begins two years of wrangling, arguing, disputation, and down-right nastiness.

Brexit was triggered by a process known as Article 50.

WHAT IS ARTICLE 50 ALL ABOUT?

Theresa May’s Brexit letter in Brussels.
©Yves Herman / Reuters

Well, Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any EU member the right to quit unilaterally, and outlines the procedure for doing so.

It gives the leaving country two years to negotiate an exit deal and once it’s set in motion, it can’t be stopped except by the unanimous consent of all member states.

Once in the EU, there has never be a way, or a need, to legally leave the EU before the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007.

WHEN DID THE UK JOIN THE EU?
The UK joined the European Economic Community (the forerunner of the EU), on January 1st, 1973.

WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN UNION?

The European Union – otherwise known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving now, twenty-seven (27) European countries!

The European Union – otherwise known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving twenty-eight (28) European countries!

The idea of fostering economic co-operation, began with the Second World War notion that countries that trade together, are more likely to avoid going to war with one another!

Since then, the EU has grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, as if the member states were one country. The EU has its own currency – the euro – which is used by nineteen (19) of the member countries, its own parliament, and it’s own laws, rules and regulations. With a GDP of more than $18,000 billion, and a population of more than 500m, the EU is the largest economy in the world!

HAS ANY MEMBER STATE EVER LEFT THE EU?
No nation-state has ever left the EU before. Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

THE UK HAS LEFT THE EU. WOULD IT BE ABLE TO REJOIN IN THE FUTURE?

No nation-state has ever previously left the EU.
Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

Yes!

The UK would have to start from scratch with no rebate, and enter in to accession talks with the EU. And every member state would have to agree to the UK re-joining! However, the issue of UK demands which Britain had before, would no longer be put into consideration.

WHAT IS THE LISBON TREATY?

The Lisbon Treaty (which became law in December 2009) is designed to make the EU “more democratic, more transparent and more efficient” and is an agreement signed by the heads of state and governments of countries that are EU members.

WHEN WAS ARTICLE  50 TRIGGERED?

Article 50 &Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 shortly before 12:30pm on March 29 2017, giving Britain a final official date of leaving the EU of no later than April 2019!

WHAT ARE THE REAL DETAILS OF ARTICLE 50?

The real details of Article 50…!

There are five elements to Article 50:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Article 50 means that for the next two (2) years, Britain must thrash out a deal for leaving the EU. It’s a process that’s likely to be lengthy, complicated, and painful for all, as any deal must be approved by a “qualified majority” of EU member states, and can be vetoed by the European Parliament.

WHAT IS BREXIT ALL ABOUT AGAIN?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Brexit is a shorthand way of referring to the British exit from the EU. It is a word that merges “Britain” and “Exit” thus creating “Brexit” similar to the term “Grexit,” which was used to refer to the possibility that Greece might leave the Eurozone.

WHAT IS A REFERENDUM?
A referendum is a vote in which anyone of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast, is considered to have won.

Yes (leave), won!

WHY DID WE HAVE A BREXIT REFERENDUM IN THE FIRST PLACE?

I might not have liked the outcome, but a Brexit Referedum was promised!
©Reuters / David Moir

David Cameron – the then British Prime Minister – promised to make this happen if he won the 2015 general election.

He won!

This act was in a response to the “European question in British politics,” reduced influence in European rules and regulations, and agitated calls from members of his own political party – the Conservatives – and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who argued that Britain had not had a real say about issues since 1975, when it voted to stay in the EU, in a referendum at the time!

HOW LONG WILL BREXIT TAKE?

The official process of Brexit is supposed to take two years, but experts believe that it could take longer. The timescale can be extended, but only by the unanimous consent of the European Council, which technically means that every member state would have to agree.

The terms of exit will be negotiated between Britain’s 27 other counterparts, and each will have a veto over the conditions. Triggering Article 50 starts the clock. After this, the Treaties that govern membership no longer apply to Britain.

IS BREXIT REALLY GOING TO BE AN ISSUE FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©Jonathan McHugh

On paper, not at all.

In reality, it’s all very complicated.

The agreement of a new trade relationship, economic tariffs, and the issue of free movement is going to be a sore topic, and could take a process of up to five (5) years!

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ANYWAY?

The EU is like a family and like all families, you have disagreements, and quarrels.

Well the thing is, the EU is like a family and like all families, you have disagreements, and quarrels. What you don’t do is threaten to leave the family unit, and hope to live happily ever after. Or worse, have all your demands fulfilled.

The fact is, other family members, although they love each other, believe in tough love, and don’t want to encourage tantrums, otherwise, everyone else will be threatening to leave too!

In short, European leaders want the agreements and conditions to be effective and brutal, so that other member states are discouraged from following suit…!

WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP FOR THE UK?

The Govt & many of the British working classes want Hard Brexit, but hopefully, common sense will allow a softer Brexit instead!
©NurPhoto via Getty Images

Theresa May (the British Prime Minsiter) plans to transpose EU laws onto British statutes allowing the Government to analyse and reject whatever laws it sees fit.

To do this, the UK government would have to perform three acts simultaneously:

  • Negotiate a new deal with Brussels
  • Win a series of major bilateral trade deals around the world
  • Revise its own governance as EU law recedes

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – David Davis – will be supervising the process.

ANY POSSIBLE FUTURE PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF BREXIT?

The potential for the United Kingdom itself to Break Up is more possible than you can ever imagine, as Northern Ireland might decide to Re-Unite with the Republic!

Sadly, yes.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE EU ITSELF?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©Claudio Cadei – CartoonMovement

The focus is on driving a hard bargain on the rights of European citizens in Britain, and likewise, British citizens in Europe, making negotiations with the UK that we can all live with whilst at the same time, keeping the EU together, making demands that still open markets for trade on friendly terms, and unity on security and military co-operation to fight terrorism and crime, whether the nation-state is part of the EU or not.

WHY I THINK BRITAIN SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE EU?

The outcome of Brexit was crazy!
@Visit England – Rich J Jones

Britain is important. What we do or don’t do, matters.

Moreover, being a part of the EU gives Britain a boost in almost every way. We’re able to do business in the “single market,” we would be able to attract the best minds all over the world, who complement our economic prosperity, as well as our social future in the guise of helping to pay and provide for public services. To stay in the EU is to receive a big boost in reciprocal membership.

It’s simple really.

If we’re in the European Union, we have a say on what goes on within – economically, socially, and politically. We’ll be a secure part of one of the best clubs in the world – a 28-nation club – exclusively set up to protect and look out for each other.

At a time of extreme danger to our way of life, and an increase in terrorism, we  need the EU.

Now that we’ve opt to leave the Union, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

And really isolated from the rest of the Continent.

Now that Brexit & Article 50 has been triggered, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

Is anyone going to win?

Not really.

ARTICLE 50 & BREXIT IN THE UK. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

This article isn’t sponsored and all opinions connected to Brexit & Article 50, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll be writing my last article about Austria!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in April. Well then?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

What do you think of Brexit & Article 50? Do you fear it,or do you agree with it? Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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