Profile of an Anglophile: Madonna

Madonna, Lady of the Manor

Madonna, Lady of the Manor

Of the estimated 250,000 Americans living in Britain today, the most famous is undoubtedly Madonna (or, as the British tabloids refer to her, “Madge”). The star is known for reinventing herself, for adopting entirely new personae more often than the rest of us change hairstyles. In her latest self-invention, she is lady of the manor: In 2000, she married British film director Guy Ritchie, moved to a 1,000-acre estate in the English countryside named “Ashcombe” (which sounds exactly like the kind of name I’d invent for an English estate if I were writing a bad Regency romance novel), claimed she had taken up hunting, and posed for photos in tweeds and riding gear. In an interview with the BBC in 2005, she used Englishy words like “laddish” and “cheeky” and said “I see England as my home.” She even adopted a cringe-inducing pseudo-English accent (I mean, I love English accents, but c’mon! She’s American.).

In July 2007, “Masterpiece Theatre” executive producer Rebecca Eaton told reporters, “Britishness is very cool at the moment” in the U.S. Madonna can no doubt take some credit for this. But last month, she announced she was divorcing Guy. Will she be divorcing Britain as well? Will Anglophilia go out of style when Madonna abandons her role as English aristocrat? We diehard Anglophiles will remain loyal, of course, but we may find ourselves a little lonelier…

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