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11 Ways 2013 Was GREAT For The UK In The United States

2013 was a GREAT year for the UK, proving that, 50 years on from Beatlemania, folks Stateside have lost none of their appetite for British culture. Here are some important highlights.

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1. The Mother of TV Ratings

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One word: Dracarys. British actress Emilia Clarke ignited the Twittersphere and Tumblrverse with her incendiary portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in the third season of Game of Thrones. The show's Season 3 opener saw four million Americans tuning in to HBO to see Clarke and the other amazing British actors in the cast do battle across the lands of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. And the UK itself had a starring role—the incredible landscapes of Northern Ireland stood in for much of the North of Westeros!

2. What’s That Sound? The London Philharmonic Takes the East Coast

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Classical music fans rejoiced when the London Philharmonic Orchestra toured the East Coast of the US. Comprising some of the best musicians from around the world, the London Philharmonic is known for recording not only the scores for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, but also all 250 national anthems for the 2012 London Olympics. The LPO brought the house down everywhere they went—including two sensational appearances at Lincoln Center in New York City.

3. Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart Stole Your Hearts... Again.

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Two valiant British knights, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Patrick Stewart, won the Internet this year—repeatedly. Their bromance warmed hearts across social media when they posted pictures of their time together in New York City. The two were on Broadway performing in Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land. We hope their friendship continues well past 2014. And we really, really hope they keep posting those adorable photos.

4. The British Invasion—Of Broadway!

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Magneto and Professor X weren’t the only Brits to be found along the Great White Way in 2013. Two of the most celebrated shows of the season, Kinky Boots and Matilda, were adapted from British works—respectively the fierce fashion of Julian Jarrold’s film and the magic of Roald Dahl’s classic novel. Between them they garnered a whopping 15 nominations at this year’s 67th Tony Awards.

5. One Direction Continues to Make Fangirls Swoon

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One Direction continued to cast their spell over America's preteens—as well as (let's face it) a fair number of grown-up fans. 1D performed to sell-out crowds across the US as part of their Take Me Home Tour, released a film and even launched their very own fragrance. On top of all this, the British and Irish stars found time to record a new album, Midnight Memories. It inevitably sailed straight to the top of the Billboard charts, making One Direction the first band ever to have its first three albums debut at #1 on the Bilboard 200.

6. A Royal Visit

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In May, Prince Harry came to the United States, drawing enthusiastic crowds across the country. In Washington, he visited Capitol Hill (to the delight of many a congressional staffer) and laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery. HRH then travelled to Colorado to open the 2013 Warrior Games, before heading back east to visit communities in New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy. In New York City he met up with Prime Minister David Cameron, and the two rode around Manhattan in style on a gleaming double-decker London bus. Finally, he visited Connecticut where he played polo in a match to benefit Sentebale, a charity which helps needy children in Lesotho.

7. Mr Churchill Goes to Washington

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Prince Harry was not the only British figure to find his way into the Capitol this year. In October, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle attended the unveiling of a brand new bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, celebrating the great man's legacy and the special relationship between the US and the UK. The ceremony featured a speech by Winston Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soames MP, and a performance by Roger Daltrey, lead singer of classic British band The Who.

8. It's a boy!

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Apart from Brits themselves, we reckon Americans were more excited than anybody about the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child. When the bundle of joy, HRH Prince George of Cambridge, was born on July 22, people all across the US celebrated by throwing parties, baking cakes and buying millions of dollars' worth of royal memorabilia.

9. 50 Years of Time Travel

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Doctor Who, a British sci-fi staple and legit transatlantic cultural phenomenon, celebrated its 50th anniversary this November with a very special episode featuring Doctors past and present. Day of the Doctor was broadcast in 94 countries simultaneously, earning it the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama. Outside the UK, the largest audience was—you guessed it!—in the United States. The live simulcast on BBC America attracted 2.4 million viewers, the largest audience in the channel's history. After seeing it, we couldn't wait for the Christmas Special, even though that did mean saying goodbye to the amazing Matt Smith. We're looking forward to seeing what scrapes await Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor!

10. The UK... So Hot Right Now

Flickr: ukinusa / Via British Embassy Washington

This Fall, Bloomingdales celebrated the phenomenon that began the American fascination with all things British—The Beatles. Bloomies teamed up with more than 40 menswear brands to design one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the Fab Four. The collaboration resulted in more than 250 exclusive creations from iconic British brands like Turnbull & Asser, Barbour, Burberry and Thomas Pink. This October in Washington, the Embassy played host to the entire collection, making for a GREAT evening of fashion, music and culture.

11. Every! Single!! English Premier League match!!!

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For the first time ever, thanks to NBC Sports, Americans can watch each and every game of the world's greatest football championship—the English Premier League! Fans of the beautiful game in the US can see all 380 matches of the 2013-14 season live, either on TV or online. Sure, in some cases that means getting up a tad early—but it's soooo worth it. Mark your calendars for 11 May 2014, dubbed 'Championship Sunday,' which will feature no fewer than ten EPL games—all broadcast live. GOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!

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