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Local royal family fanatics bring a taste of England to central Illinois

DUNLAP, Ill. - There's a a little piece of England nestled in a place you might not expect. A business in Dunlap serves high tea every day and operates under the motto that royalty is a state of mind.

Stepping into Her Majesty's English Tea Room feels like stepping into the pages of a storybook.

"We are living the American dream." Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild says.

For Fairchild and her husband, Jerry, the American dream is British.

"We just love everything from fairytales, to Beatrix Potter, to English gardens, the food, of course tea time, we're obsessed with the china, we love British china, and the royal family." Fairchild says.

Obsession turned opportunity, the Fairchild's opened Her Majesty's English Tea Room in Dunlap in the early 2000's.

"We love to cook, we love to bake, and we love to entertain, and we though, originally, what would be more fun than that, it's like having a party every day." Fairchild explains.

Every day since has been a tea party, complete with crowns, pictures with the royals, and, of course, tea.

It's only fitting the Fairchild's hail to the queen and all of the royals, even writing them letters for birthdays and anniversaries. 

"There's this fascination with the UK, I think it's because it's just tucked away, the roses grow over the top of Petrol stations, the gardens are beautiful and there's this mystery with the royal family, they just go on and on and the young ones have brought it to today." Fairchild says.

From Prince William and Kate, now to Harry and Meghan. 

"She's the American princes, everybody here feels like it's a chance they never thought they had, you know? She has all kinds of situations in her life, yet this man fell in love with her because he loved her. I think it's like a fairytale." Fairchild explains. 

A fairytale you don't have to travel to London for, it only takes an afternoon and a little imagination.

"I think everybody wants to be a princess for five minutes or for an afternoon while they're having a cup of tea." Fairchild says.

Her Majesty's English Tea Room serves high tea at 11:00 AM every Wednesday through Saturday.

This weekend they'll hold a special celebration in honor of the royal wedding complete with wedding cake. To make a reservation call (309) 243-8322.

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