Frank Langfitt | WYPR

Frank Langfitt

When millions of people tune in Saturday morning for the British royal wedding, there will be talk of fairy tales and plenty of cinematic shots of Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan Markle, riding in a horse-drawn carriage past thousands of cheering fans with the turrets of Windsor Castle in the background.

But beyond the pageantry and royal stagecraft at which the British excel, there is a genuine story about a changing Britain, a complicated American family, a resilient monarchy and the redemption of a wayward prince.

You might have heard of "glamping" — luxury or glam camping. Now, there's "champing," or camping inside churches that are no longer used for services. It's one of the newest camping options in England and, last fall, I decided to take my family champing in an 18th century church outside of Oxford.

Our night at St. Katherine's began with a 90-minute drive from our home outside of London to the Coach and Horses Inn, a pub, where we picked up the front-door key from a bartender named Georgia Rose.

Winters in London can be damp and dreary. The British capital sits at 51.5 degrees latitude north – roughly equivalent to the Canadian city of Calgary – and in December, the British capital can descend into darkness by 4:30 p.m.

When it comes to tourism, Ireland punches well above its weight.

When President Trump announced Thursday that he was canceling his visit to the United Kingdom next month to open the new U.S. Embassy in London, he sounded less like the leader of the world's most powerful country and more like the real estate developer he once was.

On Twitter, he complained that the Obama administration (it was actually George W. Bush's) had traded an embassy located in one of the British capital's top districts, Mayfair, for a new one in "an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

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British Prime Minister Theresa May gave one of the most important speeches of her political career Wednesday morning. It could not have gone much worse.

The speech, which she delivered to a packed audience of her fellow Conservative Party members in Manchester, started reasonably well — until a prankster approached the stage. The man handed the leader of the United Kingdom a P-45 form, the British equivalent of a pink slip.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg set a record for the longest word spoken in the British Parliament in 2012. The Conservative Party lawmaker aimed this hifalutin insult at the European Court of Justice:

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The United Kingdom won't leave the European Union until 2019. But some U.K. employers are already feeling a Brexit effect. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from the county of Kent.

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Standing outside 10 Downing St. today, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May tried to put a brave face on the disastrous results of Thursday's vote.

After calling a snap election in April in anticipation of a landslide, she ended up with an electoral train wreck, in which her Conservative Party actually lost its parliamentary majority. It now holds 318 seats.

Clinging to power, May said the Tories would form a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which won 10 seats.

Updated at 1:30 a.m. ET

British police have identified Salman Abedi, 22, as the bomber behind the attack on an Ariana Grande concert Monday in Manchester, England. Abedi died in the bombing, which claimed the lives of at least 22 victims and injured dozens more — many of whom were children.

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Updated at 10 a.m. ET Monday

Emmanuel Macron — an independent centrist who has never held elected office — has won a resounding victory over far-right, nationalist Marine Le Pen in the most important French presidential race in decades.

According to the French Interior Ministry and multiple news outlets, Macron won with near 66 percent of the vote over Le Pen's just over 34 percent.

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Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Emmanuel Macron, a centrist politician who's never held elective office, and Marine Le Pen, the far-right firebrand who wants to take France out of the European Union, are expected to advance to next month's runoff for the presidency of the country, according to official results.

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Today the United Kingdom formally told the European Union it is leaving, after decades of membership in the 28-nation political alliance and trading bloc. The move triggers an estimated two-year divorce process that will involve many months of tough negotiations and will launch Britain on a new, uncertain path.

Addressing the House of Commons in London, Prime Minister Theresa May said Brexit is an opportunity for her country to chart a new course, unencumbered by the bureaucracy of the multilateral organization based in Brussels.

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After the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's U.S. victory last year, political analysts wonder if populism will gain ground on the European continent amid the impact of a migration crisis and dissatisfaction with the European Union. With elections approaching in France, Germany and the Netherlands, the question has gained urgency.

Today is Pancake Day in the United Kingdom, or Shrove Tuesday, as it's known on the Christian calendar. It's a time for indulging before the beginning of Lent and, in Britain, racing around with a frying pan, flipping pancakes.

London Bridge isn't falling down, but Britain's Parliament building — which sits along the River Thames and includes Big Ben — needs a ton of work. U.K. lawmakers are now analyzing a massive rehab plan that will cost billions of dollars and could force legislators to work somewhere else for years.

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