Here's How You Can Have High Tea with the Royal Family
Attention royalists: Your chances of mingling with the British monarchy just got a lot higher.
No, you're unlikely to attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's next Internet-busting event—the Windsors and those who surround them are an untouchable clan, and if you’ve ever watched and episode of The Crown you’d know just how hard Buckingham Palace works to keep their private matters from leaking. The hit show’s stars, however, are inviting you to high tea—and they'll fly you all the way to London to party with them.
Vanessa Kirby portrays the late Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (and Queen Elizabeth II’s only sister), on the Netflix series and now, she’s making your royal fantasies come true. Kirby, 30, and her cast mates have teamed up with U.K.-based charity event Red Nose Day and Omaze to participate in a fundraiser that’ll benefit the organization’s mission to end child poverty—and activists who contribute to the cause may just wind up sipping tea in London with them.
Those who donate (at least $10) are eligible to enter the campaign. The winner will be flown to London, stay at the Portobello Hotel, and attend a royal-themed garden party with Crown stars including Kirby, Matt Smith, and Claire Foy, whom Kirby calls her best friend. The win also includes a tour of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, the site of Harry and Meghan's wedding. The more you donate, the greater your chances of winning.
Kirby has admired and supported Red Nose Day since she was 10 years old and credits director and Red Nose Day co-founder Richard Curtis for The Crown's involvement. “It’s the most ingenious way of supporting children living in horrific poverty all over the world while doing something fun,” she tells InStyle of the annual televised fundraiser, during which celebrities like Julia Roberts, Chelsea Handler, and Rachel McAdams put on a raucous show and encourage viewers to donate. This year, Kirby notes that she’s fan-girling over McAdams, who’s been supporting the T-shirt Victoria Beckham designed for the cause.
Other Anglophile raffle prizes include a picnic in Notting Hill with none other than Hugh Grant, breakfast with Benedict Cumberbatch at a classic Sherlock location, and a ticket to the Mama Mia 2 premiere preceded by—brace yourself—private drinks with Meryl Streep.
But back to royalty. While Kirby's cast mates are (for the most part) buttoned up onscreen, offscreen—at, say, a garden party—you can expect to see a very different side of them: “Matt Smith is very naughty. Claire Foy is a goddess but also a regular lass from the north of England and couldn’t be less like the Queen [the character she portrays]. Alex Jennings is hilarious and really wicked. Victoria Hamilton is kind and gentle and loves champagne, and Greg Wise may be the most attractive man in the U.K."
There's one royal that Kirby herself wishes she could have met, and that's of course Princess Margaret. "She was such an unusual, complex, witty, troubled, beautiful woman,” Kirby says. “I think she would have thought I was ridiculous, but I would have worshipped her.”
Catch the Red Nose Day NBC special live on May 24 at 10 p.m. ET.