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Los Angeles takes on a British accent during BritWeek festivities

Queen Elizabeth II had a new black-and-white portrait unveiled -- she's smiling! -- in honor of her 88th birthday on Monday. Not to outdo her royal highness, but anyone will be able to have their portrait on the front page of the London Times at the BritWeek Santa Monica Festival next month.

BritWeek is a bit of a misnomer because many activities throughout the L.A. area started Monday and last longer than a week. For example, high tea lovers already have been asked to vote for L.A.'s best afternoon tea spot: the High Tea Cottage in Woodland Hills, Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica, the Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena and the Queen Mary Tea Room in Long Beach.

There are cricket and rugby games as well as U.S.-British art gallery openings sprinkled throughout the festivities that run until the beginning of May.

The BritWeek Santa Monica Festival takes place May 3 and 4 at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The festival, which is free, runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days.

Visitors can snap a selfie with a new F-type coupe from Jaguar or chat with the Geico gecko (he'll be there in costume, organizers say). Expect to see Highland, Morris and Irish step dancers as well as pipe bands, harpists and roving street performers who will pay tribute to William Shakespeare's 450th birthday.

Here's an online list of all BritWeek events in L.A. and surroundings.
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