Country Life magazine has named David Beckham as one of its five gentlemen of the year. The family man made the cut thanks to his "impeccable manners" – and surprisingly his extensive body art also served in his favour.
"The fact that Beckham had decorated his body with a mass of tattoos did not disqualify him from gentleman status," the publication said. "Tattoos were all the rage among gentlemen, including royalty, so Beckham's passion is bang on trend." Victoria's husband was joined on the list by two other British favourites. Actor Colin Firth was given the nod for his "self-deprecation", and the Duke of Edinburgh for his "stiff upper lip." Boris Johnson was also name checked, as was Nelson Mandela, for his "quiet dignity".
The list was compiled to see how men in 2012 have evolved from the trends set by their predecessors a hundred years ago. While noblemen of the past sported a moustache, wore ties with pride and chain smoked cigarettes, their health conscious counterparts are clean shaven, dress casually and prefer nicotine gum.
A gentleman who lived in 1912 loved attending the Proms, rode in a Rolls-Royce, went shooting at Elveden, Suffolk, drank claret and went tobogganing in St Moritz in Switzerland according to the report.
But today’s counterpart attends Glastonbury, has a Land Rover Discovery, drinks Pinot Noir from New Zealand, embarks on shooting at Alnwick, Northumberland and goes skiing in the French resort of Val d’Isère.
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