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I had an etiquette lesson with King Charles' royal butler

I took a royal etiquette lesson with Grant Harrold, AKA The Royal Butler

HELLO! Lifestyle Writer Georgia Brown has an etiquette lesson with King Charle's former butler
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownLifestyle Writer
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It's not every day you get to take a lesson in royal etiquette led by King Charles' former royal butler.

So when I heard that Grant Harrold, who spent years as part of the royal households butlering for King Charles and Queen Camilla, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Harry and even the late Queen Elizabeth II was offering etiquette classes, I was quick to take him up on the offer.

Princess Kate takes part in a toast as she attends the Queen's Birthday Garden Party at the Orangeryeduring an official visit to Poland and Germany on July 17, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. © Getty
I delved into the mysterious world of royal etiquette with Grant Harrold

In our two-hour etiquette lesson, Grant taught me everything I needed to know about how to conduct oneself at afternoon tea. From nailing perfect posture to elegantly eating sandwiches, rules around cutlery and even how to correctly break a scone, I quickly discovered that dining in the company of a royal would be every inch as daunting as it seems. 

Putting my most ladylike foot forward, I put everything I had learned into practice during the High Palms High Tea in The Landmark London's Winter Garden restaurant. 

Did I perfect the art of royal etiquette worthy enough to secure an invite to the next Buckingham Palace garden party? Find out in the video below...

I took an etiquette lesson with King Charles' royal butler

Do royals take etiquette classes?

According to Grant, those welcomed into the royal family from the 'outside', like Princess Kate or Meghan Markle, aren't given lessons on royal etiquette, but rather "learn from within." 

kate middleton drinking tea© Getty
The Royal Butler didn't seem to think the Princess of Wales had been given 'official' lessons in royal etiquette

Speaking on behalf of Slingo over our quintessentially British afternoon tea, Grant said: "I believe that Prince William and Harry learned royal etiquette from their parents, and their wives learned from them, it's very much an internal thing."

 However, it has been reported that the Duchess of Sussex once booked a two-hour lesson in etiquette under a friend's name, before meeting Queen Elizabeth II. Meghan reportedly met with Edmund Fry, a Londoner who runs the Rose Tree Cottage tea room in Pasadena, California. 

queen meghan sitting down cheshire© Getty
The Duchess of Sussex reportedly took a lesson in etiquette before meeting Queen Elizabeth II

According to Edmund, Meghan booked the session because she "knew she would be having tea with the Queen," per the MailOnline.

What did I learn from my lesson in royal etiquette?

If you can recall the iconic awkward dinner scene in Shrek 2 when the ogre himself is dining with Princess Fiona's royal parents - that is exactly how I felt when first navigating the afternoon tea under Grant's supervision.

The Landmark London afternoon tea© The Landmark London
I dined at The Landmark London for afternoon tea

From handling several sizes of cutlery to establishing which elements of an afternoon tea are acceptable to eat with your fingers, I definitely felt far less Shrek-like once our lesson had finished. 

Ogre jokes aside, I definitely found it fascinating to embrace a far more elegant version of me - even if it didn't go to plan.   

The Landmark London's Winter Garden restaurant provided the perfect setting© Instagram
The Landmark London's Winter Garden restaurant provided the perfect setting

Interestingly, Grant divulged that the royals always tried to be as diplomatic as possible when welcoming guests, which meant catering to both sides of the age-old debate of which topping goes first on a scone - jam or cream? 

LOOK: 22 of the best afternoon tea venues in London you need to book now

"Palace chefs would typically prepare both, with hundreds of scones catering to both the Cornish and Devonian methods," explained Grant, adding that it's always in the royals' interest to please every guest. 

So, King Charles, about that garden party invite…

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