Some people think table manners don’t matter any more but, happily, the Duchess of Sussex is not among them.
Before moving to London to live with Prince Harry, the American actress was given a two-hour lesson in etiquette by Edmund Fry, a Londoner who runs the Rose Tree Cottage tea room in Pasadena, California.
‘She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to come back,’ Fry tells me. ‘The younger generation doesn’t know what bone china is and certainly don’t know anything about how to handle a cup and saucer, or how to handle a knife and fork.’
Before moving to London to live with Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex was given a two-hour lesson in etiquette by Edmund Fry (pictured)
He adds: ‘They come to us mainly to find out, ‘What should we do, as we are having this social event?’
‘The same sort of thing happened with Meghan. She knew she would be having tea with the Queen.’
‘Here they really do not know what to do. What we have found is that we give them a little information if they are interested and watch what happens.
Again, the reservation wasn’t made under her name, it was made by a friend.
‘We live in a society here which is a styrofoam cup or cardboard cups with a straw and everybody eats with their hands as we see with the ads on television.
The Duchess of Cambridge went to the Rose Tree Cottage tea room in Pasadena, California, to learn how to have afternoon tea. Pictured speaking in London during her Smart Works launch
‘It is a wonder they know what a knife and fork is. The younger generation doesn’t know what what bone china is and certainly don’t know anything about how to handle a cup and saucer or how to handle a knife and fork.’
He continued: ‘Not to mention any particular brand but a lot of people over here have donuts for breakfast on the run in a styrofoam cup with a bit of a stick in it or they have a latte.
‘Obviously she’s not going to get that for afternoon tea if she goes to the Queen.
‘Like everybody who comes here, they want to know “well do I hold the cup and saucer like this?” “Is it this alright if I leave the spoon like this?” “Do I ask for more tea and does it matter if the cup is put on the plate like this?” “What is the plate for?”
‘A lot of people actually do very strange things for tea. They move the plate, they don’t know what to do with the napkin and don’t know anything about what they’re doing. She wanted to know the comfort of sitting.’
Fry feels Markle did not have a ‘love for England’ during their first meeting. ‘I don’t think she did. I think she fell in love with England when she came to Rose Tree Cottage.
Fry feels Markle did not have a ‘love for England’ during their first meeting. ‘I don’t think she did. I think she fell in love with England when she came to Rose Tree Cottage’
‘A very strange thing to say, and probably self serving. But when you come to a place like Rose Tree we don’t pretend to be urban here. We bring something that you cannot find in England anymore, because we really care about our customers.
‘When they come through the door they are in England. You can see by my portrait of Her Majesty The Queen on the wall we are completely prepared for anybody who might come to Rose Tree Cottage.’
Asked if he would like would be willing to work as staff for the Royals: ‘Yes of course absolutely.’ I’m a Londoner. I was born in a blitz during the war, under a table, under a tea table. I was born in a blackout.
‘My mother had no doctor, no midwife. There was a bombing raid, there was eight hundred bombers above us trying to kill my mother. She didn’t know she was having twins.
‘There was no food, the gas was turned off, the lights were turned off, every window was blacked out.
‘I had a very difficult beginning, as so many British people of my years would have had, and if you think of that time when rationing was on during the war and ten years after the war, most people don’t realize.’
Simon Cowell’s slimmer look has been attributed to a gastric band, but it’s his girlfriend Lauren Silverman who should take the credit.
‘Lauren encouraged him to adopt better eating habits,’ the X Factor mogul’s friend, talent agent Jonathan Shalit, tells me at the Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus.
Cowell, 59, has a five-year-old son, Eric, with Lauren, 42. His pal adds: ‘Simon is a brilliant father who is keen to see his son grow up.’
Simon Cowell’s slimmer look has been attributed to a gastric band, but it’s his girlfriend Lauren Silverman who should take the credit. Pictured in 2014, left, and this week, right
Irons’ son to wed Tatler fashionista
Heart-throb Max Irons — who followed in the footsteps of his Oscar-winning father, Jeremy, by becoming a successful actor — hopes to achieve similar happiness in his private life.
I can reveal that the 33-year-old star of hit BBC historical drama The White Queen has become engaged.
Max Irons — who followed in the footsteps of his Oscar-winning father, Jeremy, by becoming a successful actor — has become engaged to Sophie Pera (pictured)
Max, who has modelled for Burberry and Mango, is to wed Sophie Pera. And she will doubtless be a very stylish bride, as she’s fashion director of society magazine Tatler. ‘It will be a wonderful wedding,’ one of Max’s friends tells me.
‘They are a lovely couple and very low-key, despite their great connections.’
It’s understood they will exchange vows near Max’s family home in Oxfordshire. His mother, celebrated actress Sinead Cusack, has been married to Irons for 41 years.
Kate Moss shared oysters and steak tartare with her aristocratic boyfriend, the photographer Count Nikolai von Bismarck, at Chelsea restaurant Colbert this week.
But the 45-year-old supermodel declines to dish out glamour tips to her half-sister, Lottie Moss, 21.
‘My sister Lottie and I never share beauty advice,’ Kate admits. ‘She is who she is. She has her own distinct personality — and I have mine. We’re so different, and she has a really good look going on.
‘Everyone does their own stuff in their own way.’
Kate Moss declines to dish out glamour tips to her half-sister, Lottie Moss, 21. ‘Everyone does their own stuff in their own way,’ she says. (pictured in New York on September 7)