Etiquette to some may seem to be an antiquated notion, something that is outdated and no longer relevant, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Today, etiquette is more important than ever. But what is etiquette? In short, it is a set of behaviours designed for the consideration and to make others feel more comfortable; social codes of conduct that guide our manner in the company of others.
There is etiquette for many aspects of life, from table manners, entertaining, telephone, weddings, meetings and in the new world, email, online and other modes of communications to name a few. And of course there are different rules of etiquette in most cultures, there are especially important to know when venturing into other countries or in business interactions.
While there are some rules that no longer apply because life isn’t lived in the style and manner it was back in the 1900’s or earlier, many of them do still apply. Proper etiquette plays an important role in our lives, because it communicates the kind of person we are to other people. Etiquette, is about relationships and, a fundamental aspect of living is relationships, whether demonstrated in our professional or private lives.
“A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The rules of etiquette are ever shifting in this changing world, and here to help as guidance, is a seasoned professional – Grant Harrold The Royal Butler is a former royal butler and member of the Royal Household to Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. He is now a British Royal Etiquette Consultant, Butler Trainer, and Broadcaster and has featured on TV series’ in the UK for the last 20 years. As an entertainer, he has also become know as The Royal Butler, Britain’s defender of Etiquette and Manners.
Harrold was born with a love for service and is passionate about leaving a legacy in etiquette education, for royalty, the upper classes and through the masses. With his gentle tone, elegantly easy manner and charm, he has a natural ability to make what can be perceived as a stuffy and dull subject, to make it entertaining and approachable all while maintaining decorum which is sure to assist him in his efforts to make a positive impact. This is also evidenced by his growing community that he connects with on social media and who share photos of themselves using his tips and enjoying the effect they are having on their lives.
Angela Tunner, editor in chief of EAT LOVE SAVOR®, spent time in conversation with Mr. Harrold chatting with him about his perspectives on the importance of etiquette in modern society, his past, present, future and projects some of the and charitable causes with which he is involved.
A Moment With The Royal Butler Grant Harrold
ELS – Your start as a butler in training began whilst working alongside your mother. What was it about being a butler that inspired you to want to make it your profession?
TRB – From a young age I was fascinated by the role of a Butler, assisting others and making their lives run efficiently. Due to my nature and background I liked this idea of being able to assist others and helping run their households. Of course, I wanted to do this at the highest level and The British Royal family to my mind was the top family in the UK. I did as a child write to the Queen twice to ask if we could meet but I had to wait a few years to make this happen.
ELS – Why do you feel that etiquette is important?
TRB – Etiquette helps us to understand how to behave in different situations, however, it is important to remember it is also to help us to feel comfortable in other homes and understanding their rules that may apply to different households and environments. One households rule’s may be totally different to the next but this is something we all need to understand and respect.
ELS: In your professional efforts in championing etiquette, what is your vision?
TRB – I would like to ensure etiquette and manners continue to play an important part in our daily lives, not only to help better ourselves but to ensure we treat others with respect and dignity. I of course respect we live in the 21st Century and people rights, freedoms and expressions are of course at the forefront of civilization but at the end of the day, respecting each other, minding our manners and a basic understanding of etiquette would only go to enhance our society.
ELS – Some think that etiquette is an outdated concept; what is it about etiquette that you wish people knew?
TRB – Etiquette has been around for centuries, however, it evolves almost on a yearly basis due to technology and evolving societies. The rules of yesterday are in a lot of cases outdated but it is important that new rules and guidance is created to continue to make sure that etiquette features in our daily lives in some shape or form.
ELS – What do you see as some of the benefits to one’s lifestyle and society in general in taking a more conscious approach to being mannerly and personal conduct?
TRB – I think manners are a basic thing we should understand and practice every day regardless of background. However, we need to understand that what is acceptable in one country is not acceptable in another. Therefore, to demonstrate manners by being polite and as we have all been taught minding our manners will help us on the great journey of life.
Politeness is like an air-cushion—there may be nothing in it, but it wonderfully eases the joltings along the rough road of life.
~Attributed to H.W. Beecher
ELS – With recent global events that have paused life as we know it; that fast pace of living, now that we are in a lockdown, there is an opportunity to take stock of how we live and reprioritize. In your view, how can improving one’s quality of life with etiquette make life better for individuals and those they come in contact with in a post pandemic world?
TRB – The pandemic we are experiencing I believe will help bring families together as we are all home more with our loved ones, friends and families. There we are communicating, dining and social interacting more than normal so the basic codes or etiquette and manners will be more important now than ever. I also think a lot of our etiquette rules when meeting others will change for the foreseeable future.
For example, handshakes will be something that will take a back step for a considerable amount of time and we will be looking at how our greeting of one another can take place during this pandemic.
ELS – Tell us about the services you offer, any projects you are working on and your charitable causes.
TRB – In 2013 I began to work with HRH Princess Katarina who is a cousin of Prince Charles. In 2015 she became the patron of the School which is now known as The Royal School of Etiquette and Butlers. We run etiquette classes with the most popular being the Afternoon Tea Class. My etiquette courses are now available to take online via my new online classes hosted by myself. The butler school is normally run twice a year in Scotland at Borthwick Castle and at Blenheim Palace our main base for the courses. Princess Katarina is one of my lecturers for both the etiquette and butler courses. I am also an Ambassador for British Dyslexia Association – https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk and a patron for Pets in Spain – http://pets.tucatz.com
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use. ~Emily Post
The Royal Butler QuarantinEtiquette Videos
At the start of the lockdowns, Mr. Harrold began shooting a YouTube Series called QuarantinEtiquette, in which he shares his knowledge on etiquette for the home and life featuring his darling Dachshunds in entertaining and informational videos. Each one features a topic of interest in etiquette. There are delightful tidbits of information to learn from them. In addition, some of his videos are live chats, and he takes questions. His community is lively and engaged and Harrold again, charming, entertaining and informative. It is especially fun when he showcases an antique table item and we have to guess what it is! There are over 50 videos that can be viewed on YouTube on his channel. Here is one for your enjoyment!
Learning Even More from The Royal Butler
At the moment, due to the lockdowns, distancing measures and travel restrictions, the only offerings from The Royal Butler are online. Harrold offers a range of classes, courses and workshops on a range of subjects from Afternoon Tea to Royal Etiquette which have proven to be very popular. He has also runs etiquette dinner parties during which we teach guests the etiquette and protocol of royal dinners parties. These courses have been successfully running around the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and even as far as Australia for over five years. The Etiquette Courses are held in magnificent settings across the country such as Blenheim Palace, Britain’s Greatest palace, The Ritz Hotel, Thornbury Castle, Borthwick Castle and Broomhall House. Some of the classes and workshops are joined by actress and singer Patti Boulaye OBE and former equerry to the late HM The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, Jeremy Burton.
Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Contact The Royal Butler
To reach Grant Harrold The Royal Butler or for further information on his available online classes visit his website https://www.theroyalbutler.co.uk/, Phone 07817 724379, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with TRB on social media
All photos courtesy of Grant Harrold.