So we want to be the epitome of class, beauty and perfection. But how can we climb the frightfully intimidating social ladder to become fully fledged members of the inner circle? And how can we actually become a glossy-maned Middleton?! Here, I’m addressing the utterly fool-proof measures you can take to become a member of the elite. One (dreadfully expensive and/or unachievably ridiculous) lesson at a time.
Lesson 1: Dressing
One must always ensure they are put-together as the embodiment of all things class. But fear not. You’re the fun, younger Middleton, possibly a second cousin (not on Uncle Gary’s side thank heavens) and you admire the Middleton style at its most edgy and modern. We’re talking Kate’s daring Marchesa number, oh so elegant, but with an extra, subtle peep of (perfect) skin. You’ve found the balance. You do not seek a King, merely a Marquess or a Lord. For day to day wear, you appreciate what the British high street has to offer. Whistles and Reiss are favourites for good quality cashmere, perfect for unwinding around one of your (vast array of) family homes at weekends. For evening wear, perhaps invest in one of the more daring Temperley London pieces? And we’re not talking the John Lewis concession. Utterly darling, yes, but also atrociously cheap. Either way, one thing is certain. Team your L.K. Bennett nude courts with everything. There is never an occasion not suited to them. Lady Anne’s wedding? L.K. Bennett courts. Henrietta’s dinner party? L.K. Bennett courts. A quick pop to Waitrose to fetch some loose leaf breakfast tea? L.K. Bennett courts. Regarding necklines, as a rule, excessive cleavage is vulgar. You must seek to make your chest look as flat, and neat as possible. If you are ample bosomed, invest in some quality binding or go under the knife. Consider this an investment that you will never look back on. You must do this to become the epitome of elegance and class.
Lesson 2: Beauty
One must be immaculately turned out at all times. Nails should be filed into neat ovals and painted with a thin layer of Essie’s Ballet Slippers -Granny’s favourite. Make-up should be light during the day, but for evening events you may add extra kohl around your eyes. You must learn to apply this yourself. Your cascades of hair will be perfectly coiffed and dyed to a shade of rich chestnut perfection. If you are considering any other hair colour, do not. If you have already made this mistake, rectify this dreadful misjudgement as a matter of urgency. Blonde is uncouth. Ombre is common. Red is ghastly. You must set aside a significant portion of your monthly wage (or inheritance) to ensure a luxury blow dry twice a week. This is a vital component to climbing up the social ladder. And you will look divine.
Lesson 3: Travel
One must never, ever travel on the tube, bus, train, or any other form of public transport when not trying to appear relatable. After you crash your Land Rover Discovery for the third time whilst navigating the Kensington parking situation (dreadful), you should relax and let your driver do the work. He is a frightful bore, and this suits you perfectly as you find small talk abysmal, despite being perfectly adept. Be sure he drives a Bentley, wears a uniform, and refers to you as Ma’am at all times.
Lesson 4: Friends
One must always surround oneself with those of a higher social standing. Educated at Oxford or Cambridge is preferable and most beneficial, whilst the well-bred token buffoon is a necessity for laughs. Those you should gravitate towards should be called Oliver, Cressida, Camilla and Alexander, but you will refer to them as Olls, Cress, Millie and Xander. In order to climb the social ladder most effectively, you mustn’t be afraid to go back through family trees in order to acquire the most economically and sociably profitable friends. Ideal careers include barristers, doctors (established village family clinics) horse trainers and horse breeders. Other helpful pointers to look out for include: Double barrelled surnames, Liberty London bag(s) and brown boating shoes.
Lesson 5: Family
One must always refer to your mother and father as Mummy and Daddy. Feel free to discuss with others in great detail the frightfully good time that is so often had at the boxing day hunt. Don’t forget to mention poor Charlie boy getting caught up in Labour nonsense and his tedious ideas of animal cruelty. When will he learn? When someone enquires about your parents occupation, smile and say, ‘Daddy works in the family business and Mummy? Oh, and Mummy’s just Mummy.’ Offer to show pictures of the family coat of arms and your grandfathers Victoria Cross, finishing off with the plumiest laugh you can possibly muster.
Lesson 6: Conversation
One must always ensure to find the perfect blend between awkward silences and animated conversation. If you are finding a conversation positively mind-numbing, which of course you are, nod your head vigorously and shout ‘yah!’ repeatedly. This should frighten the offender into keeping quiet, yet at once convince them that you are terribly interested in what they have to say. This is a most clever tactic. Be aware, however, of imposters. Nothing says new money like those who openly discuss their wealth. These people are abhorrent, and you must terminate the conversation with haste. If the bore in question continues with monetary drivel you should let a deliberate silence ensue, before pursing your lips and saying politely (but witheringly), ‘Let’s move on, shall we?’ Proceed to talk about how you cut your 2013 holiday to St Tropez short to indulge in your charity work. They will feel suitably ashamed and resigned to basking in your selfless, wondrous brilliance.
Lesson 7: Accent
One must always adopt an English/American twang. Unfortunately, no matter how high born you undoubtedly are, you may sport some sort of an accent. This is a most unfortunate affliction. You should always endeavour to hide this. If someone asks you where you’re actually from, tilt your head, laugh, let out a swift succession of ‘yahs,’ and tell them. But do add ‘Country Estate’ to the end of the sentence. An example. If you live in Meadow Heights, you now reside at Meadow Heights Country Estate. If you live on Wood Road, you live on Wood Road (changing to lane is optional here) Country Estate. Then, flutter your expertly curled eyelashes and ask with genuine bemusement, ‘Haven’t you ever heard of it?’ If they say no, laugh raucously or even guffaw at their foolishness. They will feel utterly out of touch, giving you the upper hand. If they say yes and ask to come for tea, congratulations. You’ve been accepted into the circle.
Lesson 8: Romance
One must always, always seek to court a rich, debilitatingly handsome man. Slim, aristocratic features are preferable and some thinning of the hair is allowed. He should enjoy crisp white shirts, the finest of British tweeds and a great glass of merlot. He does not object to smoking the odd cigar on his veranda. Be sure to entrap him with your wit, charm and unquestionably good upbringing. But be aware. Courting should never be fun. It is merely a business decision. If you fall in love, hooray, by all means marry him. But if you don’t, you must marry him anyway. Those pesky notions of romance and love should be cast aside quickly at the mere whisper of his sapphire inheritance. And, if you’ve played your cards correctly, his grandfathers hotel in St Barth’s.
Lesson 9: Food
Supper is your favourite meal of the day.
Lesson 10: Drink
One must never get blotto. Certainly, not whilst attending parties. Your bevvy of choice flits between a French 75 and Mint Julep, depending on how the day is progressing. You will sip elegantly, and slowly. Your rose tinted lipstick will stay intact all evening. As will your poise.
Lesson 11: Literature
One must educate oneself to the highest standards, and base themselves largely on classical literary heroines. Blend the (good) qualities of Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett, and dare I say it, Lady Macbeth. Once you have acquainted yourself with such ladies, and examined their strengths and weaknesses you are ready to impress. Ruthlessly, gracefully, and unapologetically. How ravishing.
So there we have it, the methods necessary to rise up the ranks and become a member of the social elite. And as I say, utterly bl*ody fool proof. Chin, chin!