Former Royal family butler lifts the curtain

Special 18/05/2018
Royal butler Grant Harrold. Photo credit: Getty.

Grant Harrold is a former royal butler and member of the royal household of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

Known as the 'Defender of Etiquette', Mr Harrold has spent 20 years learning and developing his passion for etiquette. His company also founded The Royal School of Etiquette and Butlers.

He spoke exclusively to RadioLIVE Drive host Lisa Owen, who is broadcasting from London for the Royal Wedding.

How do think that Meghan Markle is going to cope with officially becoming part of the royal family?

“It's an interesting one because she's already got the public persona. She's already done charity work because of being an actress, she understands how to kind of do things in a public manner, but at the same time this is joining the royal family which is an institution, it's been around for a thousand years, they've got their own rules when it comes to etiquette, protocols, traditions.

"And also it's moving to the UK which has got its own rules and traditions as well.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry. Photo credit: Getty.

"I think she will be fine but at the same time, there's a lot for her to take on board."

Kate Middleton was a commoner and she's managed to be absorbed into that family. Is it the same kind of thing for Meghan Markle?

"I think so. I mean it's interesting they do say Kate Middleton was a commoner but the Queen mother, Prince Charles' grandmother, was actually classed as a commoner as well.

"But with all the royal ladies they've all just accepted their duties, done them fantastically.

"We look at Kate Middleton today, or The Duchess of Cambridge as she now is, everyone loves the way she does things. She's very good with the public engagement, she's great with the family life, she's great obviously when we see her doing the protocols and traditions that are part of the monarchy. She's adapted really well to it.

"And I think for Meghan Markle, as far as looking at people to follow, [Kate Middleton] will be an excellent person to look at [in terms of] how The Duchess of Cambridge has done things and copy the way she's done it."

Do you think Meghan Markle is getting etiquette training?

"Personally, I don't think so. I honestly wouldn't know the answer to that. But I would believe that what she'll be doing is watching what the other members of the royal family do.

"From my point of view when I was with the royal household, I used to watch what they all did. The way they dined, the way they have their teas, the way they behave, to learn how to do it correctly myself. I wanted to do it correctly as well in my own home.

The Queen drinking wine. Photo credit: Getty.

"I think that's how she will learn. Again, when you look at The Duchess of Cambridge who's had to learn the same thing herself, if [Meghan Markle] needs anybody for pointers or guidance then she's got them literally at her doorstep.

Is it a big deal if a royal member stuffs up?

"In the big scheme of things, of course, it's not. We all make mistakes, that's the reality of life.

"Unfortunately for them, and it is really silly, the reality is if they put the milk in the wrong way in a cup of tea or use the cream the wrong way with the jam, it's not the end of the world but you can guarantee the media will take an interest in it and they'll comment on it.

"It's not a big deal but unfortunately there is certain rules and tradition that people take really seriously and if somebody gets it wrong it's picked up on."

Listen to the full interview with Grant Harrold above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.