Grant Harrold worked for seven years as a butler for His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the prince’s sons, Princes William and Harry, at their Cotswolds home, Highgrove. Upon leaving royal service, Grant put his skills to good use in teaching etiquette and butler training skills all over the world.
Now working as a broadcaster, etiquette expert and royal correspondent, Grant is a valuable contributor to the ‘unique experiences’ which we create for our guests, and we are delighted to welcome Grant to participate in our interview series.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
“As a child I loved visiting castles and my personal favourite was Glamis Castle. In 1991 I wrote to the Dowager Countess of Strathmore and sent to her a placemat for cups which I had made, with a drawing of Glamis on it. I was thrilled when she wrote back, and she then became a long term pen friend. We met for the first time in 1992 and remain good friends to this day. In 2004, she very Kindly provided me with a reference when I applied for a job with HRH The Prince of Wales. Her late husband was a cousin of the Prince and little did I know, when I wrote to her many years before, that one day she would help me secure my dream job.”
Who is your hero or heroine?
My parents are my heroes, as is the case with most people. Both my mother and father believed in my crazy ideas and my dream to one day work as a butler for Royals, and an actor too! They supported me throughout my childhood and I thank them for where I am today. It was a magical moment when I told my parents that I had secured my dream job as a butler to The Prince of Wales and his family. It was also a wonderful memory when I got my part in the BBC 2 series-‘Country House’, thus fulfilling both of my dreams.
If you had only one day in Scotland, where would you go?
I have many beautiful, favourite locations in Scotland, but if I had one day to visit, then it would be Sutherland and my old home of Brora where my parents were based when they worked for the Earl and Countess of Cadogan. I spent many happy years visiting the area with my best friend and dogs — there are so many special memories of that area which I will cherish forever. I also spent a few years on and off working up in Caithness at The Castle of Mey with The Prince of Wales, then I would travel to my parents after my work period was finished, Caithness is also a very special area.
Tell us a bit about your favourite Scottish food.
My diet has changed over the years, from a childhood of only eating traditional, home-made Scottish dishes to later eating ready-made meals while I was living on my own. These days I tend to try most thing, and particularly enjoy a good selection of Scottish seafood, particularly lobster and crab, and of course my all-time favourite Scottish smoked salmon, whenever I am in Scotland. I must also confess that I am very partial to the delicious Scottish equivalent to the pastry, butteries!
If you could go back in history, which period would you visit and what would you do?
I am fascinated by the Georgian and Medieval periods of history. I would love to go back and see what it was like to live in those times. I am not sure I could cope with the bloodshed as I pass out at the merest site of blood, if someone so much as pricks their finger I’m gone, so it is safe to say I may not stay there for long. As I work as an etiquette expert I would be interested to see how we acted and behaved, as well as to see what our daily activities were like. It would also be fun to be dressed in the period costume for the time I visited, and if I was able to do so I would definitely want to bring clothing back to wear as my everyday outfits!
What is your favourite Scottish joke or saying?
I have a love for the saying – “It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht”, which translates to: “It’s a lovely, brilliant bright moonlight night tonight.” I have no idea where or when I first heard it, but when people ask me if I can speak old Scottish and this is how I usually respond. Sadly I know very little traditional Scottish words and sayings, even though my grandparents were full of these wonderful, curious Scots phrases.
You can visit Grant’s website at http://www.theroyalbutler.co.uk and follow his social media on:
To find out more about Grant’s etiquette and butler training, email at firstname.lastname@example.org