Terror. That was the principle sensation this documentary generated. Cold rivers of shame sweat gushing down our spine terror seized us at one moment, when one of Tatler’s staff read an excerpt from Debrett’s and we were struck by the comprehension of our gross etiquette ignorance.
This guide to mores states, ‘Under no circumstances should there be any suggestion of saliva’ when engaging in social kissing, when for years we’ve greeted pals looking like a St Bernard on a sweltering day, arrows of gob sweat cascading upon acquaintances. Well, never again. Not unless they ask.
For 305 years Tatler has entertained its rarefied audience while it has caviar sarnies or throws horseshoes at its stable boy for coughing after noon, with its team now catering for modern oligarchs as well as families who’ve lived in castles before Richard had his lion heart transplant. What this grand tour of opulence can’t help but emphasise is that extreme wealth is very weird. In one interview Nigerian oil and gas billionaire Kola Karim admits he doesn’t know how many cars he owns, while the 10th Earl of Glasgow relates the tale of an ancestor who pushed a waiter through a window and instructed the restaurant to put it on the bill.
Among the mistakes we weren’t even aware were possible to make, such as how the ‘wrong blue on a Tuesday afternoon’ can be ‘epically terrible’, the Style Editor’s fact-finding trip to Poundland was a comforting return to reality. We won’t, but we could go on about their basket etiquette…