Welcome to my World – Butler to the Royal Family

A TADS talk by William French

Monday 8th January 2024; 8.00 pm at Heath End Village Hall, Heath End Road, Baughurst, RG26 5LU

William joined the Royal Navy at 15 where he was trained as a chef but then moved on to become a No. 1 Steward.  Later on he graduated to personal steward/valet to a senior officer at NATO HQ.  He saw action in the Falklands aboard HMS Battleaxe and paid tribute to those who lost their lives in that conflict.  Still in the Royal Navy, and after a short spell as Leading Steward, he was appointed Royal Class Steward on the Royal Yacht Britannia which opened up a whole new world for him serving the Queen and Prince Philip on royal tours as well as service on board during their annual holidays in the Western Isles of Scotland with many other members of the royal family.  William’s memories of the Royal Yacht and life aboard were clearly very dear to him.After de-commissioning of Britannia, William’s skills and experience took him to Ascot House, near Wing, where he managed a household of 30 staff.  When the house was taken over by the National Trust, he moved to Kensington Palace as ‘breakfast butler’ and was at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on the night of Princess Diana’s tragic demise.

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