Follow in the Middletons' footsteps with the blagger's guide social climbing

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Whato, fancy yourself as a member of the elite? Then it's all in the etiquette. Learn the secrets behind being proper fancy and you'll be schmoozing with royalty in no time.

Pippa Middleton at society wedding of James Meade and Lady Laura Marsham wearing Tabitha Webb

© Getty - Handbag

Elbows off the table and pinkies at the ready. Being common is so last year. For now, it's all about good manners and knowing how to greet Prince Harry properly when you finally bump into him.

With this in mind, William Hanson, the UK's leading consultant in etiquette and protocol, has written a book; Bluffer's Guide To Etiquette.

He describes it as a "handbook for social climbing" and says, "The Middleton family prove it's still possible to rise above one's station, if you know the unwritten rules of the cut-glass finger bowl brigade."

Below, William has crafted five tips on how to get your posh on this year...

5 tips for acting posher than you are

1. Never say "Pleased to meet you"

You may think you're being terribly nice saying this upon greeting a stranger, but those in the know will have mentally clocked that you are not saying "How do you do?" If you don't know who they are, can you be sure you really are pleased to meet them?

2. Revise your handshake

The last time someone told you how to shake hands you were probably very young. Get a loved one to review your handshake honestly. Try to avoid being a wet fish or a bone crusher. People judge others on the quality of their handshake.

3. Abandon Pancake Day

For houses of quality, it's called Shrove Tuesday. Serve crêpes in the evening. Oh, and it's St Valentine's Day, while we're at it.

4. Avoid attending Facebook parties

If you are invited anywhere by Facebook then don't go. It won't be worth it and you'll probably be served beer in the bottle or be given wine that hasn't been decanted. The horror.

5. Pudding vs. dessert

The final course of a dinner (and arguably the best one) is the pudding. Note, it is called the pudding. NOT 'dessert'. If you call your lemon posset with spun sugar basket a dessert when dining with the hoity toity, then you might as well prepare for a future dining at a Toby Carvery - where you can help yourself to the dessert buffet for the rest of eternity.

The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette is available for Kindle and iPad at and the iBookstore (RRP £4.99); the print edition is available at and all good book shops (RRP £6.99).



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