WILLIAM (Richard Henry) HANSON (all Royal names, you’ll notice) is Senior Tutor for The English Manner, the UK’s leading etiquette, protocol and household management consultancy. He works in the UK, China, India and the Middle East. He is the author of ‘The Bluffer’s Guide to Etiquette’, which he describes as ‘seminal and pivotal’ and is regularly seen and heard on television and radio.
Birthplace Bristol, for my sins.
Parentage Brian, who is ‘in property’ (not really sure what he does) and Sarah, who used to work in high-end retail management.
Siblings A younger brother, James, who has just finished reading Politics at the University of Leeds. He is quite different from me. He once wore a white belt. Sadly, not for a bet.
Education Clifton College, Bristol where I used to dress up as the Headmaster (we had the same hair & bone structure) and parade around the campus (from a distance the Headmaster’s wife blew me a kiss, to this day I'm not sure if she knew it wasn’t her husband) and the University of Manchester where I studied English Language.
First job(s) Well, technically it was my own 'company', Hanson Inc, which I ran from the ages of 10-15. I was ‘Supreme Commander’ and I made my father and brother gather on Sundays for board meetings around the conservatory table. Other than that, I worked as a receptionist at my school during the holidays.
When joined present business I joined The English Manner in 2008. As a company we only have two policies – 'we don’t do leaving and we don’t do death’ (words of Founder and CEO Alexandra Messervy) so it’s a job for life.
Turning point Being asked to contribute to this.
Extrovert or introvert I’m the epitome of a Virgo so guess that makes me an introvert, but I can be an extrovert when required. I’m an excellent at being passive aggressive, however.
Early bird or late owl When working from home, I’m an early bird. Rise at 6am (at the latest), do a few hours of emails and projects then have an hour off to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at 9am whilst you wait for people to get back to you as they have just got into the office.
Town or country I grew up in the country and enjoyed all that but currently living in a luxury penthouse apartment with executive breakfast bar in Manchester so now very much town. And Manchester is SO much better than London, but don’t tell London folk that as we don’t want them up here.
Leisure pursuits/hobbies I live to iron. Housework in general, really, or having people over for dinner.
Favourite holiday destination To paraphrase the Dowager Countess of Downton, ‘What is a holiday?’ I just really like staying at home and not having to do anything for anyone. But, if I had to pick somewhere more exotic, Sorrento was fun, or Dubai (as the hospitality is terribly good).
Advice to younger generation Avoid nightclubs. Waste of time, money and effort. No wonder you’re all in debt. Everyone is drunk, doped and disorderly and due to this they have no conversation; even if they did you can’t hear them because the music is too loud. Have a dinner party instead.
Remaining ambition To be asked to do this questionnaire again.
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LUCIE LEWIS Founder and managing director of Beyond Bespoke