So you want to be a duchess? Bless your mercenary little heart, of course you do. In this age of oil oligarchs and 14-year old tech billionaires, anyone can be rich – but a ducal coronet is the accessory money simply can’t buy. But perhaps you’re a little rougher than Duchess Kate around edges, or maybe shy in the presence of ermine? Fear not, sweet unpolished diamond – here’s our step-by-step guide (how to talk! what to wear! where to go!) to bag yourself a blue-blood.
1) Know your target
Heir to the throne he might be, but Prince George is just too young for you, sweetheart. As of this writing, Harry’s practically engaged to something found at a music festival (love ya Cressie!), and the other single royal males don’t bear contemplating (sorry Bea and Eugenie, we’re sure the Duke of York is a fantastic father). Instead, set your sights on one of the 24 non-royal dukes in England – or since they skew a little octogenarian, one of their grandsons. Our pick? He’s just an earl at the moment, but one day, Henry Fitz-Alan Howard will be Duke of Norfolk, and for now, he’s 26, blonde…and a racecar driver.
2) Get A Nickname
Quick, what was the name of your childhood stuffed toy? Lambie? Fluffles? Bonky-Wonky? Fantastic, that is the name you’ll be known by hereafter. The upper-crust love themselves a ridiculous moniker (just ask Philippa ‘Pippa’ Middleton), and your potential conquest just simply won’t be comfortable conversing with a Meaghan, Stephanie, or (burn your birth certificate immediately), Brandi.
The good news? Looking the part will actually be surprisingly comfortable (think Barbour jackets and Hunter boots for everyday, Temperly dresses and LK Bennet shoes for special occasions) – basically just drop some serious cash on the Kings’ Road in London’s Chelsea, and you’ll be right. The bad news? Prepare to spend a lot of time and sterling on your signature long, glossy, and above all, bouncy mane. We’d suggest booking your appointment at the Richard Ward Salon (home of Kate’s signature Chelsea blowout) like yesterday. A note on make-up: just because the Duchess of Cambridge can get away with TOWIE-style eyeliner, doesn’t mean you can. Keep it natural and polished (à la Burberry make-up) – think a rosy glow from all those healthful walks from a weekend spent at the country estate.
We can hear the wedding bells already! Steps 4, 5 & 6 are on the next page…
4) Activity Is Mandatory
The time for lazing around eating bonbons is after your marriage at the family pile in Herefordshire. For now – you need to embrace the sporting life! Haul out your tennis whites, strap on those skis, and saddle up for some elephant polo (yes, it’s a thing and dukes love it)! The way to these many-surnamed men’s hearts is on the court (you’ll just have to attend Wimbledon, don’t worry), down the slopes (anywhere in the French Alps, but Closters is a start), and in the saddle (jodphurs are surprisingly slimming, we promise). And a word for the squeamish – the murder of innocent animals (RIP grouse and salmon) is just part of a Duchess’ life (dodge the red paint, quick!). But at least you get to carry a hip flask, engraved with your coat of arms?
5) Lower Your Tone
With apologies to Nancy Mitford (‘Love in a Cold Climate is mandatory reading, btw), but the days of ‘U’ and ‘non-U’ speak ended somewhere around the time Prince William started doing an Ali G impression. We live in the age of ‘mockney-ism’ (fancy people trying to cover up their accents, really), and the posher your play-boy these days, the more likely he is to sound as if he grew next door to Oliver Twist. So cancel those elocution lessons immediately – he’s going to love you, Eliza Doolittle twang and all.
6) Location, Location, Location
You’re not going to meet your duke in the anti-freeze aisle of Canadian Tire, sunshine. A prolonged stay in Blighty is very necessary if you’re going to throw yourself at him casually bump into a titled hunk of (slightly inbred) ducal man. To catch him when he’ll be most…open…to new acquaintance, get thee to one of the nightspots favoured by the smart set (Boujis is so 2007, by the way). Basically if it’s run by Guy Pelly (bffs with the princes; business partner Johnny Warren is a duke’s son) start chatting up the doorman now – his latest venture is Bodo’s Schloss, an alpine themed club where you can fall in love over a shot-ski. Other fertile hunting ground includes “Tonteria” (tequila!), “Whiskey Mist” (triple, neat!), and Mahiki (pina coladas with a side of cultural imperialism!).
SLIDESHOW: Kate Middleton’s top fashion moments
And last of all, dear caterpillar – don’t forget to be yourself! Smile! Use dry shampoo! And also remember – if you go around styling yourself the Duchess of Abbotsford, Oshawa or Cornerbrook, and don’t actually have a duke to match, who cares? You earned that title all by yourself, dearie.