Tiny parts and icy drinks: Royal butler’s reminiscences of the Queen

(L) Julius Smith as a royal butler and (R) Queen Elizabeth with a glass of bubbly (Image: Equipped/Tim Graham Photograph Library through Getty Photos)

Having had the honour of serving the Queen over the past three a long time, former Royal butler Julius Smith is among the fortunate few who bought up shut and private to her.

From serving her the coldest martini as was her liking, to making sure the rooster on his tray was sufficiently small for Her Majesty to eat, the 55-year-old from London has very fond reminiscences of the 15 or so instances he was invited to work for her.

The proprietor of the Premier Butler Service – which gives coaching for butlers – Julius remembers the primary time he encountered the late monarch.

Queen Elizabeth drinks a glass of alcohol at a state banquet in Nepal

Queen Elizabeth drinks having fun with a tipple at a state banquet in Nepal (Image: Anwar Hussein/Getty Photos)

‘I’ve been fortunate sufficient to serve the Queen many a time however the first assembly was probably the most particular as I needed to compose myself,’ he remembers. ‘I believed for a second it was my grandma who was strolling in entrance of me.’

The preliminary assembly occurred round 30 years in the past when Julius was working at a taking pictures get together at Helmingham Corridor in Suffolk.

‘The visitor of honour was HM the Queen and as you’ll be able to think about I used to be as nervous as a kitten because it was one of many first jobs in my profession as a butler.  I keep in mind my first interplay along with her was I used to be coming down the steps and she or he was strolling up, it was simply the 2 of us current.

Julius Smith in a butler outfit

Julius labored for the Queen round 15 instances and says the primary time he was ‘as nervous as a kitten’ (Image: Equipped)
The Queen sitting down for a meal at a banquet held in her honour in China (Image: Tim Graham Photograph Library through Getty Photos)

‘I rapidly turned spherical and walked to the highest of the steps. I watched as Her Majesty climbed the steps and when she reached the highest she smiled at me and put me utterly comfortable and stated “these stairs are awfully steep”. That was my first ever change. I’ll at all times keep in mind her heat smile.’

As for the newest time the previous Royal butler labored with the Queen, it was simply earlier than the primary lockdown in 2020 the place he was serving to serve at a personal occasion in Mayfair.

Julius within the ballroom at Spencer Home in 2019, the place he was serving to host an occasion for American purchasers (Image: Equipped)

‘The company have been the Queen and an in depth group of her pals and I used to be working with a French chef who was making ready their meals. In any case my years of figuring out the Queen I used to be very a lot conscious that she had a tiny urge for food, she at all times ate like a sparrow, so I instructed him to make sure the rooster I used to be serving her was of the tiniest portion.

‘Nevertheless, the chef disagreed and as an alternative put a big portion of the meals on the silver tray I used to be carrying and once I approached her on the eating desk, she turned to me and stated “I want there was a smaller piece for me” and I needed to chorus from saying something as I knew she wouldn’t need to eat a giant slice of meat.’

Though he has many joyful reminiscences of her, it was the Queen’s appeal and presence that the butler says at all times amazed him. ‘Identical to the remainder of the world has been saying, she at all times got here throughout very heat, caring and nurturing – even to those that by no means had the pleasure of assembly her they couldn’t describe her any higher. I used to be fortunate sufficient to see first-hand these character traits.

Julius with Invoice Gates at an occasion (Image: Equipped)
A State Banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in Might 2011 to honour President Barack Obama’s go to to London (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

‘She was additionally so very small, in truth once I used to see her I at all times thought how tiny this girl of nice energy was.’

Though she was famend for having a keenness for a tipple of gin and Dubonnet, Julius claims it was a dry martini she additionally liked to drink.

‘I keep in mind once we have been at a personal occasion for her that I used to be working at and we had to make sure the drink was as chilly as attainable, as she favored it that means, so we made maybe two or three earlier than serving her the precise one. We wished to ensure it was good for her.’

As a part of his coaching faculty, Julius teaches his purchasers every part from the best way to serve drinks to valeting expertise and his greatest piece of recommendation is “it’s okay to have nerves.’

He explains: ‘Having nerves exhibits you care. After all there have been instances once I was nervous to be in the identical room and serving the Queen however she at all times made me really feel comfortable. She did that with everybody.

‘I nonetheless can’t imagine the information she has handed and I’ll miss her sorely.’

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