Highfield to high society

A Marton man who left school with just one GCSE is now serving as a traditional butler to the country's most high-class nobility.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 12:25 pm
Reuben Harvey has completed a butlering training course under the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace

Reuben Harvey, 23, did not have an easy start in life. Struggling with dyslexia from an early age, the sudden death of his father when he was just 10-years-old saw him fall behind in school. Social anxiety and poor attendance meant he left Highfield High School with just one C-level GCSE in English.

Now he is buttoning up his suit as a newly-qualified butler after a year-long stint serving the Duke of Marlborough at the famous Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

Reuben said: “I had always been interested in being a butler since I was 11. The way they dressed, the organisation and the routine drew me to it.

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“But when I found out that butlering school can cost between £2,000 and £10,000 for just a few weeks of training I thought there was no way.”

Unwilling to give up on his dream, Reuben wrote personally to the school, and within weeks was called for an interview at the palace.

He said: “It was quite overwhelming. I was very nervous and I didn’t think I would get it, but I was offered the opportunity on the day.”

Within a week, Reuben, of Thursfield Avenue, Marton, had packed his bags and moved into the staff quarters at Blenheim Palace.

He said: “The job is great and extremely demanding, but the job satisfaction for me is indescribable. Nothing compares.

“We get up at 6am for breakfast. Laying the table is no easy feat and takes about an hour. Everything on the table has to be laid to the inch.

“We’ve served princes and princesses and the Royal Family from Greece.”

Now a fully-fledged butler, Reuben hopes to take his career to the next level working abroad.

Delighted mum Alison Harvey, 42, said: “I am so proud that he’s achieved what he has achieved and I’m quite amazed. Everybody he speaks to says ‘wow’.

“It’s like being in Downton Abbey!”