City man talks of life as butler to the stars

William served royalty, Nicole Kidman and Robert Redford

A city man has told the Citizen of the amazing life he has led as a butler to the stars.

During his distinguished career William French was the best of the best.

He served the Royal Family on the royal yacht Britannia, Princess Diana at Kensington Palace and even Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Robert Redford.

At his peak he was the number one butler in London, carving himself a lucrative career that has allowed him to travel the world and retire at the tender age of 40.

These days the 46-year-old from Deanshanger is more likely to be seen at leukaemia fundraisers or giving talks on his time with the royals.

But he remembers the good old days fondly.

He smiled: "It really is a wonderful life. It is very demanding as you are at their beck and call 24 hours a day. But it is also very rewarding and it was a pleasure to be around such high-profile people.

"You became part of the family and I became very close with some of my clients.

"I helped Nicole Kidman through her divorce, you have to be there to listen, not judge."

But what does it take to be a good butler? According to William it is much more than just being a servant.

He added: "I am a cordon bleu cook, I can valet, and know how to be a PA. My role was basically more of a house manager.

"But you must be professional, discreet, have the right manner and be able to take criticism."

William still does the odd day as a butler but says his dream now is to open up an exclusive retreat in the city where stars can come for privacy and top-class service.

He said: "It is an idea I have thought about a lot. "I would like to offer personal first-class service to the stars in a place they feel is like home."

>> If you would like William to speak at your event email him at Please note this email address is the corrected version of that shown in the newspaper edition of this article.