CC and I have had a theory for some time now, that the difference between royals, aristos and other social climbers with money, and the rest of us, is in our knees.
The theory goes that you can be attractive, successful, witty, charming, cultured, well-educated and even wealthy, but something separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the je ne sais quoi that is breeding. It’s a very British pre-occupation to think about class and how to transcend it, but for any non-Brits reading this, it’s that quality that F Scott Fitzgerald wrote about in the Great Gatsby when he said ‘The rich are different from the rest of us”.
It used to be mysterious, but I think, actually it’s in the knees. If you have good breeding, you’ll have knobbly, slinky knees. If you’ve not, you’ll have potato knees.
Potato knees are practical patellas, good for actually kneeling on and getting down to scrub floors with or dig potatoes up with.
Knobbly knees look good when you’re riding your horse across your estate, or stumbling out of an exclusive night club in a short evening gown.
I have potato knees.
Kate Middleton has posh knees.
Kate Middleton is married to the future king of England.
I am not married to anyone. Rich or poor.
This weekend I got to put my theory to the test. I was invited to watch an exclusive game of polo at Coworth Park. The captain of the English polo team was playing, as was Prince Harry. Lots of famous people had been invited, and we had all expressly been told not to take our cameras.
I put on my best black frock, fixed my hair, and decided to take EW’s comment, that we’re all equal, to heart. I had three express aims: to enjoy the free champagne, to have a good time, and to flirt with some rich/posh men.
I didn’t see that I really had anything to lose, since the chances of me becoming a regular on the polo circuit are slim to none. So I chatted to several charming and eligible young men, some polo players, some rugby players, and some, well, just players.
They were all super friendly, very affable, great chat, and very flirty, and I was having a grand old time. And then I gradually noticed, that I was being gradually usurped by knobbly kneed girls. One by one, all the guys I chatted to slinked off, only to be spotted half an hour later with some leggier woman.
I looked at them all to try and work out what the difference between us was. And all I could come up with was that unspoken element that makes some people look posh and some people not. It wasn’t my hair, or my accent, or what I was wearing. I’m fairly convinced, when it came down to it, it was all in the knees.
You couldn’t see mine, but the potato knees are there. The posh boys knew it and ran away for more polo-appropriate girls. And I was left to drink the free champagne and dance the night away with the PR girls.
I’m hoping I’ll get invited to another posh do so I confirm the theory. In the meantime, in spite of all the knee-related rejection, I don’t think I did too badly for a grand night out!