What I really really want.
As a Brit overseas, I get asked a lot - what is my take on Megan & Harry.. what do I think of Boris...will Prince Charles ever be King…I also get asked if I’m posh.
Americans lap up all things British (a la Downton Abbey) but being asked if I’m posh is like opening up an old wound…… standing next to another Brit once, we were asked who is more posh... it was mortifying.
England is essentially run by an elite establishment… a long line of Etonians, Harrovians, and Oxbridge alums following in their father’s footsteps.
And even if poshness has faded over the years, it still lives on because to be posh is to reside at the top end of an ancient caste system, which is what Americans all too often miss about class.
They admire the aesthetics and the charm of what appears posh but miss the unforgiving social stratification that class imposes on Britain.
At the core of poshness is a network, a tapestry of titled aristocrats, landed gentry, and the fanciest of the upper-upper-middle classes who eventually inter-marry to keep the whole house of cards from tumbling down.
The key to poshness is it’s not about money but about access to power…it’s about being “the right kind of person” vs. an NQOCD, which means “Not quite our class, darling.” … I learned that at boarding school from a classmate whose father was Sir Mortimer Tollemache, Lord Lieutenant of Ultraposhshire.
Poshness usually comes with wealth but not always… you can be posh but not rich, you can be rich but not posh and to make it more complicated... if you're self-made, you are decidedly gauche.
What poshness guarantees is access to wealth, even if you’re broke.. and if you go to the “right” school it can catapult you into the country’s top professional elite.
So.. just ‘cos I say loo, napkin, call my parents Mummy & Daddy, guzzle champagne, partake in caviar, and listen to opera...does that make me posh? At the end of the day, who gives a golly gosh?