It was just last week we were discussing the recent onslaught of Britishisms in America, though at that point it seemed we were talking primarily about semantics and not about British traditions or habits (tea drinking, butler-having, driving on the other side of the road, and so on). But a piece in this month's Economist adds fuel to the Anglocreep fire: People who aren't British want butlers now. Some of them can actually afford to hire one.
Yes, true, we've always wanted butlers. Someone to bring us our coffee with a bit of clotted cream in bed in the morning, to lay out a fresh set of ironed clothes, to meet us with a martini when we walk in the door after a long, hard day at the office, to warm our bath and to tuck us in at night,. Someone who works for us, and therefore can't nag; someone expert at planning our schedules; someone who would just make our life a little bit easier, a little bit nicer, and also, class up the joint we call home. Someone with a British accent. We've wanted one of our own since Mr. Belvedere was in prime time!
It's happening, though, if not for us, than for some. People with money who might not have otherwise had butlers are hiring butlers. According to the Economist, "Bespoke Bureau, a London agency, has placed 345 butlers this year—twice as many as in all of 2011." Butler training courses are booked until 2013. Demand keeps going up, not just among "old-money aristocrats" but across the globe. Latin America is seen as a big potential market. The butler business is huge in China, Russia, and the Middle East: "Of Bespoke Bureau’s placements 80% were abroad, says its boss, Sara Vestin Rahmani. Of the remainder in Britain, half went to foreign employers," per the Economist.