The founder of a successful children’s clothing line, author of an influential parenting blog, and mother of five children, Marie-Chantal of Greece is constantly asked how she manages to do it all. So many of these queries are addressed in her new book on children’s manners, which she tells us more about in an exclusive interview for THE GLOSS …
I’m a firm believer in treating people the way you want to be treated. Manners matter, but kindness matters more. I really believe that it’s not about how well you hold a knife and a fork, yes it’s lovely to see someone with beautiful manners, but it’s about how someone makes you feel. Most of what’s in my book Manners Begin At Breakfast are stories from my childhood on manners and values I was taught or loved and wanted to pass on to my children.
The one question I am most frequently asked is ‘What is it like to marry your prince?’ I fell in love with a man who happened to be a prince with very good manners (Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece). I’m a lucky girl. My favourite fashion moment was my wedding dress by Valentino.
One thing people might not know about me is I went to cookery school. I love to cook and I can play the ukulele! I enjoy hosting and three people I’d like to have dinner with are Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and my grandparents. I unwind by reading a good book, taking a walk and listening to my playlist. The book I most often recommend to others is The Magus by John Fowles.
Porto Heli, Greece is my favourite travel destination. I never travel without Noni Glow Face Oil and eye patches by Sio beauty. I grew up in Hong Kong so dim sum spells happiness for me.
On treasured possessions
My children are my indulgence. After every child, my husband gave me a special piece of jewellery symbolising each child, which I will eventually pass on to them. Every year my children give me a Smythson diary with my name on it, which I also treasure.
When we were teenagers (Marie Chantal’s sisters are Pia and Alexandra) we lived in Paris so you can imagine the feasts of fashion we were exposed to, even in the most casual way. But it was my mother who taught me so much. A crisp white shirt can always save the day.
Someone once said to me – always turn a negative into a positive; it’s always stuck with me and I try and make it a house rule. The lesson hardest to learn though is not to react to something emotionally and to sleep on it.
In my handbag
I have my homemade hand sanitiser – made with 70 per cent Isopropyl alcohol,the higher the content the better, mixed with one third of water and an essential oil of your choice. Spray on hands and on countertops.
Manners Begin At Breakfast, Modern etiquette for families, Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Foreword by Tory Burch, Introduction by Dr Perri Klass Ilustrations by Lydia Starkey, Vendome Press, is out now.
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