From cricket to the catwalk to Westminster, public school accents are back: We reveal Britain’s 50 most powerful posh people under 30
Under Labour, they were an endangered species. But never underestimate the staying power of the young and privileged elite. Suddenly, a generation of precociously bright under-30s has colonised almost every area of British life, from the powerful backrooms of the new politics to business and eco-activism, from sport and theatre to movies and pop.
Here, drawing on impeccably well-connected sources, POLLY DUNBAR presents a definitive guide to the ‘posh and proud’ – the youngest and most influential of a class set to rule like never before.
OUR TOP 10 MOVERS AND SHAKERS
1: Eleanor Shawcross, 27, economic adviser to George Osborne. Grandfather Hartley was lead prosecutor at Nuremberg war crimes tribunal. Royal biographer William is her father. Educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School and Oxford. Teased for looking like Kate Middleton. Bright.
2: Michael Evans, 25, nightclub manager. Shrewsbury School old boy who runs Mahiki, Whisky Mist, The Punchbowl and the Brompton Bar & Grill. Responsible for taking out celebrities including Rihanna and Beyonce when they visit London.
3: Tamsin Omond, 26, activist. Granddaughter of Sir Thomas Lees, a baronet, and educated at Westminster and Cambridge. As the highly photogenic founding member of the activist group Climate Rush, she has become the poster girl for the eco movement.
Powerful: Eleanor Shawcross is the economic adviser to George Osborne while Tamsin Omond (right) is an eco activist
4: Jamie Murray Wells, 27, entrepreneur. Old Harrovian and close friend of Prince William. He made a £10 million fortune because of the success of his online business glassesdirect.co.uk, which he set up when just 21. Expanded with hearingdirect.com, a similar business selling hearing aids.
5: Alastair Cook, 26, England cricketer. Pivotal role in England’s Ashes triumph in Australia. Scored second highest number of runs in any series by an Englishman. Educated at St Paul’s Cathedral School and Bedford School.
6: Arabella Musgrave, 28, head of PR for Gucci. Daughter of Major Nicholas Musgrave, manager of Cirencester Park Polo Club. Prince William’s ex. Her position at the luxury label ensures she wields immense power in the fashion world.
7: Poppy Mitchell-Rose, 30, special adviser to George Osborne. From posh Scottish stock, she went to Fettes College before Durham University. Gatekeeper and fixer for Chancellor. Boyfriend is BBC journalist Ben Wright.
Top players: Cricketer Alastair Cook (far left),Poppy Mitchell-Rose, special adviser to George Osborne and Arabella Musgrave, the head of PR for Gucci (far right)
8: Clemency Burton-Hill, 29, author. Bewilderingly multi-talented, the St Paul’s Girls’ School old girl is also an actress, violinist, presenter on The Culture Show and journalist. There’s nothing she can’t do.
9: Ben Barnes, 29, actor. A heart-throb and rising star in Hollywood after playing Caspian in the Chronicles Of Narnia films, he is also an acclaimed theatre actor. The son of psychiatry professor, he attended King’s College School in Wimbledon, South-West London.
10: Rosie Lovell, 30, foodie. She attended Wycombe Abbey School. Now, she runs Rosie’s Deli Cafe in Brixton Market, South London. Dubbed ‘the next Nigella’, Lovell has already had a cookery book published. Now she is being tipped to get her own TV series at the earliest opportunity.
Moving up in the world: Actor Ben Barnes (left) and foodie Rosie Lovell
Sophie Winkleman, 30, actress. Half-sister of TV presenter Claudia and best known
as Peep Show’s Big Suze. She married Lord Frederick Windsor in 2009 and is now bona fide Royalty.
Jack Whitehall, 22, comedian. Just four years after finishing his A-levels at Marlborough College, the self-styled ‘posh’ stand-up comic has become a regular on panel shows including Mock The Week, as well as hosting programmes including Celebrity Big Brother.
Talented: Actress Sophie Winkleman, married to Lord Frederick Windsor, and author Clemency Burton-Hill
YOUNG MASTERS AND THE GUM DROP GIRL
Hugo Wilson, 28, artist. Regarded as one of Britain’s brightest young artistic talents, his work has been shown at the top Frieze Art Fair. Went to Stowe School and is the beau of Lucian Freud’s great-niece Martha.
Oscar Humphries, 29, fine art dealer. Son of comedian Barry, dapper Oscar was
educated at Bryanston boarding school and Stowe and is now head of international sales at the Timothy Taylor Gallery.
Aretha Campbell, 27, gallery owner and art adviser. Gordonstoun- educated Aretha’s
well-bred circle includes baronet’s daughter and socialite Violet Naylor-Leyland. Her Soho gallery features the work of posh up-and-coming artists.
Young masters: Artist Hugo Wilson and gallery owner Aretha Campbell
Frances Asquith, 26, Sotheby’s specialist in Russian paintings. Daughter of Viscount Asquith and a direct descendant of Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. An intellectual with a degree in Russian and philosophy from Oxford.
Gum drop girl: Green product designer Anna Bullus
Anna Bullus, 25, green product designer. Educated at £9,605-a-term Bedales School. She caused a real stir by inventing Gumdrop bins – which are made from recycled chewing gum and can be used to collect discarded gum. She has been hailed as the eco designer of the future.
Henry de Zoete, 29, special adviser to Michael Gove. A scion of the de Zoete banking family, Henry was in the year above Prince William at Eton. Loves football and drinking but is media savvy too.
James Forsyth, 30, political editor of The Spectator and Mail on Sunday columnist. An Old Boy of Winchester and Jesus College, Cambridge, he is fast becoming one of Britain’s most respected political commentators with highly placed contacts in all three political parties.
Luciana Berger, 28, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree. Educated at exclusive Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls. Has attracted a great deal of interest for her looks and for incorrect claims she was going out with Euan Blair.
Otis Ferry, 28, protester. Son of singer Bryan Ferry and old boy of Marlborough College. Joint master huntsman of the South Shropshire hunt. Arrested several times for pro-hunting activities,
including storming the Houses of Parliament.
Making waves in politics: Henry de Zoete (far left), who is special adviser to Michael Gove, Labour MP Luciana Bergerand protester Otis Ferry (right)
IN FASHION, THE QUEENS OF THE CATWALK
Gabriella and Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, 20 and 30, models. Offspring of aristocrats John Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe and Lady Mary-Gaye Georgiana Lorna Curzon. Blonde, leggy and highly sought-after.
Alice Dellal, 23, model. Punky granddaughter of the Brazilian industrialist ‘Black’ Jack Dellal and goddaughter of photographer Mario Testino. Went to Bedales before becoming a model and socialite.
Model behaviour : Gabriella (far left) and Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, and Alice Dellal
Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, 27, designer. Daughter of the Marquess of Reading and a friend of Prince William. Runs ski-wear fashion label Bula.
Polo star: Nina Clarkin
Poppy Delevigne, 26, model. Bedales-educated with Royal connections. Her grandmother was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. At 5ft 10in tall with piercing blue eyes, she has been used to front campaigns for Mango and Jigsaw.
Chris Robshaw, 24, England and Harlequins rugby player. Was singled out for stardom at £9,340-a-term Millfield School, where he was first-team captain. Named Premiership player of the year in 2009.
Nina Clarkin, 28, captain of the England ladies’ polo team. Niece of Lord Vestey, she is close friends with Prince William and regarded as the best female polo player in the world.
FROM STAGE TO PAGE... AND THE NEW COURT JESTER
Lucy Prebble, 29, playwright. Educated at the independent Guildford High School for Girls. Her hit 2009 play Enron about the collapse of the energy giant is being adapted for the screen by George Clooney.
Polly Stenham, 23, playwright. She has been the darling of the theatre world since she wrote the multi-award-winning play That Face at just 19. Attended Wycombe Abbey and Rugby.
The Hon. Drummond Money-Coutts, 24, magician. The son and heir-apparent of Baron Latymer, he founded the Eton College Magic Society and is now a professional conjurer and card sharp. The Queen is a fan.
Creative minds: Playwright Lucy Prebble (far left) The Hon. Drummond Money-Coutts, who is a magician, and author Ivo Stourton (right)
Ivo Stourton, 28, author. Son of Ed Stourton, the BBC broadcaster and descendant of the 19th Baron Stourton. Went to Eton and Cambridge. His second novel will be published in June. Training as a solicitor.
Interior designer Emilia d'Erlanger
Emilia d’Erlanger, 28, interior designer. A friend of Kate Middleton’s. Went to Marlborough College. Married Prince William’s friend David Jardine Patterson. Has own firm, d’Erlanger and Sloan.
Lily Balfour, 30, interior designer. Great niece of Duke of Marlborough and daughter of financier Neil Balfour. Designed interior of Willa’s nightclub for her friend Willa Keswick.
WITCH AND VAMPIRE MAKING MAGIC AT THE MOVIES
Emma Watson, 20, actress and model. Starred as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. Emma, the daughter of high-flying lawyers, attended Oxford’s exclusive Dragon School and Headington School.
Robert Pattinson, 24, actor. Ranked one of the most powerful celebrities in the world by Forbes. The Twilight heart-throb went to the £15,000 a year Harrodian School in South-West London.
Bewitching: Harry Potter star Emma Watson and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (right)
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 23, actress and model. Underwear model and star of the forthcoming Transformers film. Her great-great-grandfather was politician Sir Herbert Huntington-Whiteley.
Arthur Landon, 28, film-maker. Son of the late Brigadier Tim Landon, who amassed a huge fortune brokering arms and oil deals for Sultan of Oman. He has written and directed
several films and is on his way to stardom.
DOING THE BUSINESS, THE YOUNG ENTREPRENURS
Rising businesswoman: Olivia Inge
Blaise Bellville, 25, online magazine owner. Trend- setter educated at Marlborough College. Started cult underage club night All Ages which he franchised all over the country. Founded London-based online magazine Platform.
Olivia Inge, 30, online business owner. Flame-haired socialite and descendant of William Gladstone who began as a model then established successful website Cult Beauty, a guide to cosmetics.
Count Lucian Tarnowski, 26, founder of social networking recruitment site BraveNewTalent. Plans to take business to US.
Will Orr-Ewing, 25, educational consultant. Son of a baronet, he was educated at Harrow School. His brother Archie is a friend of Prince William. He founded a website to support those with learning difficulties.
Malachy Guinness, 24, businessman. Scion of the Guinness dynasty, he set up Bright Young Things after he graduated from Oxford to coach wealthy youngsters on how they can get into Oxbridge.
THE CLASSICAL MAESTRO AND THE PRINCESSES OF POP
Robin Ticciati, 27, principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. After St Paul’s and Cambridge, the baby-faced maestro won over the classical world, becoming one of its most respected talents.
Mumford & Sons’ Marcus Mumford, 23, and Ben Lovett, 23. The pair formed the folk rock band after meeting at the £5,560-a-term King’s College School in Wimbledon, South-West London. Now one of Britain’s biggest new bands, they are nominated for three Brit awards.
Florence Welch, 24, singer in Florence And The Machine. The daughter of eminent academic Evelyn Welch, she was educated at £4,430-a-term Alleyn’s School in South-East London. Her 2009 album Lungs was a No 1 hit.
Pop princesses: Florence And The Machine star Florence Welch (left) and Marina Diamandis, otherwise known as Marina And The Diamonds
Marina Diamandis, 25, well known as her stage name Marina And The Diamonds. She was educated at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls. Her songwriting, stage shows and flamboyant style have made her one of pop’s rising stars.
THE CLUB CLASS
Guy Pelly, 29, nightclub entrepreneur. Infamous ‘court jester’ for close friends Princes William and Harry. After a stint as promotions manager for Royal hangouts Mahiki and Whisky Mist, he has just opened his own club Public, in Chelsea.
Willa Keswick, 26, nightclub owner. Heiress to the Jardine Matheson empire which includes the
Mandarin Oriental hotel group. Her rock chick persona ensures her London nightclub, Willa’s, is packed with the young and posh, including the Princes.
Party specialists: Nightclub entrepreneur Guy Pelly (left), nightclub owners Willa Keswick and Charlie Gilkes
Charlie Gilkes, 26, nightclub owner. Old Etonian who previously ran Kitts, one of Kate Middleton’s favourite London nightclubs. Now co-owns Maggie’s, a Margaret Thatcher-themed club in Chelsea for those born in the Eighties.
Chloe Delevigne, 24, nightclub owner. Like her model sister Poppy, she’s glamorous and well connected. Ran The Firehouse club in London’s South Kensington with her husband Louis Buckworth until they separated.
New money is closer to old money than ever before
By Dylan Jones
Let’s face it, they’re posh and they’re proud of it. Very proud of it. No longer embarrassed by being called chinless wonders, Sloane Rangers or Hooray Henrys, the posh have crawled out from under their four-poster beds and reclaimed what they consider to be their rightful place at the head of things.
Even though they have to share some of their spoils with those who a generation ago they would have considered ‘beneath’ them, the sons and daughters of privilege are more in evidence now than they have been for 30 years.
Only a few years ago, the post-war liberation of the working and middle classes seemed so all-encompassing that the posh felt it best to disguise their origins.
Vowels were flattened, education disguised, parents disowned. Now, things have changed. The privately educated scions of the great and the good no longer feel that everyone is against them (well . . . not everyone). What is more, they are happy to proclaim their status and to exploit it.
Sister act: Night club owner Chloe Delevigne and model Poppy (right)
Look around you. So many fields of public life are now dominated by those with, at the very least, a
private education, in many cases wealth and in a few instances a title. In the arts, sport, television, fashion, music, nightlife and, of course, politics. It’s positively Brideshead Revisited Revisited. With knobs on. So to speak.
But the wealthy are different now. There has been a huge shift in the social hierarchy compared with even 20 years ago. Yes, there is a raft of young blue-bloods moving into positions of power and influence.
But many more of the privately educated ‘posh’ are the sons and daughters of new money, a groundswell of Thatcherite offspring. There has also been a steady merger of the aristocratic and the bourgeois circles – as is illustrated perfectly by the Royal marriage.
And no one cares. The advancement of new money is no longer seen as a threat by the upper classes. While the toffs will always harbour an innate snobbishness, there is an inevitability about social mobility.
How could there not be when we live in a society peppered with country house oligarchs, lottery winners and millionaire footballers?
It is perhaps this (admittedly isolated) fiscal emancipation that has made the great unwashed, the media and the political elite less fidgety about the upper classes.
Ten years ago, the idea of titled twentysomethings colonising various sectors of public life would have appalled the great and good. Under New Labour, good breeding and private education were anathema to their idea of what Britain should be and who should wield power.
New Labour was all about celebrating the glottal stop and the downwardly mobile street smarts of Britpop. If there was a bogeyman during these times he was always posh, always Tim Nice-But-Dim.
And in their finite wisdom, New Labour not only penalised the upper classes, they tried to demonise them too – highlighted by their futile attempts to ban foxhunting, not understanding that country pursuits benefit every social class.
New Labour attempted to be democratic to the point of madness, throwing out ambition as well as elitism.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising that a largely Conservative government should foster a culture of privilege. However, all they’ve done is refuse to make class an issue.
When David Cameron became the leader of his party, the Press hounded him about his blue-blooded ancestry, sketching him as a foppish toff with no sense of what ordinary people have to deal with in life.
To compound this, Cameron went out of his way to downplay his upbringing in a way that only encouraged his self-inflicted ‘heir to Blair’ pronouncements.
Far from it, being posh (even if being posh isn’t what it once was) is now more socially acceptable than it has been since the early Eighties, when Princess Diana forged a bond with both media and public alike.
William and ‘Waity’ Kate’s wedding – complete with buffet, disco and almost certainly some form of karaoke – will probably turn out to be as socially and as culturally influential as Charles and Diana’s.
It will surely cause the nation’s collective heartstrings to tighten a little. But its fundamentally egalitarian nature shows that the New Money is now closer to the Old Money than ever before. Maybe William and Kate’s wedding is actually the revenge of New Labour.
After all, our future Queen is New Posh and proud of it. Received pronunciation or no received pronunciation.
* Dylan Jones is the editor of GQ
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