Etiquette expert Grant William Veitch Harrold, 40, worked as Prince Charles' Highgrove butler between 2004 and 2011.
Posting on his blog, he's revealed the etiquette faux pas Brits need to avoid making this Christmas party season – and what you should be doing instead…
1. Cracking idea
Throwing an early Christmas dinner? Crackers are always a fun idea – but timing is everything, Grant warns.
He says: "Don’t pull the crackers too early, wait until after the starter at least.
"Let's not peek inside, or swap the crackers around. Hosts may know which cracker has the toe clippers inside!"
2. Handy advice
You may have become familiar with a ban on right-hand glass holding during your uni drinking game days, but it turns out posh people are fans of this rule too.
Of drinks party etiquette, Grant says: "Keep your glass in your left hand so that you can freely shake hands for introductions."
Make sure you don't get too tiddly and avoid licking you fingers after eating a canapé or double-dipping, he adds.
Grant also warns: "No grabbing at strangers and kissing them under the mistletoe, no matter how gorgeous they are!"
3. Chill out
Christmas calls for a fully stocked freezer, whether or not you're expecting guests.
Grant says: "I would also suggest you keep a supply of canapés and some mince pies in the fridge (or freezer) so you will be a fully prepared host even at short notice."
You should also have mulled wine, bubbly and "a selection of non-alcoholic drinks" ready for uninvited guests, he adds.
If you're a guest at the party, make sure you stick to the dress code – and even your socks and tights are important.
Grant says: "Make sure you have on clean socks with no holes, just in case your host wants all shoes removed."
You've been warned…
5. No time like the present
Uninvited guests don't just need food and drink, they may catch you unaware by buying you a Christmas present.
To make sure you're prepared, Grant recommends starting a gift cupboard and collecting token presents throughout the year – just in case.
Stock up on sellotape, scissors and a selection of wrapping paper too.
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While Meghan and Kate Middleton’s body language ‘revealed rifts’ when asked about rows in February – a body language expert has revealed.
And as Kate and Meghan are set for a tense festive time, here’s how to defuse family arguments around Christmas.
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