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The 39 steps to becoming a modern British gentleman according to Country Life

Being good with waiters and having read some Jane Austen are said to be just some of the requirements for the true 'gentleman'

Jess Staufenberg
Wednesday 28 October 2015 18:42 GMT
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Andy Murray made good use of emojis on his wedding day - but would never mix them in his professional life
Andy Murray made good use of emojis on his wedding day - but would never mix them in his professional life (Getty Images)

From turning off your phone at dinner to the ability to undo a bra with one hand, a list of ground rules for being a modern gentleman have been revealed.

The 39 rules for what appears to be a bewilderingly complex contemporary social world are explained by Country Life magazine, with the overriding emphasis on being considerate and courteous towards others.

Yet some more incongruous rules also featured among the list of prerequisites for being a gentleman.

These include being able to train both a dog and a rose, not being a vegetarian, avoiding lilac socks, being able to prepare a "one-match bonfire" and never going to Puerto Rico.

A gentleman will "always" tip staff and the gamekeeper after staying at a country house

Paula Lester, features editor at Country Life, said awareness of the needs and feelings of others was the enduring feature of a true gentleman, from the past to the present day.

"A lot of things have changed over the years, but the point we need to make is that a big part of being a gentleman is being able to step back and take time to look after people," she told the Daily Telegraph.

"If I had any advice for would-be gentlemen, it's about being as kind and supportive as possible."

Oscar Wilde was meant to have given a similar definition.

He is thought to have said "a gentleman nevers insults anyone unintentionally".

This, however, also implies that when gentleman speaks his mind, he is fairly direct.

Indeed, Country Life advises that a gentleman "always speaks the truth", and knows when is appropriate to use certain methods - such as emojis as Andy Murrary did to celebrate his wedding day - to express himself.

The full list ends with the tongue-in-cheek reminder that a true gentleman knows there is "always an exception to a rule".

1. Negotiates airports with ease

2. Never lets a door slam in someone's face

3. Can train a dog and a rose

4. Is aware that facial hair is temporary, but a tattoo is permanent

5. Knows when not to say anything

6. Wears his learning lightly

7. Possesses at least one well-made dark suit, one tweed suit, and a dinner jacket

8. Avoids lilac socks and polishes his shoes

9. Turns his mobile phone to silent at dinner

10. Carries house guests' luggage to their rooms

11. Tips staff in a private house and a gamekeeper

12. Says his name when being introduced

13. Breaks a relationship face-to-face

14. Is unafraid to speak the truth

15. Knows when to clap

16. Arrives at a meeting five minutes before the agreed time

17. Is good with waiters

18. Has two tricks to entertain children

19. Can undo a bra with one hand

20. Sings lustily in church

21. Is not a vegetarian

22. Can sail a boat and ride a horse

23. Knows the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson

24. Never kisses and tells

25. Cooks an omelette to die for

26. Can prepare a one-match bonfire

27. Seeks out his hostess at a party

28. Knows when to use an emoji

29. Would never own a Chihuahua

30. Has read Pride and Prejudice

31. Can tie his own bow ties

32. Would not go to Puerto Rico

33. Knows the difference between a rook and a crow

34. Sandals? No. Never

35. Wears a rose, not a carnation

36. Swats flies and rescues spiders

37. Demonstrates that making love is neither a race nor a competition

38. Never blow dries his hair

39. Knows that there is always an exception to a rule.

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