Upstairs, Downstairs
The pre-war years 3

Upstairs life was slow and luxurious with evenings spent socialising or quietly playing cards. Like all of their class, the Bellamys also organised lavish dinner parties. The most memorable of these was when King Edward VII himself attended. The King was accompanied by his mistress, Alice Keppel, with the Hudson and the staff being informed that Queen Alexandra "does not play bridge". The evening ended with the event being gatecrashed by the pregnant former maid Sarah, who had run away from the family estate at Southwold.

Thomas Watkins was the Bellamy's devious chauffeur. Having got Sarah pregnant, he threatened to spread gossip about the Bellamys around town and was "bought off" by Richard Bellamy who set him up with his own garage in Kilburn.

Not the most subtle pair of people in history – former servants Thomas and Sarah gatecrash a Bellamy family reunion bearing crass gifts for their erstwhile mistress.

Miss Roberts was Lady Marjorie's lady's maid. She was waspish, sharp-tongued and neurotic. She was lost, presumed dead, in the Titanic tragedy, but instead eventually found her way back to 165 still clutching Her Ladyship's jewel box. The experience had left her totally unhinged and she was committed to an asylum.

Hudson was the son of a gillie and so James took him along as loader when he was invited to a weekend's shooting. Hudson was tempted by the offer of the position of butler at the large house but, after much soul-searching, he decided to stay on at Eaton Place.

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