If Mark-Francis and Boulle had a child – and why Posh Shaming just isn’t Chic

in Made in Chelsea/MIC Series 18

The love child of Mark-Francis Vandelli and Francis Boulle wouldn’t be a bad place to start in terms of inventing the perfect Made in Chelsea character.

And relative newcomer, Freddie Browne, might be just that.

A “born and bred Borough boy” who sports tweed, flannel and brogues (I’m guessing about the latter), may not have been made in Chelsea, but he was certainly made to be in Made in Chelsea.

Let’s consider the parents I’ve landed him with for just a moment – Mark-Francis and Francis.

Mark-Francis is so plummy he makes Jacob Rees-Mogg sound positively street.

Bursting with ripe and pungent feedback on the sartorial faux pas’s of his fellow cast members (“Darling, you just cannot give pashminas for Christmas!”), his putdowns are delivered with such humour and finesse that they leave nobody offended, least of all the recipients.

Dressed in rich, flamboyant attire and with endless languages at his disposal, he remains a firm favourite on the show.

Superficially, Freddie shares a lot with Mark-Francis – from a love of tailored threads to indulging in those esoteric pursuits (such as “tracking tigers” in India) that only the top 0.01% pursue.

Indeed, Mark-Francis seems to have become Freddie’s mentor, advising him in a recent episode that “Following fashion is the biggest faux-pas anyone could make.” (The man’s got a point.)

Of course, the big distinction between Mark-Francis and Freddie is that Freddie is so incredibly polite. In fact, he is Chivalry in a Chequered Suit.

(Watch series 17, episode 6, to view THAT suit –  I promise you it’s worth it.)

He’s courteous. Civilised. Decent.

These are all such old-fashioned words…

Which makes sense because Freddie really wouldn’t be out of place in a Jane Austen novel.

Whereas Mark-Francis’s tongue-in-cheek barbs would slot perfectly into an Oscar Wilde play.

(Someday, I’ll explain why Jamie Laing is definitely more Scott Fitzgerald.)

Freddie could school anyone on good manners.

But that’s not so surprising – after all, in our fevered imaginations he is also the child of the very correct Francis Boulle.

In Made in Chelsea‘s early days, watching the #Awkward Francis falter his way through a conversation with some disdainful girl (Rosie Fortescue was particularly scathing), was uncomfortable viewing.

But as lies, treachery and cheating ensued around him, Francis emerged uncorrupted and resolute; a man of steadfast integrity and dignity.

 

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Who can forget the loyal support he gave Jamie when Spencer Matthews slept with Laing’s then girlfriend, Louise Thompson.

Or the unflinching dignity with which he quietly stood up to Matthews when that dastardly bad boy cheated on Louise.

(Spencer Matthews in Made in Chelsea really wasn’t #Goals, was he?)

Like Francis, Freddie is nice. And we need nice.

The fact is that since Series 17, Made in Chelsea has got really dark

Maeva D’Ascanio’s heart was crushed to smithereens by ex-boyfriend Miles Nazaire (who found himself in the uncomfortable position of still having feelings for someone he didn’t want to be with).

And then Maeva promptly broke Miles’ heart right back by dating his best friend, James Taylor.

One of the most poignant moments so far in season 18, was when a returning Tristan Phipps told James what Miles had confided in him:

He said you looked him in the eyes and you had a smile on your face and you said ‘I’m with Maeva.’ And he said he felt his heart physically break.

Made in Chelsea has always been about rivalries and betrayal – but it also had a heart.

From the good natured Oliver Proudlock to the freshly scrubbed Stevie Johnson and his bestie, Andy Jordan – as viewers we must have a person or two in there that we can root for.

Along with ditzy delight, Amelia Mist, Freddie Browne is that person.

Freddie Browne of Made in Chelsea. Photo taken by Jade Wolf of An Idol Mind.

Yes, a moral compass seems to be gracefully emerging from the darkness – and providing some much-needed direction…

Remember in Series 17 when the sultry Maeva was enthusing a little too much about Liv Bentley’s boyfriend Digby Edgley, and how he was “too good” for Liv?

Well, it was Freddie who eyed her in consternation and then firmly said: “The intentions that you’re going in with should be purely honourable…”

Similarly to Francis, Freddie’s initial attempts at finding love on the show have not borne fruit – one of his dates even saw fit to rock up with a chaperone.

But beauties such as Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo and Liv Bentley eventually came to appreciate the old school charms of Boulle – and Freddie may fare similarly.

But what is it about such peerlessly posh characters that have managed to win over the hearts and minds of us Brits?

After all, you would struggle to find more than 0.1% of the UK population that could identify with their lifestyles {“I thought Nando’s was a wine bar” is an oft-cited Mark-Francis quote), – and how many of your friends are diamond heirs, like Francis is?

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s all about authenticity. Here are some flagrantly posh people who are not apologising for who they are.

As artful as Mark-Francis is, he is nevertheless “real” – you certainly never have to worry that the acid-tongued one is trying to fit in or find favour.

And ‘being yourself’ will always hold charm.

Freddie is as old-fashioned as the Aston Martins he loves, and like vintage cars, chivalry and good manners never go out of style.

There are, of course, some naysayers who hate anyone with an accent dissimilar to their own, but denigrating people for their class (be it working class or upper) is just prejudice, whatever way you dress it up.

It may come in and out of fashion, but posh-shaming is not chic at all.

And now here’s your chance to meet Freddie (and Love Island’s Amy Hart), in person on Wednesday 30th October, courtesy of CLiKD dating app. See you there?

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