From the age of ten I wanted to be a butler and dedicate my services to the smooth running of some of the greatest houses in the country.

When I was 18, I joined the Royal Navy as a valet for Rear Admiral Torlesse. During my time at sea I had the honour of serving Prince Philip shortly after his marriage to Princess Elizabeth and Mr Pandit Nehru the first Prime Minister of Independent India.

I became a Petty Officer Steward and spent two years with Admiral Sir William Davis, looking after him and serving at his on-board dinner parties which included serving the Kings of Denmark and Norway and the Queen of the Netherlands.

On leaving the Navy I worked as a traditional butler in houses on large country estates, working for the Honourable Charles Cecil for 11 years.

Then, as a freelance butler/valet I looked after and served Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, the late Princess Diana and other members of the British and foreign royal families.


Mr Fink knows everything a professional Butler-Valet should know. He is highly respected for his excellent standards which he expects to be upheld by those who work with him. We have come to rely on Mr Fink to officiate at the Ditchley Foundation functions which he does with great aplomb and quiet dignity. He is respected and liked by all who meet him, whether it be a Peer of the realm or the shyest East European who may be unaccustomed to be greeted by such an imposing figure.
— Geoffrey Howarth (Bursar, Ditchley Foundation letter dtd. 1994)
He is not only one of the most experienced and professional Butlers I have ever come across (and as a British Ambassador in three posts abroad, I have had to employ Butlers myself) He is also a very nice man. I wish his venture (the Butler school) the success which it deserves
— The Lord Wright of Richmond G.C.M.G. (letter dtd 29th May 2003)
Mr Fink is the consummate professional. Dedicated, loyal, resourceful and charming company.
— Baron Georges van Tuyll (letter dtd. March 2002)
I think it (your school) is a wonderful idea and wish you every success with the venture.
— His Grace the Duke of Marlborough. Blenheim Palace. (letter dtd. April 2002)
If anyone wishes to write a history on the perfect English Butler, I would ask them to call on Rick Fink first. There is none finer. He is a tribute to the British Armed Forces and to his craft.
— Lord Hennessy, University of London. Author of “The Prime Minister” (the office and its holders since 1945.) (letter dtd. July 2002)


During my long career I have served many Presidents including Mr de Klerk President of South Africa, President Museveni of Uganda, President Giscard d’Estaing of France, Mr Helmut Kohl Chancellor of Germany, Mr Koffi Annan, General Secretary to the United Nations and several British Prime Ministers from Alec Douglas-Home to Tony Blair.

My students will receive every opportunity to develop the butler/valet skills that I was taught with a 21st century approach. I feel privileged to be able to offer this service to a new generation, at the same time paying homage to a bygone age.

When you’ve worked with Prime Ministers and Royalty there are few challenges you are not capable of meeting. It is my pleasure to pass on all that I have learnt. It is not enough to deal with the expected; you will be judged on how you deal with the unexpected.
— Rick Fink