The days of a butler being duty bound to one household, perhaps with some exceptions, are long gone. Modern times call for modern butlers and he or she is to be found in many places. First and foremost the butler performs the classic role of man-servant, possessed of an ice-cool temperament, entailing traditional butler service and general control of domestic arrangements perhaps even Personal Assistant (PA) duties. However this is merely the tip of the ‘butling’ iceberg.
One may find butlers operating in many different spheres and many will enter the profession as a houseman or as a personal valet. These modern positions quite often do not adhere to their traditional remits being rather opaque in the duties covered, ranging from traditional activities to full butler services. The mainstay of the modern butler remains the day to day running of a household whether in a solo role or as a palace manager; such roles would be seen as traditional but butlers may now be found in quite different places.
High class hotels now offer butler service to their richest clients striving to offer the best bespoke service. In a similar way the cruise ship market has sought to pamper its fortuned clients by offering a tailor-made service. Butlers will also be engaged to work on private yachts, in private jets, in high-class resorts and of course in the corporate world where companies seek to impress each other with high standards of sophistication and service and perhaps a touch of one-upmanship.
A butler is above all flexible and capable of adjusting to any set of circumstances. A further observation is that a butler offers true personal service and in some of the positions mentioned above a butler may never be able to demonstrate his or her full range of skills as the personal nature of the work may be absent.