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  • Eduardo Dos Santos is a butler for an ultra-wealthy family in London but started out as a sommelier.
  • His first butlering roles were in hotels, but he sharpened his skills and moved to private homes.
  • He says it’s a 24/7 job that requires discretion, loyalty, and the ability to solve problems quickly.

Eduardo Dos Santos, now 52, moved from his hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to London when he was 21. It had always been his dream, he told Insider, to work in his chosen field in a world-class city. “In hospitality, London is synonymous with quality, and that’s where I wanted to develop my passion,” he said.

Almost three decades later, Dos Santos now works as a butler for an ultra-wealthy family. (Dos Santos declined to name his employer, citing an NDA, but his employment with placement agency Irving Scott has been verified by Insider.) Based on movies and TV shows, you might think butlering consists of little more than snapping at underlings and standing stiffly to one side. But Dos Santos scoffs at such clichés. His role is more akin to a COO for a family’s home, he said, keeping it running without interruption and seemingly without much effort.

“There’s no room for mistakes. You have to know about flower arranging, unpacking a suitcase, or organizing an event, and be invisible but discreet,” he said. Head butlers coordinate the rest of the staff and oversee what they do — and how they do it. “You have to know how to clean jewelry or fine art,” he added. “You can’t just let the housekeeper spray blue window cleaner onto a van Gogh or a Picasso.”

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