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Lord Jersey, 5th Duke of Buckingham, had a butler named René Jean Charles Raphael Felix Trestini. At half-past seven in the morning the butler’s first duty was to iron his Master’s newspaper and prepare his clothes for the day. RENATO TRESTINI never waited to strike till the iron was hot. He made it hot by striking. We met in London underneath the railway arches, not far from Black Friars Bridge, in his office, in 1986. He was the first to see my irons in the fire. From that day he welded me. And no success and no disappointment, however relevant, can cool my irons now.

Dear Renato, as iron sharpens iron, so you, my Friend – while resting in peace – will you, please, please still keep sharpening your Friend down here?!

(And this is the portrait of the first Duke of Buckingham – painted by Peter Paul Rubens nearly 400 years ago).


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