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Sunday 4 December 2016

Mother-in-law's rebuke goes 'viral'

Published 30/06/2011 | 16:09

An email sent by a disapproving mother to her son's partner has become an internet sensation
An email sent by a disapproving mother to her son's partner has become an internet sensation
An email sent by a disapproving mother to her son's partner has become an internet sensation

A mother-in-law's disdain for her stepson's prospective bride has become an internet sensation.

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Carolyn Bourne wrote to Heidi Withers, 29, before she married Freddie Bourne, in what was meant to have been a private email, reproaching her for her lack of manners and saying it was a "pity" her stepson had fallen in love with her.

But such was the London personal assistant's anger at the email she received after visiting her future in-laws in April that she forwarded it to friends, who then emailed it on to others until it went "viral".

In the email, Mrs Bourne, from Dawlish in South Devon, is reported to have written: "It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you."

She goes on to list perceived faults in her daughter-in-law, including lying in bed for too long in the morning, complaining about food when eating with her future in-laws and wanting a lavish wedding when her parents were making less of a financial contribution than she and Freddie's father, Edward, were making.

She also suggested Miss Withers would be an ideal candidate for the ITV television series Ladette To Lady, in which female yobs are taught how to behave and act politely.

She is reported to have added: "Unfortunately for Freddie, he has fallen in love with you and, Freddie being Freddie, I gather it is not easy to reason with him or yet encourage him to consider how he might be able to help you. It may just be possible to get through to you though. I do hope so. Your behaviour on your visit to Devon during April was staggering in its uncouthness and lack of grace.

"Unfortunately, this was not the first example of bad manners I have experienced from you. If you want to be accepted by the wider Bourne family I suggest you take some guidance from experts with utmost haste."

She is said to have finished the email by saying: "I pity Freddie."

Mr Bourne, 29, who lives with his fiancee in west London, where he runs an online bicycle shop, Capital Cycles, told the Daily Telegraph that the matter had been discussed within the family but would not comment on whether the wedding was still on. Mr and Mrs Bourne, who runs Whetman Pinks Ltd nursery in Devon, also refused to be drawn on the content of the stinging email.

Press Association

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