-Carolyn Bourne told Heidi Withers she was 'an ideal candidate for Ladette to Lady television series'
-She calls bride-to-be she needs 'guidance from experts'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Mother-in-law from hell Carolyn Bourne, 60, sent the e-mail to Heidi Withers after she was less than impressed with her etiquette when she visited her Devon home in April
It can be notoriously difficult to win over the in-laws.
But Heidi Withers may have a tougher task than most after her future mother-in-law emailed her a vicious character assassination in which she attacked her for her ‘staggering uncouthness and lack of grace’.
Carolyn Bourne, a renowned breeder of pinks and dianthus flowers, told Miss Withers, 29, she should attend a finishing school in ‘utmost haste’ to get rid of her ‘bad manners’.
She went on to describe her as ‘an ideal candidate for the Ladette to Lady television series’.
The email was intended to be a private rant. But shocked Miss Withers, a PA for a London recruitment firm, sent it on to a select group of friends. Surprised and amused, the friends in turn forwarded the message on to their friends.
And by last night the email had been posted on numerous websites, with thousands writing comments about the ‘mother-in-law from hell’.
Mrs Bourne, the step-mother of Miss Withers’ fiancé Freddie Bourne, sent the email after the young couple had spent a weekend at her £500,000 five-bedroom detached home on the picturesque outskirts of Dawlish, Devon.
Incensed by her future daughter-in-law’s behaviour, the 60-year-old wrote: ‘It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you.’
'Uncouth': Heidi Withers, left, on holiday here in the U.S. with her husband-to-be Freddie, forwarded the email sent to her by Carolyn Bourne
'Perfect candidate': Mrs Bourne compared her future daughter-in-law to the television programme Ladette to Lady
Mrs Bourne, who is married to Freddie’s 63-year-old father Edward, even said Miss Withers’ behaviour had left their pet dog Bomber ‘profoundly upset, depressed and anxious’.
Mrs Bourne, who runs Whetman Pinks, a sprawling plant nursery based around 30 industrial greenhouses in the grounds of her home, went on to list several examples of Miss Withers’ apparent lack of manners.
She accused her of poor table manners, insulting the family in public and failing to send a hand-written card to say thank you after her stay.
And she rounded off the email with a withering attack on the nature of the couple’s relationship.
‘One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man,’ she concluded. ‘I pity Freddie.’
Mrs Bourne also criticised Miss Withers’ parents for failing to save enough money for their daughter’s wedding.
Miss Withers’ mother Sylvia, a nurse, and father Alan live with their two Yorkshire terriers in a five-bedroom £450,000 detached cottage set in half an acre in the village of Aylton, near Ledbury in Herefordshire.
A neighbour said: ‘They are such a lovely family and Heidi is a brilliant girl. They really are the salt of the earth.
‘I don’t know why the lad’s step-mother is getting involved.’
Last night 29-year-old Freddie, who runs online bicycle shop Capital Cycles and lives in Putney, South-West London, declined to comment.
Mrs Bourne also refused to answer any questions as she attended a Horticultural Trades Association plant show at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.
Her husband Edward said: ‘We are aware of what is being said. I know it is very boring, very repetitive and very dull but we will not be making any comment and neither will my wife.’
Miss Withers and Mr Bourne are not the first to suffer acute embarrassment because of out-of-control email round robins.
A derogatory email exchange between Harry Fildes, 25, and Sebastian Marsh, 24, about Mr Marsh’s ex-girlfriend spread rapidly in March after Mr Fildes accidentally sent a copy to the girl in question. Mr Marsh was later sacked by his company, Miller Insurance.
And Holly Leam-Taylor, a graduate trainee at consultants Deloitte, quit in December 2009 after sending an email discussing attractive male staff.more detail