-Carolyn Bourne told Heidi Withers she was 'an ideal candidate for Ladette to Lady television series'
-She sends vitriolic email three times in a day and tells bride-to-be she needs 'guidance from experts'
-Heidi's shocked father hits back and says he will never forgive Carolyn for abusing his daughter
-He says Carolyn was snotty on the day he first met her
By Arthur Martin, Luke Salkeld and David Wilkes
It promises to be some wedding.
Carolyn Bourne, 60, launched the first salvo by sending her future daughter-in-law an email criticising her ‘staggering uncouthness and lack of grace’.
Yesterday the father of bride-to-be Heidi Withers hit back, branding Mrs Bourne a ‘snotty Miss Fancy Pants’.
Family-to-be at war: Alan Withers (left) has said his family call Carolyn Bourne (right) 'Miss Fancy-Pants' and say they do not like her 'snotty' attitude saying 'she thought she was better than us'
In the stinging repost, Alan Withers, 64, said the renowned horticulturist ‘has her head stuck so far up her own a*** she doesn’t know whether to speak or f**t.’
And although Mrs Bourne appears fastidious about social mores, it emerged yesterday that she may have become pregnant some months before her first marriage in 1974, according to public records.
She is also now on her third marriage.
Happier times: Heidi Withers and her fiancee Freddie Bourne are reeling after the venomous message sent by Mrs Bourne bemoaning Heidi's manners
The astonishing war of words began after Miss Withers, 28, and her fiancé Freddie Bourne, 29, spent the weekend at the home of his father Edward and stepmother Carolyn in April.
Incensed by her future daughter-in-law’s apparent lack of manners, Mrs Bourne sent her an email listing all her faults. She then sent it twice more to ensure it arrived.
In the attack she told Miss Withers 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’.
Stunned Miss Withers, a PA for a London recruitment firm, sent it on to a select group of friends.
However, the email was forwarded to others and has now been read by millions on the internet.
Speaking from the £450,000 family home in Ledbury, Herefordshire, Mr Withers, 64, said he would never forgive Mrs Bourne for sending the email.
‘Heidi was very upset and the two of them obviously don’t see eye to eye,’ he added.
‘I met Carolyn and her husband Edward for dinner at a pub in London last year.
‘Edward was a jovial chap but Carolyn was quite snotty. She had a look about her which made us think she thought she was better than us. She kept talking about her five horses and how it made her part of the Queen’s set.
Etiquette guide: Renowned flower arranger Carolyn Bourne, right, gave her future daughter-in-law a stern dressing down via e-mail. She is pictured here at a plant show in Coventry with her husband Edward
‘Ever since that meeting we call her Miss Fancy Pants. I don’t care if she apologises. You can’t take back what has been said once it’s said.’
In the email, Mrs Bourne accused Miss Withers of poor table manners, insulting the family in public and failing to send a handwritten card to say thank you after her stay.
She even said her behaviour had left their pet dog Bomber ‘profoundly upset, depressed and anxious’.
Freddie Bourne is getting married to Miss Withers in an £18,000 ceremony in the great hall of Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire in October.
Mrs Bourne told Miss Withers that her decision to get married in a castle smacks of ‘brash, celebrity style behaviour’.
She went on to criticise Miss Withers’ parents for failing to ‘contribute very much’ money towards the wedding.
Mr Withers said: ‘The reason we have been unable to contribute as much money was because we both lost our jobs. I doubt Carolyn was aware of that when she sent the email. We were unceremoniously got rid of without warning in January and have been searching for jobs ever since.’
His wife Sylvia, 60, has since found work as a matron in a care home but he is still looking for work.
‘I have no desire to meet Carolyn or Edward again before or after the wedding,’ Mr Withers added.
‘They don’t know us and we don’t know them. Of course at the wedding we will shake hands and toast Heidi and Freddie.’
The young couple met three years ago through mutual friends and soon became close, enjoying a trip to America in 2009.
They live in a flat with a shihtzu dog called Whisky in the affluent district of Parsons Green in South-west London.
Freddie has an office nearby where he runs an online bike shop.
A source close to the couple said: ‘It’s not going to be a Jordan wedding with all that kind of pumpkin carriages and tack.
They are middle-class people with middle-class respectabilities.
‘It’s not like they’re taking over the entire castle in some vulgar show of excess. There’s a great hall that’s available and that’s where they’re having it.
‘They wanted to have as much of a dream wedding as possible. They heard about Berkeley Castle and it was available to book, so why not? It’s such a lovely setting.’
The source added: ‘Freddie is an absolutely charming guy and Heidi is an absolute sweetie. I’ve never heard a bad word said about either of them. None of their friends can believe what’s been said about Heidi.
‘Rude and unpleasant are the last things you’d say about her. The view of people who know them is that the problem lies with the mother in law.’
Mrs Bourne, 60, sent the e-mail to after she was less than impressed with her etiquette when she visited her Devon home in April
The couple declined to comment on the row yesterday.
Mrs Bourne and her husband Edward confirmed they were ‘well aware’ of the criticism by Heidi’s father but still planned to go to the wedding.
When asked if she thought it may be awkward, Mrs Bourne laughed: ‘We will see.’