Me and Moët in the château with Kate, Uma and the Fed

Lifestyle

Me and Moët in the château with Kate, Uma and the Fed

I lived like an empress for a moment. It was a sparkling, unforgettable experience

Columnist

In May I found myself in the most unusual but nevertheless delightful position of travelling adjacent to Napoleon’s hat. You know the hat well – the famous bicorne, a style of military headwear immortalised by the bellicose head that most famously wore it.

I am transfixed by it: an ancient piece of felt with heavy-handed stitching where it has been mended, its fading cockade and watermarks. It looks battle-worn. This almost-talismanic object, that sat atop the man who willed himself into an emperor, was travelling with 150 guests on the Orient Express towards Épernay in Champagne to celebrate Moët’s Brut Impérial – created in Napoleon’s honour 150 years ago.

Just next to the improbable hat was a large, leather-bound ledger, bearing the first orders for the joyous bubbles for the emperor and empress. Happier times before the divorce and exile. They were fans and house friends of the Moët family, visiting the château we were so glamorously en route to...

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