We couldn't imagine Southern Charm without the glamour and wisdom of Patricia Altschul in almost every episode. But the Southern Charm grand dame never thought she'd become a major part of the series.
Patricia explains how she originally came to appear on the show in her new book, The Art of Southern Charm, out now. Her son, Whitney Sudler-Smith, called to tell her that he was producing a new series called Southern Charm, and he wanted her to appear on it as herself, "a woman (and mother) of a certain age who would be very different from the show's cast of young revelers and reprobates," Patricia writes in the book. "'Mom, it will take five minutes of your time,' Whitney promised persuasively," according to Patricia.
Patricia opens up about her life before Southern Charm like never before in her new book in stores now. Photo: Diversion Books
Based on that, Patricia thought her time on Southern Charm would be a one-time thing. "I decided to do it. Like most mothers, I cannot say no to my son, and I doubted that I would be on camera long enough to make much of an impression. After all, I was just Whitney's mother. What did I know about 'throwing shade,' having a 'showmance,' or delivering a 'bitchslap'—all staple moves in the world of reality television?" Patricia explained. "I figured I had nothing to lose, and that I could be myself, speak my mind, and have fun with it."
By opening up her doors to the Charmers and Southern Charm fans alike, showing them the Patricia Altschul way of life, from making the perfect martini to dressing for a ball to the etiquette of discussing paternity tests at the dinner table, Patricia wrote that she "was surprised to find that I had become a den mother (hopefully a glamorous one) for the cast, and a lifestyle muse for the ever-growing community of Southern Charm viewers."
Of course, we all know what happened next. Patricia would go on to delight us with her pugs, Patricia-isms, and pink flamingo parties for now four seasons on Southern Charm, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Relive one of Patricia's most memorable moments, below.