PODCAST

Duchess

OneFinePlay

Welcome to Duchess - the podcast where the Duchess of Rutland explores the historic homes of Great Britain, and meets the inspiring women who lead them today. Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Stately homes are manors, palaces, and castles of great historic significance. They were built by the finest architects, adorned with the finest treasures and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. They homed the most powerful families and, with their wealth and social pedigree, shaped the world we live in today. Emma grew up far away from the aristocracy but her life changed forever when she married her husband - the 11th Duke of Rutland - and moved into Belvoir Castle. At once Emma became both a Duchess and custodian of one of Britain's most important buildings. The Duchess wanted to learn more about this world, these homes, and the other empowering women who, just like her, work tirelessly to ensure they see tomorrow. In this podcast the Duchess will travel to breathtaking homes, learn the epic tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls, hear chilling ghost stories and the heartbreaking tales of romance. All of this whilst getting to know the inspiring, powerful women that work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation. Join Emma on a very special journey. This is Duchess, the podcast.
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Welcome to Duchess Season 2
Duchess, A Christmas Special from Belvoir Castle
Episode Description:  On this very special festive episode of the podcast, our Duchess is joined by her daughter Eliza to speak about their historic home: Belvoir Castle. In the show, the Duchess reveals all about her own background, we learn about Belvoir’s ‘forbidden place’, the ladies discuss the chilling ghostly encounters they’ve had in their home, and we hear why it's so magical to spend Christmas in a castle.  Top Quotes: "I've felt, from every woman I've met through making this podcast, such a great sense of passion and duty." - The Duchess "On that very sofa in this room, Winston Churchill was sat when he heard of King Edward VIII's abdication. Aunt Hersey always remembered the tears rolling down his cheeks." - The Duchess "One of the unique things that has happened with covid is that people have reconnected with their big house on the hill. We've had this huge surge in people local to us reconnecting with Belvoir again. That has been very special." - The Duchess "Christmas is so magical here because Belvoir is a party place. So, on occasions when you have the castle full of friends and family, it really twinkles." - The Duchess About the Stately Home: Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled  Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally. In addition, the gardens have undergone several major changes over the centuries – the latest being a two-year restoration programme by the present Duchess to bring the lost plans of Capability Brown to fruition in 2016. About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)
5d ago
40 mins
Lady Karen Spencer of Althorp House
Episode Description:  In the final episode of season 2, The Duchess of Rutland meets Lady Karen Spencer of the historic Althorp House. In the episode, we are introduced to the many extraordinary women in the Spencer family, Lady Karen regales some of the ghostly activity they have experienced in the home, and the ladies muse over their shared love of cows!  Top Quotes: "It takes a long time to understand these houses. I think the danger in a place like this is to come in and change things without taking the time to really understand the history that came before it and the more I learn the more reverence I have." - Lady Spencer "Some of these places are very old fashioned and some of the people working in them are very old fashioned. So it took a bit of rejigging to make sure we had the right team that were prepared for a modern working couple who make decisions together." - Lady Spencer "Being in heritage has taught me patience." - Lady Spencer "Understanding why a home is built the way it is is so key because then you get under the skin of it. Then it's no longer your ego dictating what you do - the house almost talks to you with its own voice." - The Duchess About the Guest and Stately Home: Lady Karen Spencer is a Canadian social entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Whole Child International, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that works to improve the quality of care for vulnerable children. In June 2011, she married Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer at Althorp - the brother of Princess Diana.  Althorp House is a 13,000-acre home and has been the residence of the Spencers since 1508. The current Earl Charles was raised on the estate as well as her sister Princess Diana - who was also buried on the grounds. Althorp House is a Grade I listed stately home consisting of 90 rooms. The grounds of Althorp Estate also contain 28 listed buildings and structures, including nine planting stones. The Second Earl of Sunderland (Robert Spencer) brought in an Italian architect to remake Althorp in a grand classical style, replacing the brick with Weldon stone, and adding Corinthian and Composite columns. Andre Le Notre, the architect of Versailles, also designed the gardens in formal style. One of its most impressive original features, its 115-foot picture gallery, is untouched and retains its Tudor wood panelling to this day. There’s an impressive collection of art for their home, including Van Dyck's War and Peace, a John de Critz portrait of King James I and works by Lely. There is also an extensive exhibition devoted to the memory of Princess Diana. The exhibition has been spread across 6 rooms of a converted stable block and depicts Diana's childhood, her royal wedding to Prince Charles, her charitable work, and her considerable influence on fashion and style.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources:...
25-11-2021
38 mins
Lady Northampton of Compton Wynyates
Episode Description:  On this week’s episode, the Duchess of Rutland speaks with Lady Northampton who is a custodian of two historic homes: Compton Wynyates & Castle Ashby. In the show, the Duchess learns how one of Henry’s VIII’s closest confidants helped build the Spencer family line, Lady Northampton elaborates on why Compton Wynyates is such an architecturally unique place, and we are introduced to the unpublished female poet that was admired by Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott.  Top Quotes: "I'm very keen on creating a harmonious atmosphere in these incredible places. I like to think that I create an atmosphere at Compton where the staff and team there feel like we are all part of one family." - Lady Tracy Northampton "In heritage, it's so integral that you retain the essence of what you are, what you believe in, what you stand for. If you lose your roots as a human being you can't fulfil the role because the role is not true to who you are." - The Duchess of Rutland "When you look at some of these portraits they seem so austere and fixed and far away from how we are now. But they have a soul." - The Duchess of Rutland About the Guest and Stately Home: Lady Tracy Northampton is a trained psychotherapist and yoga teacher. She married her husband, Spencer Compton, 7th Marquess of Northampton in 2013. The couple live full time in Compton Wynyates which is an extremely well preserved Tudor Mansion. Unlike all other homes in the series, Compton Wynyates is not open to the public.  Compton Wynyates is a Tudor country house in Warwickshire, England, a Grade I listed building. The Tudor period house is constructed of red brick and built around a central courtyard. Compton House was erected by Sir William Compton c1520, allegedly on the site of an earlier Tudor building. The early 16th century house is now considered one of the best examples of the picturesque irregular Early Tudor style in England. In 1572, Elizabeth I stayed in the house. In 1617 James I spent a night at the house. Compton was also visited by Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon during the early years of the king’s reign. Over the entrance the Royal Arms of England are supported by the dragon and greyhound of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Today, Compton is the home of Lady Tracy and Spencer Compton. In the nearby village, the couple have a pub-hotel called The Falcon they own and run together. Wynates is the birthplace and burial place of Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, considered to be the second Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Compton Wynyates was also the inspiration for Croft Manor in the Tomb Raider series. About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) To learn more about Abercrombie & Kent, visit their website...
18-11-2021
37 mins
Catherine Fitzgerald of Glin Castle
Episode Description:  On this week’s special episode, the Duchess of Rutland speaks to Catherine Fitzgerald of Glin Castle in Ireland. In the show, Catherine regales some of the wonderful and amusing legends associated with her family, we catch a glimpse of the ghosts of Glin, and Catherine opens about the unexpected nature of her custodianship.  Top Quotes: "Glin Castle is part of an architectural golden period in Ireland. It was built when most of Georgian Dublin was built. There was a surge in building, decoration, and the arts. Glin is part of a moment of optimism." — Catherine  "I was never brought up to take Glin Castle on. My father thought he would leave it to a preservation trust but they weren't able to take it on. So, it was really my passion, my love for it, that drove my decision to take Glin Castle off the market." - Catherine  "As a custodian, I'm not looking to control the future I'm just thinking about day to day and how I can take care of it."- Catherine "What I'm trying to do with Glin is to make it self sustainable and self supporting. I want to create an estate that can go into the future and is secure." - Catherine "[To be a custodian] is a type of artistic endeavour. As well as a sense of responsibility. And a sense of love for the beauty of the place in a world where there is so much destruction." - Catherine About the Guest and Stately Home: Catherine Fitzgerald is an Irish landscape designer and gardener who is also a member of the FitzGerald ‘dynasty’: An historic, aristocratic Anglo-Hiberno family based in Ireland. She is  the daughter of Desmond FitzGerald, 29th and last Knight of Glin. Catherine married her current husband,  actor Dominic West, in 2010 and the couple now live on the estate. Today, Catherine runs Glin Castle as an events venue.  Glin Castle is a Georgian country house and national heritage site located along the River Shannon in Glin, County Limerick, Ireland. The castle has belonged to the FitzMaurice/FitzGerald family for over 700 years and was the seat of the Knights of Glin. In the 14th century the Lord of Desmond elevated an illegitimate son to the hereditary knighthood of Glin. He built Glin Castle, which became the permanent seat of the Knights of Glin. The Knights are associated with a number of well known legends and myths and the family has remained politically and culturally a hugely significant family in Irish society. When  John Bateman FitzGerald, 23rd Knight of Gli, married Margaretta Maria Fraunceis Gwyn in the 1780s he used her dowry to build a new home in the current Georgian style. Neo-classical elements were added to the building later and the new house would eventually boast delicate plasterwork ceilings, Corinthian columns, and an elegant flying staircase lit by a beautiful Venetian window.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future...
11-11-2021
35 mins
Julie Montagu of Mapperton House & Gardens
Episode Description:  This time on Duchess, our host the Duchess of Rutland meets with Julie Montagu online to talk about her historic home - Mapperton House & Gardens. In the episode, Julie details how the Montagu’s invented the sandwich, the Duchess is taken through Mapperton’s beautiful interiors, and the ladies discuss the exciting re-wilding projects that are being initiated on the estate.        Top Quotes: "David Attenborough said we must re-wild the world and, at Mapperton House with our re-wilding projects, we very much took that to heart. We decided to give this back to nature. In one sense, we're trying in our own way to revive it." - Julie Montagu "We are not just custodians of the house; we're custodians of the land that surrounds it." - Duchess "My mother and father in law have embraced me for my American ways. I haven't had to change my accent, or who I am. I have never had to give up the American in me. I have been able to really bring that into the house." - Julie "My advice to Americans entering heritage is to stay true to yourself. Embrace the history. Embrace the differences but ultimately remember that it's your happiness that's the most important." - Julie Montagu About the Guest and Stately Home: Julie Fisher was brought up in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Upon moving in the mid 2000s, Julie would meet her future husband, Luke Montagu, Viscount of Hinchingbrooke, in 2003. The couple would marry and move into Mapperton House. Julie presented the tv series “an American Aristocrats Guide to Great Estates” where she visited many historic homes across the UK and discovered what makes them such important sites in the history of Great Britain. Julie is also a yoga teacher and enthusiast and regularly Instagram's herself practising in her home and estate.  Mapperton house has been the home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich since the 1950s, when they moved from their ancestral home, Hinchingbrooke House. Previously, Mapperton belonged to four families – the Bretts, Morgans, Brodrepps and Comptons – until it was bought in 1919 by Mrs Ethel Labouchere. Since her death in 1955 it has been the home of the Montagus. Mapperton was entered in the Domesday Book 1086 as Malperetone. It was then the property of William de Moion, Sheriff of Somerset. Robert Morgan and his wife Mary, would build the 16th century house in the 1540s. One of the notable characteristics of Mapperton is the extraordinarily detailed interiors. Upstairs in the Great Chamber is a remarkable 16th-century pendant ceiling, one of the best surviving examples anywhere in a domestic setting. The Entrance Hall includes a striking coat of arms, and in the adjacent Dining Room, to fine 18th-century panelling. The Sandwich art collection includes fine paintings by Lely, Reynolds and Hogarth.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future...
04-11-2021
36 mins
Imogen Wyvill of Constable Burton Hall & Garden
Episode Description:  In today’s show, the Duchess visits the beautiful Constable Burton Hall & Gardens to meet the current chatelaine, Imogen Wyvill. In the episode, Imogen introduces the Duchess to the chess grand master who courted Florence Nightingale, we learn about the Wyvill family’s important hand in the abolition of slavery, and the ladies discuss the famed and fabulous Tulip festival that is hosted at Constable Burton annually. Top Quotes: "Living in homes like these, you fall in love with them everyday through the eyes of your visitors." - Imogen Wyvill "The wonderful thing about Constable Burton is that it does have this very warm homely feel to it. It embraces you." - Imogen "The past year perhaps has helped us realise to keep life a little simpler. And actually it's a reconnection to the love affair with the British Isles." - Imogen About the Guest and Stately Home: Imogen Wyvill, nee Garner, is married to Marmaduke D'Arcy William Wyvill, son of Marmaduke Charles Asty Wyvill and Margaret Ann Hardcastle. The couple have two children together. Constable Burton has been home to the Wyvill family for over four -and-a-half centuries. The Wyvills are descended from an unbroken line that stretches back to 1066 when Sir Humphrey de Wyvill was Companion in Arms to William the Conqueror. Constable Burton Hall is a grade I-listed Georgian mansion in North Yorkshire, that is privately owned by the Wyvill family. The Hall is a handsome Palladian villa designed by the celebrated architect John Carr for Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, and completed in 1768. It is widely recognised as one of the finest medium-sized English houses built in the Palladian style. In 1520, Constable Burton passed first to Sir Ralph Fitz-Randolph, knight, of Spennithorne, and then to Marmaduke Wyvill who married the youngest daughter, Alice, and received this manor with other estates for her share. The Hall is also surrounded by breathtaking gardens and there’s a well known Tulip Festival held annually on the estate.   About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/) https://www.constableburton.com/ (https://www.constableburton.com/)
28-10-2021
37 mins
Lady Gerald of Carlton Towers
Episode Description:  Today on the podcast, the Duchess travels to the magnificent Carlton Towers to meet Lady Gerald. In the show, Lady Gerald opens up about her daunting start to life in heritage, Lady Gerald explains how Carlton became ‘the greatest of all Victorian homes’, and the Duchess is introduced to Carlton’s ‘happy harp playing’ ghost! Top Quotes: "In heritage, there is a sense of duty and a sense of burden." - Duchess "I'm fearfully proud of being a custodian and whenever we leave I am desperate to come back." - Lady Gerald About the Guest and Stately Home: Born Emma Roberts, Lady Gerald is the daughter of a GP receptionist and is from Mayfield in East Sussex. Before marrying Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard she worked in recruitment in Kensington. She married her husband Lord Gerald in December 1990. The couple have three children together. Alongside her husband, Lady Gerald runs the estate and appeared on numerous television shows, such as The Guest Wing. Lord Gerald is the brother of the 18th Duke of Norfolk, who lives in Arundel Castle.  There has been a house on the site of Carlton Towers since the 14th Century. The manor was originally acquired by Nicholas Stapleton (1320 – 1372) who was Steward of the Household to King Edward II. The stunning appearance of Carlton Towers is largely due to the 9th Lord Beaumont whose dream was to create ‘the greatest of all Victorian country houses’. This he achieved after commissioning  two architects in 1873: Edward Welby Pugin (whose father, Augustus Pugin, designed the interior of the Houses of Parliament) and Sir John Francis Bentley who designed Westminster Cathedral. The family remained in Carlton until the last of the male line of Stapleton who died without an heir in 1716. In 1914 Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop, great-grandson of the 13th Duke of Norfolk, married Mona Stapleton.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/) https://carltontowers.co.uk/ (https://carltontowers.co.uk/)
21-10-2021
35 mins
Lady Ailsa of Stonor Park
Episode Description:  In this week’s episode, the Duchess speaks to Lady Ailsa of the historic Stonor Park. In the episode, Lady Ailsa tells the Duchess about the mysterious story of Hollywood’s lost aviator, we get the backstory on Stonor Park’s mystical foundations, and the ladies discuss the estate’s fascinating history of Catholic martyrdom.     Top Quotes: "When living in these homes you do really reflect on how extraordinary it is to have this great tapestry of hundreds of years surrounding you." - Duchess "These homes aren't built for five people to rattle around in. They're built for everyone to see." - Lady Ailsa "In lockdown, we have noticed an enormous reconnection with Belvoir from the local community. We hope it will stay because the only way we will keep the roofs on these places is from the support of local people in the surrounding area. Living in heritage is such a partnership" - Duchess About the Guest and Stately Home: Lady Ailsa was born Ailsa Mackay, the daughter of Kenneth Mackay, 4th Earl of Inchcape and Georgina Nisbet. She married Hon. William Stonor, son of Sir Ralph Thomas Stonor, 7th Lord Camoys, in 2004. The couple have three children together. Lady Ailsa is a landscape designer who worked in international development for non-governmental organisations and works alongside her husband in the running of the house.  Stonor Park has been in the Stonor family for over 850 years, and is one of the oldest family homes to be lived in today. The first mention of Stonor is ‘Stanora Lege’, or ‘stony hill’, appearing in AD 774 with the first recorded family member, Robert De Stanora, living there during the late 12th Century. For the following three centuries the family prospered, acquiring lands and titles, administering lucrative wardships, farming their flocks of sheep, fighting in great battles, holding high office and marrying into powerful local families. This expansion was curtailed with Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy as the Catholic Stonors refused to accept the monarch as head of the church. This unwavering commitment to their faith came at a great cost, and by 1650 all of the Stonor estates, barring the Stonor Valley, had been sold to pay recusancy fines. After generations of lobbying, the Catholic Emancipation Act was eventually passed in 1829 at which point the 3rd Lord Camoys once more embraced government and public life. Stonor is now home to three generations of the Stonor family – the Lord and Lady Camoys reside in the recently restored 14th Century Wool House.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our Sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
14-10-2021
34 mins
Lady Cara Willoughby of Birdsall House
Episode Description:  In this week’s episode, the Duchess journeys to the beautiful Birdsall House to meet Lady Cara Willoughby. In the show, Lady Cara tells the Duchess about the incredible, swashbuckling life story of Britain’s most reckless naval officer, Lady Cara reveals how Jane Austen was influenced by Birdsall in her novels, and the ladies explore more ghostly-goings-on in heritage.  Top Quotes: "Living in heritage you become extremely aware through portraits on the wall, and the history of the family, that you are a very small link in the chain and, therefore, you inherit it, you do what you feel is right in your generation, and you hand it on." - Lady Cara "As custodians, we are guardians of the house." - Lady Cara "In heritage you always seem to be planning your life for your death." - Duchess "The magic of Downton Abbey and The Crown is that they show these houses to be full of riches and staff but, of course, now they are not at all. We as custodians are juggling all the time to keep the reality and the magic." - Duchess About the Guest and Stately Home: Lady Cara Boyle was born in 1976 and is the daughter of John Richard Boyle, 15th Earl of Cork and Hon. Rebecca Juliet Noble. Her father is a hereditary peer with the house of lords. Lady Cara married her husband, James Willoughby, 13th Baron of Middleton, in 2005. The couple have three young children together. Lady Cara is a graphic designer having attended the Glasgow School of Art. The decision to end the family’s 478 years of exclusive use was made by Lady Cara Willoughby, and her husband.  Birdsall House has been the home of the Willoughby family since 1729. The Willoughby family have had a long line of MPs, public officials, and military personnel providing service to the crown. Birdsall was built on the ruins of a 12th century monastery, some of which are still visible at the front of the house. Birdsall is a grade II* listed structure. The Jacobean building was enlarged and owes its stunning looks to the Georgians and to Victorian architect Anthony Salvin who designed the North wing. The Oval Room’s width was built to equal the jump of Henry Willoughby’s horse in 1790. The walls of the home are also lined with an unbroken line of family portraits dating from 1588 to the present Lord Middleton and to Lady Cara herself. About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our Sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/) https://birdsallestates.co.uk/weddings/ (https://birdsallestates.co.uk/weddings/)
07-10-2021
36 mins
Lady Ashcombe of Sudeley Castle
Lady Ashcombe / Sudeley Castle & Gardens Episode Description:  This week on Duchess, the Duchess of Rutland travels to the historic Sudeley Castle & Gardens to meet Lady Ashcombe. In the show, Lady Ashcombe speaks candidly about the impact of the tragic loss of her husband so early into her life custodian, the Duchess gets a background on the castle’s immense royal history, and Lady Ashcombe describes the tales of ghostly monarchs that are said to walk Sudeley’s halls today.  Top Quotes: "How many times have these grey suited individuals told you it isn't possible but the will of the chatelaine overcomes all." - Duchess "You need to protect the home and it's contents because without the art that's on the walls these houses don't tell the story they were meant to. It all represents layers of history and we are just a moment in time - preserving, protecting and defending." - Duchess "Sudeley Castle, and places like it, belong to the culture. Even though Sudeley is privately owned I feel that strongly about that. Especially because Sudeley wasn’t particularly built for a noble family. It evolved through the marching history of time." - Lady Ashcombe About the Guest and Stately Home: Lady Ashcombe was born Elizabeth Chipps in the United States. She would meet her future husband, Mark Dent-Brocklehurst, heir to Sudeley Castle, while at design school in New York. She married Mark in the early 1960s and the couple had two children together. In 1972, her husband died of a heart attack at just 40. Elizabeth later married Lord Ashcombe in 1979. She has spent decades restoring and running the castle but today, Elizabeth’s family largely run the house and estate.  In 1442, Ralph Boteler built Sudeley Castle. Boteler would sell Sudeley Castle to the King - making it Royal property granted to his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Richard would become Richard III after his ascension and would later be killed at the battle of Bosworth - ending the war of the roses and transitioning Sudeley to Henry VII. It was in this period that Queen Katherine Parr would live and eventually die at Sudeley Castle. In the 1600s, Sudeley Castle would suffer surrenderings, desecrations, and attacks. Following its ‘slighting’ on Cromwell’s orders at the end of the Civil War, Sudeley lay neglected and derelict for nearly 200 years. The title and estate continued to change hands. In 1837, Sudeley was rescued from disrepair by the wealthy Worcester glove-makers, brothers John and William Dent. The house would remain in the same family until present day. In 1949, The Walter Morrison fine picture collection was inherited and brought to the estate and, in 1969, the castle opened its doors to the public.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our Sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website...
30-09-2021
37 mins
Alexandra Sitwell of Renishaw Hall & Gardens
Episode Description:  In today’s episode, the Duchess journeys to Renishaw Hall & Gardens to meet Alexandra Sitwell. In the show, the ladies discuss why Renishaw became known as ‘the ancestral home of the English eccentric’, Alexandra introduces us to the iconic literary trio that lived at Renishaw, and we are taken on a tour of the unforgettable gardens that surround the home today.  Top Quotes: "These houses have a soul." - Alexandra "The borders of the gardens have the most beautiful flowers. The vistas remind you that you could be in Italy. That's why the gardens of stately homes have been so important to people during this time. Here we are in the middle of Derbyshire, 7 miles from Sheffield, with these fabulous gardens that can take you to another world." - Duchess It's a love affair with these houses. They scoop you up and, in a way, you can never put them down." - Duchess "My father used to refer to Renishaw as 'My Mistress of old: Unpredictable, unreliable, expensive but beautiful." - Alexandra About the Guest and Stately Home: Alexandra Sitwell was brought up at Renishaw Hall from the age of seven, and inherited the estate in 2009. She is married to her husband Richard Hayward. The couple have two adult children together. Alexandra loves the gardens and she credits her mother for continuing to expand and enriching them.  Grade I listed Renishaw sits on 5,000 acres of land, with 10 acres of gardens. The house was built in 1625 by George Sitwell, with further wings, rooms and gardens added later. George Sitwell began his financial empire by mining iron ore. The Sitwell family has owned the house for almost 400 years, generating wealth in the 16th and 17th centuries from iron-making and landowning. Renishaw was famously home to the literary Sitwell trio, siblings who established themselves as rivals to the Bloomsbury Set in the Twenties and Thirties. Sir Osbert was a writer. Sir Sacheverell an art and music critic, and Dame Edith was a poet. Ornamental ponds, a spectacular fountain, secret garden rooms, classical statues, overflowing borders and long vistas all feature strongly in Renishaw’s totally unique gardens. Renishaw also has an award winning vineyard on its grounds and won VisitEngland’s Hidden Gem award.   About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our Sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/) https://www.renishaw-hall.co.uk/ (https://www.renishaw-hall.co.uk/)
23-09-2021
36 mins
Charlotte Brudenell of Deene Park
Episode Description:  In the first episode of Duchess season 2, the Duchess of Rutland travels to Deene Park in Northamptonshire to meet Charlotte Brudenell. In the show, Charlotte introduces the Duchess to the eccentric Earl that was immortalised by one of English poetry’s greatest works, the ladies discuss Deene Park’s incredible association to the Magna Carta, and Charlotte reveals the ‘saucy’ 19th century discovery that would have made many of the time blush.   Top Quotes:  "The past is to cherish; the future is to relish." - Charlotte "The great thing about living in heritage is that we take on what our predecessors tell us, bless them for having been and then go forward to do our little bit. It becomes a great tapestry." - The Duchess "You have to put a 21st century influence or adaptation onto something that's older because we ultimately have to live in these houses and we can't let them rule us." - Charlotte "These houses were built to be shown off." - Charlotte "My job is to make sure the house exists, is looked after, is maintained. I'm the defender of Deene. " - Charlotte About the Guest and Stately Home: Charlotte married her husband Robert Brudenell in 1998. In the year 2000, the couple had their son and, since 2013, the couple have run the estate full time. Deene Park is a Tudor and Georgian Mansion. Before the Norman Conquest and for 150 years afterwards, the Manor of Deene belonged to the Abbey of Westminster and was used occasionally by the Abbot. Various families, including the Colets and the Lyttons leased the property until it was acquired in 1514 by Sir Robert Brudenell. Brudenell Estates comprises approximately 10,000 acres of land. The house was built over six centuries and grew from a substantial quadrangular-plan medieval manor into a Tudor and Georgian mansion, whose main front now faces south across the Park and Lake.  The collections within contain Tudor Manuscripts, Old Masters and Family Portraits, porcelain and military memorabilia from the Crimean War. The gardens of Deene are a big attraction including the Rose, Golden, and White gardens. The most striking feature of the gardens at Deene Park is the box hedge parterre designed by David Hicks in the early 1990’s. The unique four topiary teapots are a memorial to the late Edmund Brudenell as his tea was his favourite drink.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: To find out more about our sponsor CircleDNA, visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/) https://deenepark.com/ (https://deenepark.com/)
16-09-2021
35 mins
Welcome to Duchess Season 2
Welcome back to Season 2 of Duchess! - the podcast where the Duchess of Rutland explores the historic homes of Great Britain, and meets the inspiring women who lead them today. Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Stately homes are manors, palaces, and castles of great historic significance. They were built by the finest architects, adorned with the finest treasures and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. They homed the most powerful families and, with their wealth and social pedigree, shaped the world we live in today. Emma grew up far away from the aristocracy but her life changed forever when she married her husband - the 11th Duke of Rutland - and moved into Belvoir Castle. At once Emma became both a Duchess and custodian of one of Britain's most important buildings. The Duchess wanted to learn more about this world, these homes, and the other empowering women who, just like her, work tirelessly to ensure they see tomorrow. In this podcast the Duchess will travel to breathtaking homes, learn the epic tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls, hear chilling ghost stories and the heartbreaking tales of romance. All of this whilst getting to know the inspiring, powerful women that work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation. Join Emma on a very special journey. This is Duchess, the podcast. This season's sponsor is CircleDNA. To find out more, please visit their website https://circledna.com/en-us/ (here). https://circledna.com (https://circledna.com)
14-09-2021
1 min
Catherine Maxwell Stuart of Traquair House
Episode Description: On today’s episode, the Duchess meets the incredible Catherine Maxwell Stuart, the first Lady Laird of Traquair. Catherine and the Duchess speak at length about the royal history of Traquair, the tale behind the famous ‘closed gates’, we hear the stories of the other extraordinary women of Traquair, and Catherine educates the Duchess on the most important feature of a Scottish home: A watchtower.  Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “Running an estate has been a journey of learning but I wouldn’t have swapped any of it.” - The Duchess “I love the idea of old houses being alive. That they don’t come across like a museum. They should be vibrant. Lived in.” - Catherine Maxwell Stuart “You’re just a custodian. You’re a blip in the castle’s history.” - Catherine Maxwell Stuart “It’s a little bit of magic to appreciate our culture and heritage in living houses.” - Catherine Maxwell Stuart “People want to support the local house on the hill because there is a great sense of ownership with you.”- The Duchess About the Guest and Stately Home: Catherine Maxwell Stuart was born to Peter Maxwell Stuart, the 20th Laird of Traquair, in 1964. Catherine met her husband, Mark Muller Stuart, human rights lawyer, at the London School of Economics in the 1980s. The couple raise their three children together, Isabella, Louis and Charlotte, at Traquair House and Catherine has run the estate, and the Traquair brewery, since 1999. She is the first lady Laird of Traquair. Traquair House has remained the most enduring stately homes in the whole of the UK. It is not known when the exact foundations of the house were laid but a substantial structure must have existed by 1107 when Alexander 1 of Scotland signed a royal charter at Traquair. As a result, Traquair is the oldest continually inhabited property in Scotland. Also at Traquair a charter still exists, signed in 1175, that authorised William the Lion to open a Bishop’s Burgh and hold a market on Thursdays. This market would grow into the Glasgow Fair. Overall, 27 Kings and Queens have stayed at Traquair, and the estate continues to attract tens of thousands of visitors annually. With her husband Mark, Catherine began the ‘Beyond Borders’, an event aimed at bringing together internationally renowned experts and leaders to talk and exchange ideas. There’s a maze at the estate, a cafe, a luxury B&B and the estate is also available for weddings and corporate events.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.traquair.co.uk/about-traquair/ (https://www.traquair.co.uk/about-traquair/)...
08-04-2021
38 mins
Martha Lytton-Cobbold of Knebworth House
Episode Description: Joining The Duchess on this latest episode is the wonderful Martha Lytton-Cobbold of Knebworth House. Martha and the Duchess enjoy an incredible conversation, discussing Knebworth’s historic ties to writers like Edward Buwler Lytton and Charles Dickens, we hear the incredible story of one of the nation’s greatest suffragettes, Martha elaborates on the challenges and importance of empowering women in heritage, and we hear amazing tales about the many the rock and roll luminaries that have performed on the iconic grounds.  Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “Taking this on as a woman, many people will believe that what you’re doing isn’t correct. It’s important to think about your decisions, but make them, and stick to them.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold “There are still struggles. There are still issues that need to be addressed. Women need to be treated more equitably.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold “I found the whole journey of coming from a different world into aristocracy as incredibly daunting.” - The Duchess of Rutland “”With all heritage property, they were built for people to come together. They weren’t built for a single family. They come alive when people are there.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold “As the wife of the owner of a stately home, people do expect you to make the wrong decision. People do expect you to fail. But you can only do one thing: succeed.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold About the Guest: Martha Lytton-Cobbold was born in Alabama, and studied Art History and Journalism in NYU. She married her husband Henry Lytton-Cobbold and has two children. Martha is the first female president of The Historic House Association.  A manor house residing at Knebworth dates back as far as 1346. After the site was purchased by Sir Robert Lytton a grander estate was built roughly around 1500. Some of the best known residents of Knebworth include writer and politician Edward Bulwer Lytton, as well as the suffragette Constance Lytton. Although steepled in history for hundreds of years, Knebworth’s cultural significance has peaked in the modern day with its legendary concerts. Looking through a list of Knebworth performers is akin to reading members of the rock n roll hall of fame: Pink Floyd, Metallica, The Rolling Stones. But Knebworth does not just have notable performers, but notable performances: Led Zeppelin had their final concert here, Queen performed with Eddie Mercury for the final time at Knebworth, the legendary Oasis standing gigs occurred on the estate, and so on. As a result, Knebworth in the modern era continues to attract tourists with its historical pedigree, pop culture appeal, and beautiful landscape.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources:...
01-04-2021
38 mins
The Duchess of Fife at Kinnaird Castle
Episode Description: On today’s episode, the our Duchess Emma Rutland meets another Duchess: Caroline Fife, Duchess of Fife. Together, the ladies spoke about the estate’s rebellious history, the magnificent art collection in the castle, and the many groundbreaking conservation projects developed at the estate.  Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “In these houses, we are only as able as the team around. They are precious to you.” - The Duchess of Rutland “Running these homes; making people happy. It is a joy.” - The Duchess of Fife “Despite everything, these houses survive.” - The Duchess of Rutland “The environmental crisis is the biggest threat to us today. Conservation in these stately homes is crucial.” - The Duchess of Rutland “When people look at these buildings, there’s a great sense of stability. That life goes on.” - The Duchess of Rutland About the Guest and Stately Home: Carole Anne Bunting married her husband, the heir to the Dukedom of Fife, in 1987. Together, the couple raised their three sons at Kinnaird Castle, and the estate’s appeal as a tourist attraction has only continued to grow.   The Carnegie Clan have called the lands surrounding Kinnaird, Angus, since the 14th century, and records of a mansion on the estate date back to the 14th century as well. The Carnegie Clan for hundreds of years laid at the centre of Scottish political history. They supported James II, fought at the battle of Flodden, and back Mary, Queen of Scots. With the castle’s construction in the 15th Century, David Carnegie became Earl of Southesk in 1616. This would begin an illustrious line of nobility in the family, culminating in their ascension to an Earldom when the Earl of Fife married the Princess Royal, daughter of King Edward VII. Kinnaird Castle has remained in the family for 600 hundred (Bar a brief confiscation after the Carnegies had supported the Jacobite Rebellion) and the Castle’s high baronial architecture style has made it one of the most beautiful stately homes in the UK. Now open to the public, the estate boasts an astonishing art collection, the largest selection of coats of arms on any private British building, and leads the way in conservation within historic homes.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://kinnairdcastle.co.uk/ (https://kinnairdcastle.co.uk/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)
25-03-2021
34 mins
The Duchess of Argyll at Inveraray Castle
Episode Description: In this week's episode, Duchess meets Duchess as Her Grace, The Duchess of Argyll, brings us inside her fabulous home: the historic Inveraray Castle. We learn all about the ghostly history that lives inside the imposing 15th century walls, we hear the story of the iconic 20th century beauty Ethel Margaret Campbell, we learn more about The Duchess Eleanor Campbell herself, and her connection to Britain’s most treasured of chocolatiers, and the Duchesses discuss how such a powerful title can impact their personal identity.  Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “I think being a Duchess has taught me that I have a responsibility to my local community and that I must do it better every day.” - The Duchess of Rutland “We have a hundred and twenty thousand visitors a year. Without them, these homes have nothing.” - The Duchess of Argyll “That’s the reality of heritage in the 21st century: To juggle everything to make it work, to keep the roof on.” - The Duchess of Rutland “As your keeper at Inveraray Castle said to me: There’s no bad weather; there’s just bad dressing.” - The Duchess of Rutland “You’ve got to move with the times. You have to hand the estate on in a better condition than when you got it.”  - The Duchess of Argyll About the Guest and Stately Home: The Duchess of Argyll was born Eleanor Cadbury in London, and previously the Duchess worked in PR before meeting her husband Torquill, 13th Duke of Argyll. The couple have three children together, and live on the estate permanently.  Inveraray Castle has stood on the shores of Loch Fyne for 600 years. The striking gothic style structure is the seat of the Campbell Clan who were historically one of the most powerful Scottish families in the Highlands. With its chilling reputation for the paranormal, it’s magnificent treasures, and breathtaking landscapes, Inveraray Castle attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually to its many events, exhibitions, and music festivals.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.inveraray-castle.com/ (https://www.inveraray-castle.com/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)
18-03-2021
32 mins
The Countess of Devon at Powderham Castle
Episode Description: On this week’s episode of Duchess, our host meets Hollywood actress and Countess of Devon, A.J. Devon. The Countess opens up about her career in Hollywood, explains the difficulty of transitioning to a life in the peerage, the Duchess quizzes her on the amazing history of Powderham, and we hear how the Countess’ will transform the estate into a community space for wellness, health, and happiness.  Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “ I did realise these houses can eat you.I did lose myself to this house” - The Countess of Devon  “I wasn’t brought up to be beautiful. I was brought up to be authentic, empowered, and to use my voice.” - The Countess of Devon “Running these homes, there’s an immense need and expectation to take care of our communities.”- The Duchess of Rutland “We can get caught up in the bricks and mortar. But it's our souls that we really put into these homes.” - The Duchess of Rutland “I will always remember the late Duchess of Devonshire’s advice: You must run it; It must not run you.” - The Duchess of Rutland About the Guest and Stately Home: Deep in the picturesque county of sunkissed Devon, is one the UK’s most unique manor homes: Powderham. With its unique combination of Georgian, Victorian and Gothic architecture, battlement towers, and crenellations, Powderham’s exterior is an extraordinary sight. Many of the lavish interiors are simply spectacular, such as the turquoise Rococo staircase, or the incredible music room, designed by venerated architect James Wyatt.  Like the richness of appearance, the estate has a rich history. Seat of the Earls of Devon, the manor of Powderham appeared in the Doomsday Book, and has remained in the Courtenay family for 600 years. One of the more well known Viscounts was the third, William Courtenay who, along with adding many of the extraordinary features of the estate, would scandalise the family and be forcefully exiled due to his sexual orientation.  Now, Lord Devon runs the estate with his wife Countess of Devon - Hollywood actress A.J. Devon of My So Called Life, Baywatch, and Private Practice. Together, the couple have two children, and have worked at transforming Powderham into a community oriented space promoting health, happiness, and freedom of expression.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://www.powderham.co.uk/ (https://www.powderham.co.uk/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)
11-03-2021
37 mins
Lady Mansfield of Scone Palace
Episode Description: On this week’s episode, The Duchess chats to Lady Mansfield of the historic Scone Palace. Lady Mansfield and The Duchess enjoy a wonderful conversation, where we hear the moving story of one of Britain’s first black aristocrats, listeners learn about Stone of Destiny and how central Scone was in crowing Scottish royalty, and Lady Mansfield explains the origins behind one of Scone’s great treasures: Marie Antoinette’s writing desk.   Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “These houses need life. They need people. They only come alive when people are in them.” - Lady Mansfield “In a stately home you become a jack of all trades. You’re always juggling. The most important thing is attention to detail.” - Lady Mansfield  “You are walking in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce, Macbeth. The way I explain it to people is: ‘Scone is the Westminster Abbey of Scotland.” - Lady Mansfield “In heritage, you can’t afford to stand still.” - Lady Mansfield “I want people to take away a sense of history. I want them to feel the Palace is alive.” - Lady Mansfield  About the Guest: Countess Mansfield worked as a cook in London before marrying her husband, 9th Earl of Mansfield David Mungo Murray, in 1985. The couple have four children together, and their tenureship in Scone Palace has seen the estate become a major Scottish tourist attraction.  The land Scone Palace sits on is steepled in Scottish and Ancient history. Originally a gathering place for the Picts, Scone was the site of Moot Hill: where all Scottish kings, from Macbeth to Robert the Bruce, were crowned. Scotland's first parliament meeting was opened at Scone, and the estate has been the home of the Murray family since 1604. The history of the Earl’s of Mansfield is lengthy and distinguished, but one of the greatest Earl’s remains the first: William Murray. William would become one of the most venerated lawyers in history and, perhaps most significantly, his decision to raise the biracial Elizabeth Dido Bell marked a crucial moment in British racial history. Scone now is one of Scotland’s great tourist destinations - hosting events annually and housing treasures such as Marie Antoinette’s writing desk, and the Stone of Scone.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://scone-palace.co.uk/ (https://scone-palace.co.uk/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)
04-03-2021
34 mins
Lady Derby of Knowsley Hall
Episode Description: On the newest episode of Duchess, our hosts travels to meet the lovely Lady Derby of the beautiful Knowsley Hall. Lady Derby speaks to The Duchess about the unbelievably impressive Stanley family lineage, Lady Derby explains some of the challenges she encountered when first arriving on the steps of Knowsley Hall, the ladies discuss the estates astounding connection to Shakespeare, we are given insight into the equestrian pedigree of Lady Derby and the Stanley, and we hear first hand accounts of the what it’s like to run an estate during a pandemic.  Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Top Quotes: “That was the most difficult thing during the lockdown. Everyone had to isolate. It was actually very lonely.” - Lady Derby  “It’s hard to describe a stately home life without realising it is very co-dependent.” - Lady Derby  “Having people in the home brings life to the house.” - Lady Derby “I have been totally reliant on the community I work with to find my way.” - Lady Derby “What these homes are really about is the community.” - The Duchess of Rutland About the Guest: Lady Derby, born Caroline Emma Neville, grew up in the stately home Audley End of the historic House of Neville. She studied History and History of Art in London City University before working as Assistant Surveyor to the Queen’s Pictures. She met her husband Edward Stanley, 9th Earl of Derby, in 1994. The couple would marry and have three children.  Knowsley Hall was built in the 1500s and has housed the Stanely’s for 500 years.  The Stanley’s are one of the most illustrious families in British history, with famous knights, prime ministers, and politicians all hailing lineage. The Derby race was named after them, as is The Stanley Cup in hockey. Now visitors flock to Knowsley Hall all year round to enjoy its many works of art, events and safari park.  About the Host: Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.  Resources: https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/) https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/) https://knowsleyhallvenue.co.uk/ (https://knowsleyhallvenue.co.uk/) https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)
25-02-2021
34 mins

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