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.
"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.