On the third episode of Duchess, our host sits down with Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill in the breathtaking Blenheim Palace. We hear the amazing story of how the Palace was built, and how one particular woman was fundamental to it’s construction. Emma Rutland hears about the Spencer-Churchill's distinguished lineage and Lady Henrietta’s memories of Sir Winston Churchill. We are taken on a tour of the incredible architecture & interiors of Blenheim, and we hear about sacrifices former custodians have made to keep the Palace going.
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.
“The heartbeat of a private heritage home is the family living in it.” - Emma Rutland
“My father always said: We are still fighting the battle of Blenheim. The battle doesn’t stop. We will always be fighting for Blenheim.” - Lady Henrietta
“Nothing is ever thrown away in a large house.” - Emma Rutland
“It’s my duty to look after such a wonderful and beautiful home. It’s a part of our heritage. We’re very lucky to be a part of it.” - Lady Henrietta
“My motto is retain and restore, rather than rip out and replace.” - Lady Henrietta
About the Guest and Stately Home:
Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is an interior designer, author, and founder of Woodstock Designs. Henrietta, is the youngest child of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, and grew up at Blenheim Palace.
Situated in Oxfordshire, Blenheim's history spans far beyond the history of the Dukes of Marlborough. Henry II’s mistress Rosamund Clifford lived on the former estate and Elizabeth I was imprisoned by Mary I on the estate as well. Blenheim, which is the only non- royal and non-episcopal Palace in England, was built by the first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough in the 18th century. The Palace is replete with magnificent Baroque architecture and contains numerous priceless pieces of art and heirlooms. Famously Blenheim is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, and you can still view the room where he was born. Today, the estate hosts events throughout the year; including cinema screenings, concerts, and exhibitions. Blenheim Palace is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the Host:
Emma, Duchess of Rutland, grew up far away from the world of the aristocracy. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh 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 thrust Emma into a new world, which included the responsibility of preserving one of the nation's greatest stately homes: 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 Emma 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 in the background, to preserve their homes history and magic for future generations.