Next Episode of Secrets of the Manor House is
Secrets of the Manor House looks beyond the fiction to the truth of how life was in these ancient British houses, and how mounting financial, political and social pressures were about to bring momentous changes to both the wealthy and their servants.
Step inside one of Britain's best-known manor houses.
It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of Downton® Abbey, but England's Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. See how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling "below stairs." Also find out how the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend their $1 million in annual upkeep funds, and what life in a fairytale castle is like today.
Step inside the historic Hampton Court.
Hampton Court is the ultimate royal pleasure palace, embodying an indulgent and grandiose lifestyle built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and furthered by King Henry VIII. Its many rooms chart Henry VIII's decline from fit young warrior to bloated womanizer, and they tell the vivid stories of the ladies who became his queens. Later, King William III and Queen Mary II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild Hampton Court, demolishing half of the red brick Tudor palace and replacing it with an exquisite Baroque castle, making Hampton Court one of the most unique palaces in the world. Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace digs beneath the brick and stone to unveil an abundance of art and lore that bring Hampton Court to life.
Step inside the family home of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Nestled on over 14,000 acres of English countryside is Althorp House, the childhood home and final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales. 19 generations of Spencers, one of Britain's most eminent aristocratic dynasties, have lived there for over 500 years. The estate is now in the hands of Diana's brother Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, guardian to a vast wealth of artistic and historical treasures. Works by Rubens and Van Dyck line the walls, while the guest book boasts signatures from such illustrious figures as King William III, Sir Winston Churchill, and Queen Elizabeth II. Earl Spencer leads a personal tour around this noble manor that is to him, above all, still very much a family home, relaying how the history of the house is inextricably bound up with the character, strengths, and weaknesses of those who have lived there before him.
Step inside the home of the Dukes of Devonshire.
On an estate the size of Washington, DC sits Chatsworth, home to the Dukes of Devonshire, one of the grandest aristocratic dynasties in England. The tales of intrigue, tragedy, and scandal of this great family are inextricably intertwined with those of the house itself, from the decadent life of the shockingly glamorous Duchess Georgiana, to the tumultuous love story between JFK's favorite sister Kathleen Kennedy and heir Billy Cavendish. Peregrine Cavendish, the 12th Duke of Devonshire, shares the history and some of the inner workings of this great house and grounds, one of England's largest private homes, which is "much more of a home than perhaps it looks from the outside... we're very lucky."
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