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.
"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.
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