Duchess, A Christmas Special from Belvoir Caslte - Duchess

Episode 12

Duchess, A Christmas Special from Belvoir Castle

Published on: 1st December, 2021

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. 





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About the Podcast

Welcome to Duchess - the podcast in which the Duchess of Rutland explores the historic homes of Great Britain and meets the inspiring women who lead them today.
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.