On this week’s episode, The Duchess chats to Lady Mansfield of the historic Scone Palace. Lady Mansfield and The Duchess enjoy a wonderful conversation, where we hear the moving story of one of Britain’s first black aristocrats, listeners learn about Stone of Destiny and how central Scone was in crowing Scottish royalty, and Lady Mansfield explains the origins behind one of Scone’s great treasures: Marie Antoinette’s writing desk.
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.
“These houses need life. They need people. They only come alive when people are in them.” - Lady Mansfield
“In a stately home you become a jack of all trades. You’re always juggling. The most important thing is attention to detail.” - Lady Mansfield
“You are walking in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce, Macbeth. The way I explain it to people is: ‘Scone is the Westminster Abbey of Scotland.” - Lady Mansfield
“In heritage, you can’t afford to stand still.” - Lady Mansfield
“I want people to take away a sense of history. I want them to feel the Palace is alive.” - Lady Mansfield
About the Guest:
Countess Mansfield worked as a cook in London before marrying her husband, 9th Earl of Mansfield David Mungo Murray, in 1985. The couple have four children together, and their tenureship in Scone Palace has seen the estate become a major Scottish tourist attraction.
The land Scone Palace sits on is steepled in Scottish and Ancient history. Originally a gathering place for the Picts, Scone was the site of Moot Hill: where all Scottish kings, from Macbeth to Robert the Bruce, were crowned. Scotland's first parliament meeting was opened at Scone, and the estate has been the home of the Murray family since 1604. The history of the Earl’s of Mansfield is lengthy and distinguished, but one of the greatest Earl’s remains the first: William Murray. William would become one of the most venerated lawyers in history and, perhaps most significantly, his decision to raise the biracial Elizabeth Dido Bell marked a crucial moment in British racial history. Scone now is one of Scotland’s great tourist destinations - hosting events annually and housing treasures such as Marie Antoinette’s writing desk, and the Stone of Scone.
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.