Nicola here. I was very interested in Wench Andrea’s blog a week or so ago about Dukes, and the reality of dukes and dukedoms as opposed to what we see on film and read about in books. This prompted me to think about duchesses, particularly as a new podcast called “Duchess” started recently. It’s a show that explores the inspiring women who are running the stately home of Britain. In it, Emma Manners, the Duchess of Rutland, travels the country and talks to a variety of women about their lives caring for historic houses. It’s quite an eye-opening listen (if that isn’t an odd metaphor!) Despite the very modern approach of some of the chatelaines, there were times when I felt I could have been listening to someone talking in the 19th century, particularly when the made reference to “taking care of the staff.” It’s all part and parcel of running a modern estate.
One of the messages that came over clearly from all the participants of the show was that life changes forever when you marry and take on the care of one of Britain’s most historic buildings. Of course you get to live in the most amazing setting and enjoy all the treasures of a grand pile, but you are sharing your home with visitors and need some privacy some of the time.