Some years ago, we met a remarkable retired couple. They had spent part of their life in Kenya and, in retirement, returned to build primary schools in an area where there were too few and create a sponsorship programme to pay for some of the children to go on to secondary school. Schools in Kenya are not free from 13 years old and of course neither is university. Once qualified, these children, now engineers, doctors and nurses, often return themselves in their spare time to teach and inspire the children in the primary school.
Drawn in by the practicality and dedication of this couple, we tried to help the “Langalanga Trust” and went to visit to understand a little more about its work. It was an unforgettable trip, not just because of the African scenery but because of the attitude and warmth with which these two remarkable people were greeted. We saw children, sometimes no more than seven years old, who had walked five miles or more to get to the school, understanding that education mattered, it was a way forward and would give them options.
Returning to Highclere, we have since helped fundraise in support of the buildings and sponsored a student ourselves. He has now completed university.
Today, in the UK, almost all children are in lockdown and being home-schooled by their parents. Most of them would far rather be at school and most of their parents wish the same, not least because they are not teachers and children are not perfectly attentive pupils with their parents.
My two youngest sisters – like other working mothers – are truly struggling with the combination of the requirements of home schooling whilst also holding down full-time jobs. They, like others, fully understand the reason for schools to close, yet felt devastated that more education was being lost. Another of our sister’s works in a London hospital. Whichever “space” you are in, everyone is very tired, very anxious . Structure, achievement and seeing their friends are all now absent from these children’s lives.
With this in mind I thought this coming week I would explore below stairs in my quirky coffee mornings (Instagram – @highclere_castle 11am, Highclere time and then saved). However, we will not be travelling back to the below stairs domain of Mrs Patmore but all the way back to the time of the Pharaohs and, Tutankhamun in particular.
In 1922, Highclere and Lord Carnarvon, alongside his archaeologist Howard Carter, were front page news around the globe. The unfolding discovery of the untouched tomb of an ancient Egyptian king has continued to intrigue and fascinate both children and adults ever since. Documentaries, fictional adventures and books lead us through secret trails and false doors to an unimageable treasure which might have terrifying consequences as well as good fortune.
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter were two men passionate about Ancient Egypt – its architecture, works of art and culture and were much liked by many of the local Egyptians with whom they worked in the Valley of the Kings. Mavericks, diligent and experienced Egyptologists, these two men now unexpectedly stood at the centre of a global media storm.
So this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on Instagram I will begin in a corridor face to face with Carnarvon and Carter to introduce you all. In addition, partly because Tutankhamun and ancient Egypt are part of the school syllabus here in the UK, but also because it is the fascinating story of the discovery of the tomb of a Pharaoh who lived 3,500 years ago, we have created some fun worksheets for you to try (along with the answers). The worksheets can be found in the first photo box on the front of the Highclere Castle website as PDFs so that you can either see them online or download them if you have a printer. On Friday we will publish the answers in the same format.
I hope that you and any children will find them both interesting and informative.
Given that we are unlikely to be out of lockdown by then, we would like to return to ancient Egypt on February 16th for the anniversary of the grand opening of the tomb: the day they broke through between the Guardian Statues into the inner burial chamber. We can then spend a few more mornings exploring the recreated tomb at Highclere together.
See you tomorrow!
Fantastic! I can’t wait for tomorrow! Thank you for your wonderful post.
I did the Nile cruise and it blew my mind.
Yours Patrick Mahoney
Thank you! I am very excited to follow you on the journey this week. I do hope to visit and see for myself. Let’s be positive and look forward to a new future!
How exciting my granddaughter will love this x
I love the worksheets – what a wonderful idea! Thank you, Lady Carnarvon!
Lady C !
How uplifting and so very well done! We all, I am sure, look forward to your company as am sure it will most certainly be exciting.
We brought our ‘Spanish’ grand daughters to visit Highclere this summer throughout the window of opportunity- it was a fabulous experience and made more so by your gracious conversation that you had with them. Stuff of castles and exciting adventures, the girls did not stop talking about it!
We will be in Egypt for the 100th anniversary on February 16th 2022. I remember well seeing your downstairs exhibition. I was aware long before my visit of the connection your home had with Carter. My daughter is a classical archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has done extensive work in the western desert as well as Luxor on digs in those areas. I am a historian on 19th century America and have much interest in the Pharaonic period of Egypt. I will look forward to your photo tours. Much luck, stay safe and lets get back to a semblance of normal.
Thank you so much I hope you might enjoy the upcoming Instagram’s
How exciting! You must be so proud of your daughter, and thanks to you for your background and interests! Hope you have a great trip next year, without the pandemic.
You continue to amaze and inspire!
Lockdown is a challenge that you continue to overcome with your positive attitude and creativity.
What an example to all of us!
Thank you Nancy
I totally agree, Nancy! Well said!
Looking forward to this!Thank you.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
This was most welcome reading on a winter morning here in the US.
I think your generosity of time and spirit is wonderful for young and old alike with this project. I look forward to following you and this workshop on Instagram!
I had the good fortune to visit your home a few years ago on a private tour and I think of my time there with wonder. This blog is a beautiful way of keeping in touch and keeping the memories alive!
Thank you again, Happy New Year
I look forward to welcoming you back to Highclere very soon
Yes Kitty – can’t wait to go back and visit again! Highlight of our vacation in England. Winter is still here in Sunny CA – but I wish I could see Highclere in the FALL!
What an excellant way to pay it forward! I’m sure children and parents alike will be appreciative and enjoy the experience. You are such a prime example of using your resources wisely! Thank you!!
So exciting! My children and their friends will be having an Egyptian Day at our house tomorrow for homeschool. They can’t wait to watch you on Instagram and mold their own canopic jars! Thank you so much! Your friends in Pensacola, Florida.
In 2009 I was in a hot air balloon with my daughter as the sun rose over the Valley of the Kings on my 53rd birthday, an adventure I will never forget. I knew nothing then of Highclere or the amazing story of HOW the discovery all came about. My 7 year old grandson, just before Covid hit, did his school speech on Egyptology. Trying to stay connected across the miles I began sending him and his sister fun and/or educational packages weekly. I put together a “home-made” booklet complete with anecdotes and photos from our trips to both Egypt and Highclere to tell the tales. I wish that a year later we weren’t still in lockdown but how happy I am that I can now follow that up with your Egyptian package!
Thank you very much and i look forward to seeing you in the tomb tomorrow!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Work sheets printed off and ready to go! I recently bought my Grand-daughters a book about Egypt and some figurines from the gift shop at Highclere, so the timing could not be more perfect. Wednesday morning is Nanny morning and now I have something interesting to do with them, and so much more exciting with your Instagram posting to go with it! (I have also printed one off for myself – office door may close at around 11am tomorrow, for a very important meeting lol).
I do hope you enjoy Wednesday morning this week!
It was wonderful to read about your connection and support to a school in Kenya. My parents (Dad an M.D. and Mum a teacher) went to work in a remote place on the shore of Lake Victoria – Shirati Hospital, Tanzania in 1957. Two years later I was born there, delivered by my Dad! My parents worked in East Africa for a span of 15 years. How important education is for all children. It’s good to read hear what you are doing this week to share the collection of Egyptian artifacts and their connection to Highclere. Thank you and all the best to you and the team at Highclere Castle.
I just found the trip to Kenya very humbling and the avid interest in reading and writing utterly inspiring
Dearest Lady Carnarvon,
Monday mornings here in Montana are very special to me because of your wonderful stories that take me away from Covid-19 news. Here in USA we now have Over 4,000 deaths per day in addition to a paucity of vaccine available.
Your blog this morning was simply delightful and so poignant. Your work in Africa, your creative home school packet, your understanding of the difficulties families are having trying to balance work with homeschooling is so impressive.
I will be 83 in 2023 when I plan to visit Highclere. It is the ONLY thing on my bucket list. . Thank you Sincerely, Sandie Carpenter
I look forward to you visiting in 2023
Oh wonderful! my favourite subject! I shall home school myself a bit this week… can’t wait for tomorrow!
How exciting to be a part of the Egyptian underground! We were enthralled when we visited in 2015, and dearly hope to come again! I am very interested in things really, really old – superb discoveries such as the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Carter. And thank you for adding to our children’s and our knowledge.
Is there a podcast later than 12/31/2020?
From now on my podcast will be released monthly on the last Thursday of each month
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
As a former educator, I can sympathize with students, parents and teachers teaching and learning via Zoom. It can be stressful for everyone! Even though I’m not in the school has a teacher or principal anymore, I look forward to learning more about the the tomb of the Pharaohs. Ancient Egypt has always been an interest of mine. I look forward to learning from you this week.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge,
This is going to be an amazing resource ( as well as being fun )for my online tutoring students .
I know one of my students (young gentlemen in Grade 3) who will be over the moon about this . As each week we have been reading all about Ancient Egypt, he wants to be an Archaeologist.
Thanks so much got doing this !
Best regards ,
I am so happy to be able to help your students explore Ancient Egypt
What a wonderful unique opportunity to be so connected with the discovery of Tut’s tomb. I was honored to see the display myself!
How exciting! I wish I could attend. Thank you for you’re wed page and info.
This is exciting. I saw the King Tut exhibit in Chicago as a freshman in high school. It was awesome. I’ve thought it was truly interesting that Lord C. Found this. Truly amazing.
Lady Carnarvon, I was married latter on in life so I have no kids but through family and friends I know how difficult it can be for a Mom and Dad to work and home school at the same time. So much stress for them. Maybe if they have pets and go for nature works it will help. I feel pets and nature can have a calming effect. With Kind Regards, Cheryl
Visiting the exhibits while doing the Castle tour was a fantastic experience.
I was wondering if you could provide some information about a rose you grow which I saw on an Instagram post recently. It was called Rose of Benica(sp?).
Rosa ‘Bonica’, is a shrub rose cultivar, bred by Marie Louise Meilland in France in 1982, pink and never stops flowering!
I saw the Kings tomb when it toured the USA. I drove from Georgia to Florida to see it. I also saw the exhibit at Highclere when I visited three years ago. I centered my art education portfolio around Egypt and had my students making their own cartouches. I am always interested in any thing to do with ancient Egypt, so thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you for sharing how the UK is teaching children during lockdown. It sounds exactly what is happening across the pond in the US. Some school systems are in complete lockdown while others are fully open and functioning in the classroom while other systems are doing a hybrid form of teaching in the room and/or via the computer. Whatever the situation, as a retired teacher, I do not envy educators during this trying time nor parents who are having to home school. Thank you for the strides you are taking to help teachers with what I know will wonderful information on King Tut for the children to experience.
This is a tiny thing but it is such a great story!
How exciting! Thank you Lady Carnarvon. Looking forward to joining you tomorrow!
Home schooling has also been hard on grandparents, too, who are recruited to help their grandchildren navigate their online schooling because their parents are working. I have a couple of friends who are trying to keep up with the lessons when the grandschildren do not attend school. We are not all up-to-date on computer technology, so trying to help the young ones do online work is daunting!
As for ancient Egyptian archaeology, I’m all ears! Praying we have the privilege to see the most celebrated discovery of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter later this year with Viking.
With much appreciation and best wishes,
Thank you for your lovely blog. What a wonderful idea to work with home schoolers/teachers!
I hope to visit the UK in 2021 and see Highclere in person.
Best wishes from central Illinois, USA.
I look forward to meeting you at Highclere later in the year!
Dear Lady Carnarvon
My first interest in Egypt was via a history teacher I had who came from egypt. She made the history of the Pyramids and Sphinx come alive for me and I have maintained an interest ever since. Mind you I should add this was 67 years ago!
I saw King Tut’s Exhibition in Melbourne a few years ago and whilst my husband was working I rode the tram into town every day to stand in awe at the Gold Mask and other artifacts which were on display and read and re-read the information that went with each exhibit. I was truly enthralled especially as I could “hear” my teacher telling those same stories. I am looking forward to your “home schooling” if I can connect with it and I shall have a jolly good try!
I heard on the news today that in the UK numbers of Covid seem to be going down thanks to this lockdown but an awful lot of people are still very ill in hospital. To all those everywhere who are affected by Covid try not to despair, this will pass (hopefully)very soon. Meanwhile I shall pray for all of you and ask God to keep you safe.
My son Alex, a Year 4 history buff, will love this. They have also just finished a segment on Ancient Egypt at school, so this fits in perfectly. Thank you very much! Best wishes from Oxford.
Buenos dias Lady Carnavon: Estuve en Highclere hace dos años y me fascino el castillo, su historia y el maravilloso entorno. Muchas gracias por su magnifico blog que leo con admiración todos los lunes y con los que practico además mi olvidado inglés. Un cordial saludo,
What a lovely resource! Thank you Lady Carnavon. I visited Highclere on 21st Dec as our Christmas gift and we had a wonderful time. I found your blog by chance checking out the website after watching the C4 Highclere at Christmas documentary which was delightful. Now to find resources I can use when helping grandchildren with home schooling tomorrow – another bonus! Many thanks and here’s to the end of lockdown so we can make a return visit before very long!
Hopefully you will be able to return to Highclere very soon!!
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
GOOD EVENING FROM BRAZIL
WOW!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH MILADY FOR YOURS BEAUTIFUL WORDS AND WONDERFUL POST , I CAN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW!!!
RIO CLARO – SP
Lady Carnarvon, looking back on the top photo, the way you have displayed King Tuts artifacts is beautiful. I can only imagine how wonderful the whole display looks like. Incredible! Hope you and your family are well. Kind Regards, Cheryl
Cheryl how kind and I really hope you are well too!
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Even though my comment is belated, thank you for your Monday blog.
I enjoyed learning about the Langalanga Trust and its schooling efforts in Kenya. Thank you to you and Lord Carnarvon for sponsoring a student within this program all the way through to university.
Our daughter teaches ninth grade mathematics. Her concerns mirror those you expressed concerning the current state of education world-wide during this COVID-19 lockdown period.
Reintroducing your readership to the history of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb was a great introduction to the “Quirky Coffee Morning” to follow.
I have watched your daily presentations on Instagram, and find them to be very concise and informative.
Until next Monday, all the best to you.
Thank you so much !
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you again for a most wonderful blog. Since we had no power here in North western Montana last week, I am just catching up. I did notice a comment from above that there is yet another person from Montana- Whitefish- this person and another one are close to where I live. We should get together and have a Highclere get together and laud your amazing, thoughtful, and caring involvement with others while we endure this pandemic. I shall bring the Highclere gin!!
Hope you are safe and getting through this current lockdown.
I shall pass on your blog and instagram re: the King Tut worksheets for those of my friends who are homeschooling during this time.
Thank you again for your thoughtfulness,
I cannot wait to visit Highclere and see this exhibit.
Thank you so much and I am glad you have power back again!