The First Global Media Event
On Thursday 30th November 1922, “The Times” published the first article in what became the longest running news item ever. It covered the most sensational archaeological discovery made, not merely in the 20th century but possibly of all time – that of the intact tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun. Shortly afterwards, the international press began to arrive in Luxor in full force, even camping in the gardens of local hotels.
Lord Carnarvon threw a huge party at the Winter Palace Hotel to celebrate and congratulations poured in from all over the world. Pierre Lacau, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities in Egypt, wrote to Lord Carnarvon on behalf of the “Committee of Egyptologie” not only to congratulate him on the discovery but also to admire the rigorous and professional methods of conducting the excavation.
Writing my guidebooks about this extraordinary time in the life of Highclere Castle and the Carnarvon family, I often wondered how they coped and what it must have been like. Now I am finding out as, nearly one hundred years later, and for a very different reason, Highclere is again centre stage in a world media event – the launch of the Downton Abbey film.
Downton Abbey, the TV series, has been an extraordinary journey for us. It has captured the imagination of millions of people of all generations and now the film looks set to do the same. Husbands earn brownie points for booking tickets to go and see the film, friends plan to dress up and see it together and Downton Abbey tea parties, cocktail parties and dinners seem to be happening everywhere.
Last Monday we were lucky enough to go to the film premiere in London. Thanks to the kindness of the premiere sponsor, Viking Cruises, Diana (Highclere’s own Mrs Hughes), Luis (Highclere’s own Carson), Paul the Chef (Highclere’s own Mrs Patmore) and another Diana (Highclere’s head guide) came too. It was an amazing evening.
After the credits started, and the music began, the Castle came up on screen, golden, inspiring and reassuringly unchanged. Not that I am biased (of course) but it did, and does, look beautiful and, in fact, everybody cheered and clapped. It was a really wonderful moment which I shall always remember. Tonight, Geordie and I are again lucky to be going to the New York premiere.
There are two questions that I am often asked about living here, neither of which I have the perfect answer to. The first is why I think Downton is so successful. Personally, I think it strikes such a chord because it is the perfect combination of a nostalgic fantasy of the past combined with the story of a family and their household, with all the attendant dramas. It is about relationships, romance, beautiful clothes and ultimately happy endings. We can’t wait to see Maggie Smith and listen to her acerbic one-liners, the kind we all wish we had the wit, courage and presence of mind to utter in our own lives.
Highclere’s role, of course acting faultlessly as Downton Abbey, is that of a golden heritage, anchoring us to the past: a calm and ordered world apart in comparison to our more muddled times. The pace is more measured, less frenetic, giving time perhaps for a less hasty response to situations. Ninety years ago in the late 1920’s, in a world without mobile phones and emails, news, in this case the announcement of a Royal Visit, traveled by train and Royal Mail van, with a motorbike courier to the back door before it finally reached, via a footman bearing a silver salver, Lord Grantham.
The second question I am often asked is what is my favourite room in the Castle? Again I have no perfect answer. I love the magnificence of the Library, as does Geordie, and we both love the Saloon as it is the heart of the building. However, this weekend, I thought my favourite room was high up at the top of the tower, looking across the pinnacles and roofs, onto the magnificent cedars trees and past to the Temple of Diana. Out of the opposite window lies the tree clad Siddown Hill with the folly Heaven’s Gate at the top whilst, to the side, is Beacon Hill with its Iron Age fort where the 5th Earl of Carnarvon is buried. Who could ever tire of this, especially at this time of year when all the trees are turning?
I hope that as the Downton Abbey film rolls out through cinemas, it will have the success it deserves. It was a huge team effort led by writer Julian Fellowes, the production team under Gareth Neame and Liz Troubridge and all the actors and crew. It was, and is, an honour to be part of it.
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
CHAMPAGNE,CHAMPAGNE.CONGRATULATION TO THE CARNARVON FAMILY AND STAFF.
PS THE MOVIE WILL BE SHOWN IN BRAZIL FROM THE DAY 21/11/2019
RIO CLARO – SP
I do hope you enjoy it!
Dear Lady Carnarvon
My husband and I saw the movie for the second time (in Australia) recently. We absolutely adored it. Prior to seeing it, I had doubts as to how it could ever be as good as the series! My doubts were proved wrong – it is every bit as good as the series. We are hoping that the door has been left open for possibly a second movie down the track!!! Well done to all. It’s definitely a winner!
Dear Lady Carnarvon
My husband and I have seen the movie twice (in Australia) and totally loved it. Do you think that ‘the door may have been left open’ for a possible second movie, down the track? We certainly hope so.
Let’s hope so!
My daughter and I are going to an early showing in Richmond, Virginia and we are dressing for the red carpet! We are so excited to see the movie and all the costumes. I visited Highclere in 2014 and it was amazing!
Sounds delightful – I am sure you will both have a wonderful time.
My husband and I saw Downton Abbey this past Thursday. It was Awesome and I can’t wait to see it again.
We were fortunate to visit Highclere Castle and meet you a couple of years ago.
That was a very special day for us.
Thank you for all you do.
I hope you will come back!
We went to the showing in WNY, and we loved the movie! It shows the best of Highclere plus the storyline keeps you in a bit of suspense….and of course, the actors are superb as they were in the series. It was even more special to us, having been there this past summer! A special place, a special era….keep it alive!!
I completely agree
I enjoy this blog so much! Thank you for sharing your life with us.
All the best to you (and Patsy!!) at tonight’s New York Premiere. My husband is the best – taking me to see the movie and dinner after this weekend for our 36th anniversary. Of course, I can’t wait! But in the meantime, I am reading “While We Were Watching Downton Abbey” by Wendy Wax. It is a terrific book and is getting me more excited about seeing the movie with every chapter. Enjoy your “Media Event”, Lady Carnarvon.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for sharing your insights about life at Highclere and the success of Down Abbey. We are so looking forward to the movie! For me, the movie strikes a chord because of the relationships. All of them.
Personally, I’d like to know how you manage it all! Wishing you continued success in your endeavors…
The Woodlands, Texas
My dear Ladyship, thanku once again for your extremely interesting blog – my daughter & I visited Highclere Castle a few weeks ago – I was totally captivated, it has a wonderful aura…..we are going to see the movie tomorrow – can’t WAIT!! I visited King Tut in his tomb in The Valley of The Kings in 2006 – again, that awesome aura….thank you again for all your beautifully researched articles, & for sharing them with us, yours,
Thank you – you are too kind
Your dedication to preserving Highclere and making it relevant continue to inspire. Thanks to you and Lord Carnarvon for blessing us with the perspective of history we often lack today. Have fun in New York!
You are kind – thank you
I think another reason your Highclere Castle and the world’s Downtown Abbey is so dear to millions is that you merge the lovely calm past with the befuddled present when you bring us into your world each Monday. I look forward every week to being taken back in time before I have to deal with the day. It is a treasure for me, and I am certain, for others. My husband this exciting sense of adventure, and we will “live it” again this coming Sunday when the opening notes to the movie take us back in time to the Abbey. Thank you for the part you play in helping this happen!
You are completely right – it takes us to a different time and place when we need a holiday from today.
Already have tickets purchased and myself and 4 friends will journey to the cinema on this coming Saturday. Thank you for being apart of such a wonderful adventure
My 16 year old daughter and I saw a pre screening in the states last week. The movie was amazing and Highclere looked magnificent. It looked in one shot that there is some sort of inscription above the front door. What does it say? Or, I was seeing things!
You are quite right – it is the Carnarvon family motto. It says ‘Ung je serviray’ which is old French for “I will serve but one master”
There is only one word after seeing the Film.
Several years ago on one of my trips to UK and Winchester I had the pleasure and Privilege to Tour your home, Highclere as a follower of Downton Abbey it was overwhelming experience.
Now I love reading your Blog and hearing the news and going on at the Castle.
Thank you and you family and the team for allowing the production reveal your home .Confection I cried is several places ,I laughed at so much and the feeling of togetherness and bringing a story together with so much strength.
I too cried during the film so don’t feel bad.
We are going Sunday! Can’t wait!!
I’m looking forward to the opening on Friday. After I watched the movie trailers on You Tube, I read a few of the comments. Some wrote that they were looking forward to a rematch between Professor McGonagall and Delores Umbridge, the roles that Maggie Smith and Imelda Staunton played in the “Order of the Phoenix.”
So I will be skipping the knitting group on Friday morning to see the movie.
I hope you have a safe and wonderful visit.
Thank you – and I am sure the knitting group will understand you absence!
I come to England frequently as I have family living in the Birmingham area. Several years ago my sister and I were blessed to be able to visit your home. Imagine…eating lunch on the grounds where the ‘Crawley’s’ adventures take place. My sister, however, had never watched any of the episodes but both she and her husband have since watched all my DVD’s. We will be going this Saturday to watch the movie and I will be wearing my Downton Abbey shawl that I made many years ago. As always…thank you for sharing your home with the world.
I was lucky enough to visit Highclere this summer and to get to see the movie at an early showing on the 12th. Having been to your beautiful and historical castle and home it made the movie all the more real and heartwarming. Thank you for sharing with the world
You are very kind – thank you
Marvellous Movie Mayhem to be enjoyed the world over. From Canada to the UK and back again we renew friendships, form new ones and share our excitement together at your wonderful home and beyond. Our son wrote us a card when he and his wife won a contest due to Downton Abbey costumes which treated them to their first visit to England and Highclere. He wrote, “Who’d have thought that a British period drama would rise to such heights and inspire people to come together over tea, garden parties, family history, etc. And the year it peaked when we all went to the mountain so to speak, thank you for this gift you have given us, it’s been one hell of a ride.”
Indeed to all of the creators, thank you indeed!
Heather & Walt
How wonderful – thank you
I love your words! Movie Mayhem..
I was fortunate to see the film at a preview showing, and it was magnificent! Highclere Castle played its part so very well. Thank you for sharing your home with the world. We are grateful!
Jeanne Kaye Speight, Fredericton, NB, Canada
I agree that the Castle is very much a part of the cast!
Good – I always worry if people will like it
The love of “Downton” and the characters as well as the real history go unchanged.
Thank you for sharing your magnificent home with the world.
Love to you both!
My friend and I went to see it Thursday. We loved every moment. Really wanting more. I’m planning on going this Thursday with another friend and my daughter. I can’t wait to see it again. It brought back such enjoyable moments even with my girls. I really hope the movie is a huge success. And you all consider a second return to the series. I miss waiting for Sunday’s series to begin.
Thank you for allowing me and my friends and daughters a moment to go back in time. Have a great Fall
Thank you. Those Sunday evenings spent with friends and family (on screen and off) were wonderful weren’t they?
What a thrill for you and your husband to have the honor to live in the beautiful Highclere Castle and the acres of land and gardens that surround it! Because of the tv series filmed at your estate, I became a fan of Downton Abbey and vowed to see Highclere Castle one day. My dream came true this year on August 6th when my husband and I came to tour Highclere and Brampton Village! It was just as I imagined it would be—awesome and amazing! I was stepping in the same rooms as the characters from Downton Abbey and pretending to be walking in the steps of Lord and Lady Carnarvon!
I know your family is tickled to be apart of this new fame that allows you to preserve this estate for future generations to come! You & your staff do a magnificent job and work tirelessly to plan your community events and show such courtesy in allowing visitors like me to tour your home! My room favorites were the Library and Saloon too!
Pinch yourself (this is real)and soak up this global attention because your family deserves these opportunities and perks for letting the world in on your castle and the fictional characters that Julian Fellowes and the producers created in Downton Abbey whom the world adores and can’t get enough of. Your home has been the best setting for both the tv series and the now famous movie! I hope its success will result in Downton Abbey II!
I have my tickets for the Downton Abbey movie which opens here in Alabama on Friday, September 20th! I can’t wait to see it and relive my wonderful visit to Highclere Castle!
Thank you Lord and Lady Carnarvon!
Thank you. We are indeed very fortunate.
I am so looking forward to seeing the movie next week. Like all the fans I enjoyed the television program, but now after visiting Highclere, the film will have even more meaning, but in a different way.
Through the years I have visited many stately houses, but there was something about Highclere that felt different. It was not because of Downton Abbey, or the beauty and grandeur that we found there. It was something, that untill a few weeks ago eluded me. Then it came as I was looking through photos of the house. This was not just another grand house to be oohed and aahed over. It was welcoming, it was a ‘home.’
I hope other visitors, whilst awed and impressed with their visit, have the same feelings that I experienced, and still have. Not just a stately house, not just the site for the series and movie Downton Abbey, but a warm, welcoming and beautiful, ‘real family home.’
Thank you. Highclere is described as a stately home – and I think it it very much both of those things: stately and most importantly a home.
Thank you – I think home helps answer the question of what is life..
Believe it, I just go hooked on Downton Abby this last year or so and was able to see Downton Abby, the movie last Thursday at a sneak preview. Loved it. I hope to be able to “cross the pond” and visit your castle next year. It looks so magnificent inside and out. I am also anxious to see your treasures of Egypt.
Please do come and visit – there is much to see.
Thank you – do come over
Enjoyed your post. Fell in love with the series and your home. When we were young we use to have play castles or had the desire to want them with all their rooms and land it was a dream. Sometimes went to friends house to play and use their toys. Opening your home to Julian Fellowes and his creation was priceless. The history beyond the series just amazing and thars what made it so successful along with actors…writing amd the heart. Thanks for letting us be a part of it. Look forward to seeing more posts and learning more history of the castle! Look forward to seeing the movie as well.
It is the perfect combination of beautiful location, brilliant writing and skilled performances from the actors – and the music too!
Luck through hard work! Julian has given so many people such pleasure .. a great gift
Downton Abbey was our weekly escape, going back to more genteel times.
We are eagerly looking forward to the film which will be playing later this
month. Already, it was difficult to get tickets, but we did succeed. We are
looking forward once more to peer into the lives of all who called Downton
Abbey home. And, many thanks to you and your family for opening your
home in order to make the series as well as the movie.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us! I recently had a knee replacement and am binge re-watching all of the Downton seasons. Honestly, there is nothing good on tv nowadays and your generosity is appreciated!
I think we will all be watching the film again
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
the film, like the house was magnificent, and watching it after the TV series was like going home and revisiting all the best bits of Downton and its family and the beauty of Highclere which looked resplendent on the big screen. Never, has two hours passed so quickly! The temptation to watch it again is already rearing its excited little head and so off the cinema we go again…………..!
It looks amazing on the big screen – golden and warm and magnificent!!! Not that I am biased
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
This is an exciting week waiting for the showing of Downton Abbey here in the U.S. When I visited Highclere Castle three years ago, the first view in sight was unforgettable. My next favorite was The temple of Diana. It was so magical, and I will be looking for it when I see the movie.
Thank you for your interesting blogs!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Huge congratulations you you, your family, and everyone involved in bring the Downton movie to fruition! It must be so very exciting after much work, and I am impressed with how gracious the launch has been. A timeless story which has captivated us all and I am so looking forward to seeing it!
Safe travels and enjoy every moment!
Charlotte Merriam Cole
Thank you – hope you enjoy it!
Having been a huge fan of the series and lucky enough to tour castle last summer I am beyond excited to watch the movie this week in Illinois.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
My daughter and I are looking forward to the movie! I just started your book about Lady Catherine last night to get a glimpse into the Downton Abbey world. Best wishes! Susan (from a small town in Indiana)
I do hope you enjoy the film and the book.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
I am delighted at the good fortune which has once again blessed your family and Highclere with the release of the Downton Abbey movie! You have all worked hard to make it a success and I wish the best for you and the estate! I look forward to seeing the movie this Friday!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Congratulations to Highclere and all who keep the castle and the flag soaring!!!
Our “Darling Downton Bookclub”
went to a preview of “Downton Abbey” Thursday evening & the theatre cheered and clapped!
It felt like returning home to old family & friends!
Highclere was spectacular on the “enormous screen” life sized!
After the credits and the lights came up everyone lingered in the theatre and began to share conversations with each other and discussed their sheer pleasure about the characters and storyline!
We were all enchanted by the film & everyone commented that we would need to see it again! As with all of Julian Fellows writing there are so many layers to discover and it’s too much to take in all at once!
Enjoy New York!
Che’rie, Susan, Jill, Rhonda, Barb & Tina
The Darling Downton Bookclub!
How wonderful that Downton Abbey brings people together
Highclere is on my bucket list.
Please do come and visit.
I still get goose bumps when I hear the music.
I think what makes the whole story so great is despite the foibles and tragedies of the people in the story, the bottom line is that, in the end there is love and respect of everyone.
That is good and timeless.
I thank Viking Cruises for sponsoring. I have been on four cruises. I get “travel itchy” when that music plays too. They are a great company.
Viking are a joy to work with – I appreciate their ethos, their sense of family and am so happy to offer them privileged access. I am just trying to confirm dates for the next two years with them
I have been looking forward this the movie since it was announced. It will be so thrilling to see Highclere on the big screen and imagine walking in it again as I did in 2014. I too love the library and saloon and hope to visit again. I have a tea cup like the one used by the Dowager Countess and Mrs. Crawley. It was such a surprise to see it on TV! Thank you for your wonderful blog through which I relive my visit!
Recently, I severely fractured my neck. I was homebound for days when my amazing husband discovered the advance screening of the Downton Abbey movie, last Thursday, in our little town of Temecula, California. What timing as this was also our 32nd wedding anniversary. What pure joy it was to celebrate and commemoration this milestone of our love affair with our favorite of all families- The Crawleys. AND what an excellent film! It was so worth the wait. Thank you Lady Carnarvon for sharing your home with all of us.
Thank you – and I hope you have a speedy recovery.
I so enjoy reading your blog. Everything you have written shows love of family, home, and country. My husband, friend and I saw the Downton Abbey screen preview last Thursday, September 12 and thoroughly loved the movie. When we saw your beautiful Highclere Castle with that wonderful movie theme song, we were transported back in time. My friend looked like my lady and I had on my tiara! My husband tolerated being with us, but I glance at him from time to time and I did catch him smiling and being misty-eyed. My best regard to you and your family.
The combination of the stunning visuals and stirring music gets us every time.
The movie arrives here this week. I can hardly wait. I hope it stays showing for a while I might have to see it more than once to take it all in.
Yesterday I was able to share my experience of visiting Highclere Castle at a Downton Abbey Tea. I came to a Vintage Garden Party several years ago and had the pleasure of meeting you and Lord Carnarvon. You and I had our pictures taken after we had our hair done by the Victory Rollers Salon and I also presented you with a copy of my book, The Art of Afternoon Tea, in the Era of Downton Abbey and The Titanic. I since have your beautiful book in my collection. I also had the pleasure of speaking with Lord Carnarvon in the Silver Room. He told me his mother was from Sheridan, Wyoming, as that is where my husband grew up and close to us in Denver. I am sorry to hear of her passing.
Everyone was thrilled to hear my story, and delighted to know I had met you both. I believe they were truly blessed to hear how gracious and kind you were to all the attendees. Thank you for a wonderful day in my life that will be treasured forever. I am so glad that Downton Abbey is back in the news once more. Thank you!!!
Thank you and next year I am going to create a September weekend called the Magic of the Movies with costumes and I thought I could recreate a scene and this who come that weekend can take part..
My favorite season is fall, I love when the leaves change colors. I bet the view from Highclere’s tower overlooking the trees is breath taking. You’re lucky to live in such a magnificent place.
We feel very fortunate
Good morning Lady Carnarvon,
The movie was great fun! Everytime there was a scene from your beautiful home, I had this goofy grin because I kept telling myself, “Oh, my gosh – I was right there!” And my friend nudged me and whispered, “Is it just amazing to see it, now that you have been there?” I was quite beside myself.
I can’t wait to gather up the frequent flier miles necessary to return to England and hopefully visit Highclere again – and this time see the Egyptian exhibition, which I missed last May. Thank you for sharing your home and your knowledge with the world – the world is certainly grateful!
St. Louis, MO
It made me smile every time too.
PS – In the film, the family was having a meal in a beautiful dining room that didn’t appear to be the main dining room with the large portrait of Charles I. Is there a second dining room? And in another dining scene in the main dining room, it looks like the portrait of Charles I is draped with fabric? (I know…I should have just concentrated on the movie!) Thank you.
I will check that out this evening when I see the film again!!!
I can’t wait to see the movie! Just a few more days wait! There is something about seeing Highclere. A sense of glory, magnificence, but also a welcoming. That no matter who you may be, you’re welcome in the arms of your home. Not just as our beloved Downton Abbey, but, your beloved Highclere Castle!
You are welcome
Oh my! What an amazing historical thread to carry forward! My genealogy research has been such a treat and created a plan of travel soon. “Downton Abbey” has created a spot of sanity as I have resided in a “disaster zone” (climate/weather issues) for a number of years. I have supported PBS(local) for access during each evacuation/destruction period.
My favorite “introduction to Highclere” film included your husband driving to a neighbor to discuss wandering sheep who had slipped through or destroyed a fence. Having grown up on an Estate w/herds and various responsibilities, it truly brought Highclere to me in a heartfelt way. Highclere is a home and a business that requires stewardship. While your staff is awesome, I’m sure, the final responsibility rests with the Earl and Countess. I so admire both of you for your diligence in preserving and presenting this blog to share your journey with all of us.
Ida Lee DuPlechin
Downton Abbey IS what it is because of a perfect storm of writers, actors, owners of castles & each & every person that is involved with it, that have talent, integrity & a love of what they do & who they are. That’s why it works. The “proof is in the pudding”. This hausfrau in Comox, BC is reading your blog to us, Lady Carnarvon, where you are telling us about attending movie premieres in London & New York AND the wonders of King Tut’s tomb. If you can me tell where on earth anything else like this happens, feel free.
This is absolutely beautifully written! Your imagery is so evocative, the reader feels as if they are gazing out from the tower right along side you. Cheers!
I’m so looking forward to the movie to come out. Can’t wait to see it
My Granddaughter is taking me this Saturday, not because she has ever seen Downton Abbey, but because she knows of my utter delight in it! I can’t wait to see Highclere Castle on the big screen and see those much loved characters again!! Thank you for letting them film your lovely home again!!
We had the good fortune to se the movie here in Athens last Thursday, how fantastic it is! ‘Must see it again and again. I had posted this at the previous blog by mistake, so let me repeat myself:
Loved seeing the movie and Highclere is so beautiful on the LARGE screen! And to paraphrase from Anna Bates when she is giving support to Lady Mary: “ Highclere is the heart of the community, (the world actually)and you, my dear Lady, are what keeps it beating!” Thank you for letting us into your home.
My girlfriend just texted me and said the cast was on the Today show in NY – How exciting for you and Geordie to be going the premiere tonight in NY – I can only imagine what it was like in London!!! Congrats on all your hard work – it certainly is a lifeline in these trying times! CHEERIO!!!
Dear Lady C.
I am excited to see the movie but I will have to wait a few weeks until the hoopla settles down around here. The new theatre showing the movie requires advance purchase with reserved seating! I guess this is the new way to see a movie! I know it will be worth the wait which will make it all the more fun.
Thank you for making my Monday morning special with your weekly blog.
Then no spoilers from me!!!
I saw a preview last Friday and thought the movie brilliant!!!
I won’t give away any secrets for anyone who has not seen but it makes me even excited to be going to Highclere next month!!!!
The movie was so well executed with many options for the future I believe there HAS to be a sequel!
I saw an advance screening of “Downton Abbey” here in NYC last Thursday and I’ll be seeing it again this Friday. I loved it!! I had misgivings when I heard a film was being made. I loved the series and I loved that it ended on such a high note with all of its fans wanting more. How could a film ever do the Downton brand justice? Well, it has – and more. The slow build-up to the opening panoramic view of Highclere – with the familiar train and cycle thrown in as a tie-in to the very first episode – and the accompanying swell of John Lunn’s now iconic music was – and I admit it – emotional. The movie was like a lovely visit with old friends and two hours of glorious escapism into a more civil and genteel time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for off-the-chart first weekend ticket sales and dare I push the boat out – Academy Award nominations next year. Certainly for costumes and music, hopefully for cinematography and editing. Fingers crossed for some bigger prizes, too.
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the film companion book that I pre-ordered a few months ago. And speaking of books, “Christmas at Highclere” sounds ever so festive and a must have for my Downton/Highclere collection. I heard your interview with Steve Allen on his show last Friday and you were just delightful. I hope someday to get to Highclere myself. In the meantime, thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us. It is as much a star of the series and the film as the wonderful actors who portray those who live and work there.
Wow! I’m sure your days have been a buzz of activity at the kick off the Downtown Abbey Movie. I was happy to read that some of the Highclere staff were able to attend the London premier last week. It must have been a fun time for everyone.
Technology provides instant communication across the globe. I’m glad for it. After all we have this wonderful blog. However, it makes us long for a slower pace of life. I read an interview of Olivia Colman by Vogue. One of the questions was, “In forty years what do you think people will be nostalgic for?” Her reply, “A life before the Internet”. I think Highclere transports us to a slower time. Thank you!
Have a great week! Oh, I have tickets for the movie. Can’t wait to see it.
Thank you – tell us what you think!
I meant to wish you a wonderful time tonight at the New York Premier!
Thank you again for another wonderful story to start the week off.
I saw the film last week here in Phoenix, Arizona.
I’ve to Highclere 3 times, each time I see something different I missed on previous visits.
The film had some light hearted moments, and I felt a sense of pride when I saw rooms I had walked through.
Your enthusiasm shines through with each word and you have every right to be proud of your home.
Downton Abbey has been a huge success all over the world and I’m sure it will go on for many more years.
Highclere looks wonderful on the big screen.
Dear Lady Carnarvon
My sister and I attended Cocktails, Costumes & Tour at the Castle at the beginning of the month. The event was amazing. We came in our own costumes and fitted in really well with all the others. We spent the day wondering around the grounds after our tour in utter amazement at all we saw.
We have since been to see the film and found it so exciting to be able to say “we stood there”, “we saw that” etc….
It took watching the film (which was brilliant) to another level.
I am so envious that you get to go through all the rooms and look into all the corners and cupboard full of hidden gems that have yet to be discovered. Happy hunting.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Always a joy to read your blogs and fantastic to see the movie is such a roaring success! I also heard you on Radio 2 the other week being interviewed by Craig Charles.
Reading the opening of this blog on how you wonder how life was nearly 100 years ago reminded me that I still have to dig deeper into the 5th Earl’s connection to SSAFA the Armed Forces charity. A connection made once again with the current Lord Carnarvon graciously becoming our Honorary Vice President in 2018.
I shall make time to check the London SSAFA archives fore more detail and also the Hampshire County archives – there must be more information out there!
My very best wishes to you, Lord Carnarvon, your family and the awesome Highclere Team
Thank you and we are going to create a great VE day celebration at Highclere .. May 8th: planes,dancing bagpipes, cars, jeeps, costumes and helping those who serve and save today!
I am absolutely slappy with anticipation. Friends and I are going on Friday. Tiaras are at the ready ! Thank you for the lovely posts.
Morning Lady Carnarvon,
In regards to Brownie points = my husband complains that brownie points are hard to win and easily lost. Lol.
He also mentioned to me when we were in Catherine’s palace and the Hermitage in Russia when having to put on paper surgical theatre shoes to protect the floors and carpets, that this is what Highclere Castle needs to have. He was worried about the amount of traffic damaging your beautiful home. I so agree. Just something we thought you might think about somewhere down the track.
I agree the reason the success of Downton aka HC is because it represents a “spot of sanity”, a respite if you will, from today’s internet social madness which brings an influx of ADDS & Fake news that divides us and manoeuvres us like sheep to slaughter if we are not vigilant.
Lady Carnarvon your down to earth posts every Monday (here Tuesday morning in Australia, brings us to shore once again, from the relentless bombardment of life and all its struggles. Your probably not aware of this but I personally thank you for that. However I just wish your post would come in during the day here in Australia and not so early in the morning, as my wits when writing to you are not at my best. Lol. Spell check doesn’t help either, when it changes and your not aware of it.
Have a great time in the states. Stay safe.
Heather & Malcom Gilbert
Thank you so much!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Enjoy your time in New York and have a great evening!!! I am writing this as I am sure you are at the premiere. I’m going to see the movie on Saturday afternoon. I cannot wait.
Have a wonderful week.
I so enjoyed it tonight !
Was able to tour home last year and the movie will be out and I will see how the producers see it in their eyes.The tea was lovely and I think I have 1/2 of your gift shop in our home.
Wonderful and the other half??!!!
Lady Carnarvon your gift shop is wonderful. I quite understand Martha here. So many things I wanted to buy but weight restrictions is our down fall for overseas visitors. I wanted to buy a hat to go with the coat I bought, but someone had already bought it. I looked on line but they were not there. The things I did buy I sent home through the post but I could have bought more from your on line store if I saw these things. I bought your Highclere Castle pillow case but left the inside pillow with the shop keeper. I also love all your jewellery and scarves, gardening books etc. Will we be seeing more selection from your online store in the future Lady Carnarvon? I’m sure Martha and I will do our best to buy the other half then. Lol
I hope we will put more on line – we are a small number of people who usually can’t quite keep up!
In the summer, when seeing the previews, it brought tears to my eyes.
We were so honored and blessed to have the exquisite experience to visit you, Lady Canarvon.
We will never forget your graciousness and warmth and the breathtaking estate.
I cannot wait to see the movie!
Such pride to say” I have been there!”
Your Texas friend,
I would love to come back – raise some money for PBS ?
After visiting Highclere Castle in 2016, 2017, and 2018, coming from California, I felt shivers of joy as the Castle appeared on the “big screen” during the special US viewing of the “Downton Abbey” film on 12th September. Every corner of the Castle’s interior, as well as the grounds, appearing in the film felt personal to me, and I will always cherish my three special days at Highclere.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
We have been hoping for a movie and return of our favorite characters for 3 years. And finally. finally….IT’S HERE!
We hope the movie is a huge box office success so the 2nd return to DA is considered.
We are hoping to visit Highclere in 2020 or 2021. Perhaps we will catch a glimpse of you and the pups rolling around the grounds on bike or horseback:)
Enjoy it and I hope you will visit!!
Thanks for this, I saw the film on Friday and loved it – I recently bought and watched every episode of every series and all the specials too. I came to visit a couple of weekends ago and enjoyed my visit very much. I am intrigued now about the Airbnb news and look forward to hearing more!
Watch this space!!!
I don’t mind to admit I have never seen the series before and didn’t know much about anything related to Downton Abbey. However I saw the movie last night here in Sydney, Australia and absolutely loved it. I fell in love with it all and felt so many emotions through the evening including a cry, laugh, pride, hope, appreciation and much more.
I would love to visit your beautiful home one day and be part of the dream for a split moment. It’s so wonderful of you and your family to open up your home for such a cause. I am sure living alongside of all the cameras isn’t easy yet you do it. From the bottom of my heart Thank You!
Sincerely Iva Vycichlova
Thank you – we are lucky to be part of this journey.
I’ve been wondering what’s in the tall tower besides many windows. I’m glad it’s one of your favorite places. It looks like the perfect place to see much of the estate, but also may be the perfect spot to curl up with a book and read. Or, if one is creative to write or paint.
Love your blogs. Hope to come to Highclere again. I loved it the first time but it rained so I didn’t get to walk paths and see the gardens and parks.
Estimada Lady Carnarvon he leído los comentarios y estoy ansiosa de ver esta película, espero que se estrene en Argentina también. Un saludo cordial.
Attended premiere last night in.New York everyone loved the movie.Great seeing an meeting some of the actors an actress.
After visiting Highclere Castle in December last year,made me love an appreciate the movie more
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you SO much for explaining in such wonderful detail, the explanation for so much of what we take for granted in our history You are so talented at describing in detail all the work, man hours and sweat that brings this ‘history’ to life for us who love to watch Downton Abbey each and every week. I can only wish, and imagine what your estate and grand home truly look like, but with your excellent writing abilities I’ve felt more a part of this story than you can imagine. Thank you. In fact, if I’m lucky, I may watch the newest project twice!!
With Regards, Jane Hrabak
Lady Carnarvon, thank you so much for your blog and for opening up your home so we can all be a part of Downton Abbey. My husband and I are planning to visit Downton in the near future, it would be great to meet you also! Did I hear someone say gift shop and Airbnb??!! Thanks again for everything!!
Friend from Iowa
Lady Carnarvon, thank you for your blog, and for the description of what you see when you look out your windows!! My husband and I love the series, and look forward to seeing the movie, but you know it would not be the same if it didn’t take place at your beautiful Highclere! I just saw your cookbook coming out, going to have to get 2, one for me, and one for my Mom for Christmas. I hope my husband and I get to visit Highclere Castle in the near future, thanks again for everything!!
Friend from Iowa
Wow! This news is everywhere: in the news on tv, in The British Period Drama in FB, in British travel and culture group in FB. I’m going to write my essay! Love the picture of you with your dog. I think this event is going to be a great success. Good Luck!
I love the history you provide us about Highclere. I’m currently reading the Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters, and I get goose pimples when Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter are referred to. Even though these books are more fiction than historical fiction (which is my passion,) seeing you mention the Winter Palace and M. Lacau helps me bridge the gap between fiction and reality. I’m probably rambling, but I get excited when I think of those amazing archeologists sifting through literally tons of debris just to find that one fabulous artifact.
I haven’t been this excited to see a movie in a long time. My family and I do go to the movies fairly regularly, but there is something special about Downton Abbey. Whenever I hear that music I think of walking up the drive and knocking on your beautiful front doors. I love the way you tell all of us who your real life Mrs. Hughes and Mr Carson are. They seem to all love working at Highclere, so it really must have been magical for all of you to see it on the big screen. It’s definitely the star of the film. I can’t wait to take my mom to see the movie.
Keep up the good work. You’re amazing at what you do.
Hello, thank you for this wonderful blog. How fun, to get to know more about this amazing home and those who take care of it.
I am wondering is it possible to order a signed copy of your book? I live in the US
Best wishes to you and your family, I hope to visit one day!
Yes, if you order from our Gift Shop, the books are signed https://highclerecastleshop.co.uk/products/christmas-at-highclere
Dear Lady Carnarvon. I have just been to see the wonderful film Downton Abbey with my daughter and sister which we all enjoyed so much It was lovely to see the cinema so packed you must be very proud at the pleasure it is giving to so many people I have read your book Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey and am now reading Lady Catherine and the real Downton Abbey both books are fascinating and very easy to read and in a very charming style Next week I am having a weeks holiday in the Cotswolds with my daughter son in law and sister and was wondering if you where open to the public there don’t seem to be any details past early September please could you let me know if possible if you are open next week I am sure I am not on my own in wanting to see your beautiful house Many Thanks. Jean Horrocks
We have a number of special events this Autumn, some have sold out so we have added extra dates. Details can be found here: https://highclerecastleshop.co.uk/categories/special-guided-tours
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Edward Trotman, chauffeur to the Earl was a member of our Trotman family. It was interesting to see how he was portrayed in Downton Abbey, quite a difference… He was with the Earl when they had the bad car accident in Germany I understand, they had a lucky escape! One day I would love to see Highclere when it is open, it is such a gorgeous house!
Loved the books about Almina and Catherine you wrote!
DEAR LADY CARNARVON:
THIS IS ALL VERY EXCITING IN REGARDS TO DOWNTON ABBEY THE MOVIE.
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, GEORDIE, DIANA, LUIS, PAUL AND DIANA FOR ATTENDING THE LONDON PREMIER.
HOW WONDERFUL YOU AND GEORDIE WERE ABLE TO ATTEND THE NEW YORK PREMIER, FABULOUS!!!
LADIES DAY THIS COMING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22ND. MYSELF, FAMILY AND FRIENDS WILL BE ATTENDING THE MOVIE IN OUR BEAUTIFUL HOMETOWN OF ORANGEVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA. WE WILL TAKE A PHOTO OF ALL OF US IN FRONT OF THE DOWNTON ABBEY POSTER AND SEND YOU A COPY.
LOOK FOR MY LETTER AND PHOTO IN THE MAIL.
I look forward to seeing it – we had the most marvellous time.
DEAR LADY CARNARVON:
PLEASE SEND A HUGE THANK-YOU AND HUG TO JULIAN FELLOWES, GARETH NEAME, LIZ TROUBRIDGE, ALL THE ACTORS AND CREW.
THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU.
We were lucky enough to be invited by our local PBS channel WCNY In Syracuse NY whom we support to a private Screening 3 days before the US release complete with Dinner and English tea. We laughed we cried we enjoyed this immensely and will be seeing it again. My family has watched the series several times in fact it is our go to when we have no interest to watch anything on tv at the moment. Thank You to you both Lord and Lady Carnarvon for sharing your beautiful home with all of us. Here’s to many more movie installments of Downtown Abbey!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I am watching Downton Abbey, Season 6, Episode 9, again!
My husband and I live in Phoenix, AZ, and tomorrow, Friday September 20, we are attending The Downton Abbey movie at 6 pm. Out tickets were purchased long ago. I am sure it will sell out.
We are beyond excited.
I remember the day I heard the movie was to be made. Truly a great day. Wonderful anticipation indeed!
Thank you to you and your family, Julian, the writers, the wonderful wonderful cast and crew.
Big thank you to PBS.
Looking forward to seeing Highclere Castle and the stunning scenery.
Good Morning Lady Carnarvon,
Yes!!!! I have enjoyed Downton Abbey 3 times!
The characters are so real! Terrific story. Wonderful!
Especially the scene with the snow falling on Highclere Castle. Beautiful.
So excited to see the movie tonight.
Have a Blessed weekend,
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I would like to say how much joy and nostalgia the exquisite setting of
HIGHCLERE CASTLE brings to the millions of viewers of the movie
The storyline is superb and the cast of illustrious actors just brilliant!
Wishing you and all your family a wonderful joyous Festive Season ahead and many more years ahead as well!
I have managed to see the film twice this last week. Do,hope that doesn’t make me a stalker ! Along with other chums met on an Egyptian cruise 20 years ago, we are visiting Highclere next year, already I am too excited, just to think about walking up that drive! Magic, all I really need now is a yellow lad to complete the image, could I borrow one do you think?
Love to read your blog, thank you so much .
My labs are happy to walk .. a little biscuit and off they go!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Yesterday I took a friend to lunch and to see the movie as a birthday gift. She was so excited to be able to go back to Downton Abbey. It was a most enjoyable couple of hours and a splendid revisit to Downton Abbey.
My husband and I are planning a trip to the U.K. next summer, crossing on the Queen Mary 2 and are looking forward to a visit to Highclere as one of the highlights of the trip.
Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us through Downton Abbey.
Best wishes for a beautiful and festive holiday season.
Bonnie H. Porro
How wonderful – thank you
My first visit to your blog, from New England. I’d like to know – is your place anything like Malplaquet, especially in terms of the bicycle?
blog – I am afraid I only think of Malplaquet as a tragic battle in 1709 … no winners really. What does your reference pick up?
I saw the Downton Abbey film last Saturday. It was absolutely brilliant and really showed off (again) just how amazing Highclere castle is.
I visited Highclere a few weeks ago and couldn’t get over just how beautiful the castle and grounds were.
Malplaquet is the name of a castle or estate in a children’s book, Mistress Masham’s Repose, by T. H. White, about an orphaned and spunky little girl and the doddering tutor and wicked governess and amiable cook and evil lawyer. The cook gets around the palace on a bicycle.
I enjoy this blog so much!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I saw this film six times total and the castle is still as gorgeous as it was the first time I saw the film on opening day. Just discovered your blog and hope to visit Highclere one day.