Travels in the USA
I have been lucky enough to spend the past few days in the USA where I am giving a series of talks.
I flew first into Houston, Texas and sadly brought the English weather with me. My visit there was two days of marvelous contrasts.
The first evening I spent at the Rodeo – a huge enterprise and yet one run by 31,000 volunteers. The success of the event means that, through its charitable arm, it is able to support a number of educational enterprises and thereby help an amazing number of children and students. It was most extraordinary and humbling to glimpse so much goodwill and positive energy within the community.
I enjoyed walking through the animal halls, and saw some Suffolk Rams which are what we have back home at Highclere. They have distinctive black faces which show up in the lambs born each year and made me look forward to going back home to see our own lambing pens by Beacon Hill. I was so grateful to my hosts who kindly invited me to their box thus giving me the best views of the parades as well as the Rodeo itself. Would I have liked to take part? Maybe but definitely not on the bronco horses though!
The second evening I spent at the Grand Houston Opera listening to a glorious centenary celebration led by the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. She was wonderful as were the rest of the artistes and the evening flew by. I had the great privilege of meeting the performers afterwards and wished they could all come and sing at Highclere.
In between these events I was doing interviews with Houston PBS, giving a talk about past and present lives at Highclere, the Real Downton Abbey, and going to a splendid tea party.
Now I am in Florida, and guess what? It is about to rain! I aim to leave the rain behind and return home for the school holidays and public opening at the Castle.
Sorry to hear your time in the States was so damp! But I’m glad you had fun too. Yes, I think watching the bronc and bull riders is fun, but I would definitely not want to climb onto one of those animals – maybe some barrel racing instead, or roping… 🙂
Safe travels back home! Looking forward to your next post!
Dear Lady Carnarvon ,
How marvellous for you to spend time in Texas and enjoying everything ! You look great on the photo’s and nice to give the talk about Highclere !
Homecoming is always nice I think and the new season awaits you .
Thank you for sharing again ,
Regards , Sophie Lamping .
Thank you for this lovely itinerary….hopefully, we have shown you a tiny bit of our USA culture which does not very often get publicized in its true colors these days.
You definitely received a treat, Joyce DiDonato is fabulous. She has a voice that is almost unequaled. I hope you heard she is a frequent hostess for the Met’s live stream performances in HD that are shown in local theaters around the world. Thanks to the Neubauer Family and Bloomberg, we are privy to outstanding music in our local atmosphere here in an area 50 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. We do not miss the Met in HD each month.
A friend in my area has a herd of, I think, English cattle. I have seen them in the pastures and standing in the river running through their property. I do not know what the breed is but they are huge and their hair grows across their faces as though they all have bangs. You might possibly have these in your pastures or, at least, know of them.
Thank you for sharing your lively travel experiences. You have been given a tiny taste of our extraordinary country. Hopefully, another day you will return to visit other American offerings. Our countries are so unique in the world and have such bonds that transcend centuries. We are honored to have had you visit us.
Sadly, the Downton season has drawn to a close but now……on to the Easter season and the Chelsea !
A blessed week to the Carnarvon family.
Thanks for your latest stories. I’m glad you came to America and enjoyed your time here. I live in Arizona where it hardly ever rains. But it does get very hot in the summer. When I was at Highclere last year for Heroes of Highclere Day I had the opportunity to talk to Lady Saoirse. She was very interested to hear about the Wild Wild West. Perhaps one day you could both come to Arizona. The Grand Canyon awaits you.
We were honored to have you attend our Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and only wish it had been a bit better weather for you. As Chairman of the Wine Competition Committee I would have loved to host you in the Wine Garden. Next time you visit you’ll be an honored guest at the Wine Garden. As one of the 31,000 volunteers I thank you for mentioning your visit as we hope to bring in more and more international visitors to show them just how we rodeo and raise money for the youth of Texas.
As a fan of Downton Abbey, the daughter of a Liverpudlian, and as one who lives on a ranch with miniature horses and donkeys I wish you all the best with lambing season, the filming of the new season and all the excitement that goes with having a new heir to the throne soon with Princess Katherine. Your generosity in giving your home over to a flm for such long periods has been very appreciated in the US. Downtown Abbey has taught us all so much about the history, women’s rights evolving and how we might be more like the Dowager Countess, the beloved Maggie Smith!
Thank you for your e-mail – I have been to see the lambs here and they are so cute. The speed of their ability to stand and move always amazes me.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
When my family and I visited England, it was always sunny (and in fact, the last time, England experienced its worst heat-wave in 300 years. We were told that we Americans had brought the sunshine. Perhaps, you in turn have brought the rain. Nonetheless, we are glad that you are here, and hope you are having a marvelous time. I’ve always loved Texas. Everything there is larger than life, including Texans’ hospitality. You look as if you fit right in with your sporty attire. I hope you have a lovely sojourn in America. Turning a corner, please dispel rumors that Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season. Whatever will we Dowton devotees do?! I shudder to think.
All the best,
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Could you please visit Cailfornia soon and bring some of that lovely English rain with you??? California is in need of some rain, most definitely. Actually, you would never know we are having a drought here in Carmel-by-the-Sea……everything is lush and blooming. We may not have rodeos but we do have some incredibly beautiful scenery and some lucky California cattle who graze on pastures overlooking the Pacific Ocean…..lucky beasts! You would be very welcomed here…
Carmel, CA, USA
I would love to travel to LA – it is on my list!
I am also in Arizona and we certainly do offer lots of sunshine and would love to have you visit! I sounds like a very worthwhile if not dry adventure in Texas and perhaps you will have better luck on your next trip to States!
Where do you live in Arizona? , I live in Phoenix
Please return to Florida just as soon as you can. We’ll arrange for better weather.
We will be visiting Highclere on the Tuesday after Easter. How nice of you to arrange the opening, to coincide with our visit!
We are enjoying your book about Lady Almina. We love the characters on the Downton Abbey series, but the lives of the real persons are much, much richer and far more interesting. Thank you for sharing their stories with us.
Susan and Andy Korb
I may well see you on the Tuesday – Almina was an amazing woman, but Downton has given us such a fortunate access to share our stories. It has been a hard work, but lucky journey for all of us…
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
It was lovely meeting you at the rodeo! My sister in law and I were the cowgirls that were “Box Hopping” from suite to suite. Pleased you enjoyed your time in Houston and I hope to get to London this summer to see family.
I certainly remember – it was such a spectacle!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
We were all so honored and so happy to have you attend RodeoHouston. Please come back next year and ride in the Grand Entry- your carriage awaits!
We hope you enjoyed your visit from Suffolks to Sopranos!
Dr. Tom and Carol Sawyer
I think horse not carriage!!!
What would it take to get you to Boston where you could visit OUR Beacon Hill? It would be a delight to hear you speak and to meet you.
All the best,
I would love to get to Boston – my speaking agent – Patsy Arnett is on the case! It would be great
How lovely that would be! I will be there along with many of my Downton follower friends!!! My son is moving to London for a 3 year professional assignment, and I hope to get to Highclere castle when we visit him.
Enjoy the spring at Highclere!!!
What a great adventure these last few weeks! Lovely and gracious Houstonians and a wonderful Highclere Tea for the Houston Public Media. A jaunt over to Florida followed with lovely hospitality at the fantasticl Vero Beach Museum and wonderfully hosted dinners…. All highly successful and sold-out events! Another successful visit to the USA. Many thanks for your gracious generosity and for being such a trooper!!
Looking forward to the next adventure!
Where are you visiting in Florida and how long do you plan on staying. I am looking forward to your comments about the “Sunshine State”.
It rained !!!! But I had a wonderful few days, managed to shop of course, and it was lovely to hear the sound of the sea…
Lady Carnarvon, Perhaps there is a rodeo in Highclere’s future? Thank you for visiting Texas, please come again!