11 episodes

Welcome to Duchess - the podcast where the Duchess of Rutland explores the historic homes of Great Britain, and meets the inspiring women who lead them today.

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.

Stately homes are manors, palaces, and castles of great historic significance. They were built by the finest architects, adorned with the finest treasures and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. They homed the most powerful families and, with their wealth and social pedigree, shaped the world we live in today.

Emma grew up far away from the aristocracy but her life changed forever when she married her husband - the 11th Duke of Rutland - and moved into Belvoir Castle. At once Emma became both a Duchess and custodian of one of Britain's most important buildings.

The Duchess wanted to learn more about this world, these homes, and the other empowering women who, just like her, work tirelessly to ensure they see tomorrow.

In this podcast the Duchess will travel to breathtaking homes, learn the epic tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls, hear chilling ghost stories and the heartbreaking tales of romance. All of this whilst getting to know the inspiring, powerful women that work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation.

Join Emma on a very special journey. This is Duchess, the podcast.

Duchess OneFinePlay

    • History
    • 4.7 • 236 Ratings

Welcome to Duchess - the podcast where the Duchess of Rutland explores the historic homes of Great Britain, and meets the inspiring women who lead them today.

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.

Stately homes are manors, palaces, and castles of great historic significance. They were built by the finest architects, adorned with the finest treasures and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. They homed the most powerful families and, with their wealth and social pedigree, shaped the world we live in today.

Emma grew up far away from the aristocracy but her life changed forever when she married her husband - the 11th Duke of Rutland - and moved into Belvoir Castle. At once Emma became both a Duchess and custodian of one of Britain's most important buildings.

The Duchess wanted to learn more about this world, these homes, and the other empowering women who, just like her, work tirelessly to ensure they see tomorrow.

In this podcast the Duchess will travel to breathtaking homes, learn the epic tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls, hear chilling ghost stories and the heartbreaking tales of romance. All of this whilst getting to know the inspiring, powerful women that work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation.

Join Emma on a very special journey. This is Duchess, the podcast.

    Catherine Maxwell Stuart of Traquair House

    Catherine Maxwell Stuart of Traquair House

    Episode Description:
    On today’s episode, the Duchess meets the incredible Catherine Maxwell Stuart, the first Lady Laird of Traquair. Catherine and the Duchess speak at length about the royal history of Traquair, the tale behind the famous ‘closed gates’, we hear the stories of the other extraordinary women of Traquair, and Catherine educates the Duchess on the most important feature of a Scottish home: A watchtower.
    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.
    Top Quotes:
    “Running an estate has been a journey of learning but I wouldn’t have swapped any of it.” - The Duchess
    “I love the idea of old houses being alive. That they don’t come across like a museum. They should be vibrant. Lived in.” - Catherine Maxwell Stuart
    “You’re just a custodian. You’re a blip in the castle’s history.” - Catherine Maxwell Stuart
    “It’s a little bit of magic to appreciate our culture and heritage in living houses.” - Catherine Maxwell Stuart
    “People want to support the local house on the hill because there is a great sense of ownership with you.”- The Duchess
    About the Guest and Stately Home:
    Catherine Maxwell Stuart was born to Peter Maxwell Stuart, the 20th Laird of Traquair, in 1964. Catherine met her husband, Mark Muller Stuart, human rights lawyer, at the London School of Economics in the 1980s. The couple raise their three children together, Isabella, Louis and Charlotte, at Traquair House and Catherine has run the estate, and the Traquair brewery, since 1999. She is the first lady Laird of Traquair.
    Traquair House has remained the most enduring stately homes in the whole of the UK. It is not known when the exact foundations of the house were laid but a substantial structure must have existed by 1107 when Alexander 1 of Scotland signed a royal charter at Traquair. As a result, Traquair is the oldest continually inhabited property in Scotland. Also at Traquair a charter still exists, signed in 1175, that authorised William the Lion to open a Bishop’s Burgh and hold a market on Thursdays. This market would grow into the Glasgow Fair. Overall, 27 Kings and Queens have stayed at Traquair, and the estate continues to attract tens of thousands of visitors annually. With her husband Mark, Catherine began the ‘Beyond Borders’, an event aimed at bringing together internationally renowned experts and leaders to talk and exchange ideas. There’s a maze at the estate, a cafe, a luxury BandB and the estate is also available for weddings and corporate events.


    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.
    Resources:
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/)
    h

    • 38 min
    Martha Lytton-Cobbold of Knebworth House

    Martha Lytton-Cobbold of Knebworth House

    Episode Description:
    Joining The Duchess on this latest episode is the wonderful Martha Lytton-Cobbold of Knebworth House. Martha and the Duchess enjoy an incredible conversation, discussing Knebworth’s historic ties to writers like Edward Buwler Lytton and Charles Dickens, we hear the incredible story of one of the nation’s greatest suffragettes, Martha elaborates on the challenges and importance of empowering women in heritage, and we hear amazing tales about the many the rock and roll luminaries that have performed on the iconic grounds.
    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.
    Top Quotes:
    “Taking this on as a woman, many people will believe that what you’re doing isn’t correct. It’s important to think about your decisions, but make them, and stick to them.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold
    “There are still struggles. There are still issues that need to be addressed. Women need to be treated more equitably.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold
    “I found the whole journey of coming from a different world into aristocracy as incredibly daunting.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “”With all heritage property, they were built for people to come together. They weren’t built for a single family. They come alive when people are there.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold
    “As the wife of the owner of a stately home, people do expect you to make the wrong decision. People do expect you to fail. But you can only do one thing: succeed.” - Martha Lytton-Cobbold
    About the Guest:
    Martha Lytton-Cobbold was born in Alabama, and studied Art History and Journalism in NYU. She married her husband Henry Lytton-Cobbold and has two children. Martha is the first female president of The Historic House Association.
    A manor house residing at Knebworth dates back as far as 1346. After the site was purchased by Sir Robert Lytton a grander estate was built roughly around 1500. Some of the best known residents of Knebworth include writer and politician Edward Bulwer Lytton, as well as the suffragette Constance Lytton. Although steepled in history for hundreds of years, Knebworth’s cultural significance has peaked in the modern day with its legendary concerts. Looking through a list of Knebworth performers is akin to reading members of the rock n roll hall of fame: Pink Floyd, Metallica, The Rolling Stones. But Knebworth does not just have notable performers, but notable performances: Led Zeppelin had their final concert here, Queen performed with Eddie Mercury for the final time at Knebworth, the legendary Oasis standing gigs occurred on the estate, and so on. As a result, Knebworth in the modern era continues to attract tourists with its historical pedigree, pop culture appeal, and beautiful landscape.
    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 do

    • 38 min
    The Duchess of Fife at Kinnaird Castle

    The Duchess of Fife at Kinnaird Castle

    Episode Description:
    On today’s episode, the our Duchess Emma Rutland meets another Duchess: Caroline Fife, Duchess of Fife. Together, the ladies spoke about the estate’s rebellious history, the magnificent art collection in the castle, and the many groundbreaking conservation projects developed at the estate.
    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.
    Top Quotes:
    “In these houses, we are only as able as the team around. They are precious to you.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “Running these homes; making people happy. It is a joy.” - The Duchess of Fife
    “Despite everything, these houses survive.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “The environmental crisis is the biggest threat to us today. Conservation in these stately homes is crucial.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “When people look at these buildings, there’s a great sense of stability. That life goes on.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    About the Guest and Stately Home:
    Carole Anne Bunting married her husband, the heir to the Dukedom of Fife, in 1987. Together, the couple raised their three sons at Kinnaird Castle, and the estate’s appeal as a tourist attraction has only continued to grow.
    The Carnegie Clan have called the lands surrounding Kinnaird, Angus, since the 14th century, and records of a mansion on the estate date back to the 14th century as well. The Carnegie Clan for hundreds of years laid at the centre of Scottish political history. They supported James II, fought at the battle of Flodden, and back Mary, Queen of Scots. With the castle’s construction in the 15th Century, David Carnegie became Earl of Southesk in 1616. This would begin an illustrious line of nobility in the family, culminating in their ascension to an Earldom when the Earl of Fife married the Princess Royal, daughter of King Edward VII. Kinnaird Castle has remained in the family for 600 hundred (Bar a brief confiscation after the Carnegies had supported the Jacobite Rebellion) and the Castle’s high baronial architecture style has made it one of the most beautiful stately homes in the UK. Now open to the public, the estate boasts an astonishing art collection, the largest selection of coats of arms on any private British building, and leads the way in conservation within historic homes.
    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.
    Resources:
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/)
    https://kinnairdcastle.co.uk/ (https://kinnairdcastle.co.uk/)
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)

    • 34 min
    The Duchess of Argyll at Inveraray Castle

    The Duchess of Argyll at Inveraray Castle

    Episode Description:
    In this week's episode, Duchess meets Duchess as Her Grace, The Duchess of Argyll, brings us inside her fabulous home: the historic Inveraray Castle. We learn all about the ghostly history that lives inside the imposing 15th century walls, we hear the story of the iconic 20th century beauty Ethel Margaret Campbell, we learn more about The Duchess Eleanor Campbell herself, and her connection to Britain’s most treasured of chocolatiers, and the Duchesses discuss how such a powerful title can impact their personal identity.
    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.
    Top Quotes:
    “I think being a Duchess has taught me that I have a responsibility to my local community and that I must do it better every day.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “We have a hundred and twenty thousand visitors a year. Without them, these homes have nothing.” - The Duchess of Argyll
    “That’s the reality of heritage in the 21st century: To juggle everything to make it work, to keep the roof on.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “As your keeper at Inveraray Castle said to me: There’s no bad weather; there’s just bad dressing.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “You’ve got to move with the times. You have to hand the estate on in a better condition than when you got it.” - The Duchess of Argyll
    About the Guest and Stately Home:
    The Duchess of Argyll was born Eleanor Cadbury in London, and previously the Duchess worked in PR before meeting her husband Torquill, 13th Duke of Argyll. The couple have three children together, and live on the estate permanently.
    Inveraray Castle has stood on the shores of Loch Fyne for 600 years. The striking gothic style structure is the seat of the Campbell Clan who were historically one of the most powerful Scottish families in the Highlands. With its chilling reputation for the paranormal, it’s magnificent treasures, and breathtaking landscapes, Inveraray Castle attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually to its many events, exhibitions, and music festivals.
    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.
    Resources:
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/)
    https://www.inveraray-castle.com/ (https://www.inveraray-castle.com/)
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)

    • 32 min
    The Countess of Devon at Powderham Castle

    The Countess of Devon at Powderham Castle

    Episode Description:
    On this week’s episode of Duchess, our host meets Hollywood actress and Countess of Devon, A.J. Devon. The Countess opens up about her career in Hollywood, explains the difficulty of transitioning to a life in the peerage, the Duchess quizzes her on the amazing history of Powderham, and we hear how the Countess’ will transform the estate into a community space for wellness, health, and happiness.
    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.
    Top Quotes:
    “ I did realise these houses can eat you.I did lose myself to this house” - The Countess of Devon
    “I wasn’t brought up to be beautiful. I was brought up to be authentic, empowered, and to use my voice.” - The Countess of Devon
    “Running these homes, there’s an immense need and expectation to take care of our communities.”- The Duchess of Rutland
    “We can get caught up in the bricks and mortar. But it's our souls that we really put into these homes.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    “I will always remember the late Duchess of Devonshire’s advice: You must run it; It must not run you.” - The Duchess of Rutland
    About the Guest and Stately Home:
    Deep in the picturesque county of sunkissed Devon, is one the UK’s most unique manor homes: Powderham. With its unique combination of Georgian, Victorian and Gothic architecture, battlement towers, and crenellations, Powderham’s exterior is an extraordinary sight. Many of the lavish interiors are simply spectacular, such as the turquoise Rococo staircase, or the incredible music room, designed by venerated architect James Wyatt. Like the richness of appearance, the estate has a rich history. Seat of the Earls of Devon, the manor of Powderham appeared in the Doomsday Book, and has remained in the Courtenay family for 600 years. One of the more well known Viscounts was the third, William Courtenay who, along with adding many of the extraordinary features of the estate, would scandalise the family and be forcefully exiled due to his sexual orientation.
    Now, Lord Devon runs the estate with his wife Countess of Devon - Hollywood actress A.J. Devon of My So Called Life, Baywatch, and Private Practice. Together, the couple have two children, and have worked at transforming Powderham into a community oriented space promoting health, happiness, and freedom of expression.
    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.


    Resources:
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/)
    https://www.powderham.co.uk/ (https://www.powderham.co.uk/)
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)

    • 37 min
    Lady Mansfield of Scone Palace

    Lady Mansfield of Scone Palace

    Episode Description:
    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.
    Top Quotes:
    “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.


    Resources:
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/ (https://www.belvoircastle.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/ (https://www.onefineplay.com/)
    https://scone-palace.co.uk/ (https://scone-palace.co.uk/)
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/ (https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/)

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
236 Ratings

236 Ratings

Annie is fine ,

My favourite podcast

I have always loved visiting stately homes and this series gives you the feeling of connection to the family’s that hard hard to keep them going.
Emma is an excellent hostess to the podcast and my only complaint is that I’d like the interviews to be longer, as there’s so much to hear about!
Five stars from me

nottinghamanne ,

Wonderful!

I enjoyed every interview and hope there are more to come! The Duchess of Rutland interviewed each ‘lady of the house’ with good humour and with a very pleasant manner. She asked interesting and relevant questions. Each episode made me realise what a great task these ladies were undertaking..wonderful to ensure these great houses will survive and be enjoyed by future families...and the appreciative public of course! Many thanks. Anne, Sherwood, Nottingham

Annabel V. de V ,

The Duchess

I loved listening to all of the episodes - I found them inspiring and interesting. Lovely to learn about how these old houses and castles have evolved over the centuries. Fascinating to hear how all the current owners manage and have brought them into the 21st century with a lot of hard work and passion. I live in an Elizabethan Manor House and so was delighted to hear their stories of the pros and cons of living in a piece of history which I can relate to!!

Looking forward to the next episodes.

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