50 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
    • 4.9 • 239 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.

    Belvoir Special Ep. 6: The Business of Belvoir

    Belvoir Special Ep. 6: The Business of Belvoir

    Episode Description:
    For our final episode of this very special season, the Duchess will be meeting with the CEO of Belvoir Castle, Emma Stenning, to discuss the business of Belvoir: past, present and future. In their conversation, the Duchess explains how historically a family like the Manners would have made their money, Duchess reveals to Emma when she plans to retire, and we finally learn who has more staff - Belvoir or the Beckhams!
    Top Quotes:
    “I think of you [The Duchess of Rutland] as the artistic director of Belvoir. You have so many ideas, such great clarity of vision. I’ve worked with so many great artists and you’re another one.” - Emma Stenning
    “This is a theatre. Life’s a stage and I’m just playing the game. I will always be miss Emma Watkins - that Welsh farmer’s daughter.” - Duchess of Rutland
    About Belvoir Castle:
    Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally.
    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. 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.onefineplay.com/
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/cinderella-at-belvoir/
    This podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp. To Learn more and save 10% off your first month visit BetterHelp.com/duchess
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 29 min
    Belvoir Special Ep. 5: Art, Heirlooms and Interiors

    Belvoir Special Ep. 5: Art, Heirlooms and Interiors

    Episode Description:
    This week on Duchess, our host meets Orlando Rock chairman of Christies to talk about the art & heirlooms of Belvoir Castle. In their conversation, the Duchess learns about the fascinating history of the grand tour, Orlando explains the key in evaluating a piece of art’s value, and the Duchess asks Orlando what his favourite heirloom from Belvoir is.
    Later in the episode, the Duchess meets online with Emma Burns and Philip Hooper: joint manager directors of historic British interior design firm Sybil Colefax & John Fowler - to discuss the history of interior design at Belvoir Castle. In their chat, Duchess asks why travel dictated tastes of the past, Philip & Emma go through the exciting work they completed on a suite of rooms at Belvoir, they all pick out heir favourite rooms on the estate.
    Top Quotes:
    “I believe people should use and enjoy the works of art that they have. Houses really come alive when they’re families living around them and enjoying them. I believe that’s the lifeblood of heritage” - Orlando Rock
    “Everything to do with Belvoir’s design is about showing strength and power yet at the same time bringing comfort to the people inside.” - Emma Burns
    About Belvoir Castle:
    Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally. In addition, the gardens have undergone several major changes over the centuries – the latest being a two-year restoration programme by the present Duchess to bring the lost plans of Capability Brown to fruition in 2016.
    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 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. 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.onefineplay.com/
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
    https://www.sibylcolefax.com/belvoir-castlein-colaboration-with-de-gournay/
    This podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp. To Learn more and save 10% off your first month visit Better Help.com/duchess
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 39 min
    Belvoir Special Ep. 4: Gardens & Legends

    Belvoir Special Ep. 4: Gardens & Legends

    Episode Description:
    This week on the podcast, the Duchess meets her head gardener, Tom Webster, to go through the gorgeous gardens of Belvoir. In their chat, the Duchess learns about Tom’s fascinating gardening philosophy, Tom explains how he brought back the old fragrance of Belvoir, and why Roses are the way to a woman’s heart.
    Later in the episode, the Duchess meets one of the estate’s top tour guides to discuss the legends of Belvoir - where the Duchess learns about the most haunted rooms in the castle, why one must discourage paranormal activity and the tragic story of the ‘witches’ of Belvoir.
    Top Quotes:
    “From my own personal perspective, I like to keep the integrity of these gardens. Of course, no garden stands still and you have to keep changing them. But they have to sympathetic changes.” - Tom Webster
    “I’ve never felt frightened here. I’ve only ever felt a warmth. I may not have felt alone, but I’ve never felt afraid.” - Olivia Jojoo
    About Belvoir Castle:
    Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally.
    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. 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.onefineplay.com/
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/cinderella-at-belvoir/
    This podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp. To Learn more and save 10% off your first month visit Better Help.com/duchess
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 36 min
    Belvoir Special Ep. 3: The Role of Woman and Life as a Duchess

    Belvoir Special Ep. 3: The Role of Woman and Life as a Duchess

    Episode Description:
    In this week’s episode, the Duchess meets Belvoir Castle’s archivist, Vicki Perry, to discuss the fascinating history of women at Belvoir Castle. In the show, Vicki will be sharing never before released letters and stories from the many extraordinary women who helped make Belvoir what it is today.
    Later in the show, the Duchess will then sit down with her daughter, Violet, to talk about what the life of a duchess is really like - past and present - and how this podcast came to be made!
    Top Quotes:
    “Each of the women we’ve had on the podcast up to this point have been completely different in character but what unifies them all is their absolute determination to see heritage reimagined.” - Violet Manners
    “When it comes to running one of these homes, you never feel it belongs to you. You’re just a custodian.” - Duchess of Rutland
    About Belvoir Castle:
    Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally. In addition, the gardens have undergone several major changes over the centuries – the latest being a two-year restoration programme by the present Duchess to bring the lost plans of Capability Brown to fruition in 2016.
    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. 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.onefineplay.com/
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
    https://www.belvoircastle.com/cinderella-at-belvoir/
    This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. To Learn more and save 10% off your first month visit BetterHelp.com/duchess
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 47 min
    Belvoir Special Ep. 2: Architecture & History

    Belvoir Special Ep. 2: Architecture & History

    Episode Description:
    In this episode, the Duchess will be meeting the Duke’s personal assistant - Harvey Proctor - to discuss the architecture of Belvoir Castle, the history behind the four castles of Belvoir, and how the effects of a disastrous 19th century fire can still be seen today.
    Then later in the show, the Duchess will be joined by the Duke of Rutland to discuss the Manners family history, to learn where the Manners truly came from and to get an insight on the many notable figures that lie in Belvoir past.
    Top Quotes:
    “If I had to describe Belvoir Castle in one word? Magnificent.” - Harvey Proctor
    “It’s important to log these archives because you’re preserving the past. And if you don’t know the past and the present you can’t move forward.” - The Duke of Rutland
    About Belvoir Castle:
    Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally. In addition, the gardens have undergone several major changes over the centuries – the latest being a two-year restoration programme by the present Duchess to bring the lost plans of Capability Brown to fruition in 2016.
    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.onefineplay.com/
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 46 min
    Belvoir Special Ep. 1: Meet My Mum

    Belvoir Special Ep. 1: Meet My Mum

    Episode Description:
    On the first episode of this new season, the Duchess sits down with her beloved mother, Roma, to discuss their family life in Wales, the Duchess explains how it prepared her for a life in custodianship and we learn what the Roma’s family really thought about her daughter joining the aristocracy.
    Top Quotes:
    “The ethic of work and not the achievement of what it brings is whats important. Of course, nothing at Belvoir will ever be mine but the journey of making it successful is what brings me so much pleasure.” - Duchess of Rutland
    “Its through the hardship that you gain strength.” - Duchess of Rutland
    About Belvoir Castle:
    Belvoir Castle is a 16,000-acre estate in Leicestershire, it’s history dates back to the 11th century in 1067. Crowning a hill, the Castle’s turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations and an unbroken line of Dukes of Rutland for nearly 1000 years. James Wyatt, the iconic architect, designed the remodelled Castle built between 1801-1832 for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Today, Belvoir Castle is said to be one of the finest examples of Regency architecture globally. In addition, the gardens have undergone several major changes over the centuries – the latest being a two-year restoration programme by the present Duchess to bring the lost plans of Capability Brown to fruition in 2016.
    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.onefineplay.com/
    https://www.emmaduchessrutland.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
239 Ratings

239 Ratings

bye wig! ,

American Anglophile

I started listening to this podcast hoping it would help me decide which estate home I would most like to visit when I finally get to make another trip across the pond. I’m afraid it’s only made it harder- I want to visit them all! Thank you, Duchess, for sharing these incredible stories and homes and the women that run them.

Risky traveler ,

Stately homes

Enjoyable podcast. Good history lessons with each episode. Will there be more podcasts in 2023?

Drumheyoka ,

Better than I was expecting

Ok, to be truthful, I was expecting highbrow look down their nose at ya duchy mean girls. So surprised to hear the emphasis on service. A lot of these women have a very indigenous point of view “ I am a caretaker and do not own it. Leave it better than I left it” hooray

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