59 episodes

Welcome to Duchess - the podcast in which 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 were homes to the most powerful families, their wealth and social pedigree shaped the world we live in today. Emma Rutland grew up far away from the world of 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 inspiring 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 HeritageXplore

    • History
    • 4.9 • 294 Ratings

Welcome to Duchess - the podcast in which 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 were homes to the most powerful families, their wealth and social pedigree shaped the world we live in today. Emma Rutland grew up far away from the world of 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 inspiring 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.

    The Architecture of Knowsley Hall (Bonus Episode)

    The Architecture of Knowsley Hall (Bonus Episode)

    Episode Description:
    On this very special bonus episode, the Countess of Derby sits down with architectural historian Dr John Martin Robinson FSA to discuss the architecture of Knowsley Hall. In the episode, Lady Derby learns how the Stanley rebuilt their family seat after Lathom House was destroyed, and Dr Robinson explains the significant and unique architectural facets of the house, and Lady Derby reveals how she and her husband brought Knowsley back to life.About Knowsley Hall:
    Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men - performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
    About the Host:
    The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
    Resources:
    Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
    Order your copy of A Grand Tour journal 1820-22; The Awakening of the Man, edited by Professor Angus Hawkins. Published by Fontill Media. Now available on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 23 min
    Knowsley Hall Park & Gardens; the 13th Earl’s Aviary & Menagerie, Edward Lear; and the Safari Park

    Knowsley Hall Park & Gardens; the 13th Earl’s Aviary & Menagerie, Edward Lear; and the Safari Park

    Episode Description:
    In this episode, the Countess of Derby meets John Phibbs, Dr David Jacques and Dr Clemency Fisher to explore the fascinating story behind how the park and gardens at Knowsley were created. They discuss Capability Brown, what he did on the estate and why he’s considered England's greatest gardener. Lady Derby also learns how the 13th Earl built the largest private zoo ever and how his work helped save animals from extinction. They also investigate the 13th Earl’s friendship with Edward Lear, and how the young illustrator and writer would later work and live on the estate.
    About Knowsley Hall:
    Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men - performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
    About the Host:
    The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
    Resources:
    Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
    Order your copy of A Grand Tour journal 1820-22; The Awakening of the Man, edited by Professor Angus Hawkins. Published by Fontill Media. Now available on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 37 min
    The ‘Political’ Earls of Derby 1820 – 1950

    The ‘Political’ Earls of Derby 1820 – 1950

    Episode Description:
    In this episode, the countess of Derby meets Geoffrey Hicks and Dr. Jennifer Davey to discuss the life of the former prime minister, the 14th Earl of Derby, and how a journey to the USA would inspire him to pass anti-slavery legislation in Britain. The team explore how the 14th Earl helped drastically reform education in Ireland and why, despite entering 10 Downing street three times, he was known as the forgotten prime minister. They also us discuss other significant political figures in the family - including a Lady Mary Derby who was described as a ‘fierce political operator’ and, how her and her husband’s role in resolving the Eastern Crisis would lead them to be accused of treason by Queen Victoria.
    About Knowsley Hall:
    Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men - performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
    About the Host:
    The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
    Resources:
    Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
    Order your copy of A Grand Tour journal 1820-22; The Awakening of the Man, edited by Professor Angus Hawkins. Published by Fontill Media. Now available on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min
    The Earls of Derby & Horse Racing through the Centuries

    The Earls of Derby & Horse Racing through the Centuries

    Episode Description:
    In today’s episode, Lady Derby sits down Alexandra Mayson and her husband Edward 19th Earl of Derby, to explore the history & association of horse racing to the Earls of Derby. In their conversation, Alexandra and Lord Derby explain which family members had more passion than others for racing and why it isn’t just the sport of kings but has always been a sport for everyone. We learn about the fascinating story behind the epsom derby, and its name was decided on the flip of a coin. We also investigate the life of the 14th Earl, aka the ‘forgotten prime minister’ and how racing was an outlet for his political responsibilities.
    About Knowsley Hall:
    Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men - performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
    About the Host:
    The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
    Resources:
    Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
    Order your copy of A Grand Tour journal 1820-22; The Awakening of the Man, edited by Professor Angus Hawkins. Published by Fontill Media. Now available on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 41 min
    The Derby Collection

    The Derby Collection

    Episode Description:
    This time on the podcast, Lady Derby meets Dr. Richard Stephens and Dr. Stephen Lloyd where we spoke about our incredible Derby Collection - and the story behind the many breathtaking and fascinating works of art that comprises it. In the episode, they discuss the many masterpieces in the Derby collection, and some that were lost to time including works by Rembrandt and da Vinci. They also talk about how Knowsley Hall was effectively a life drawing academy for living artists of the period as well as a platform to showcase contemporary works of art. And the team explores why it was important for prominent families and estates to collect art.
    About Knowsley Hall:
    Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men - performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
    About the Host:
    The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
    Resources:
    Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
    Order your copy of A Grand Tour journal 1820-22; The Awakening of the Man, edited by Professor Angus Hawkins. Published by Fontill Media. Now available on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 40 min
    The Earls of Derby and Shakespearean Theatre 1580-2023

    The Earls of Derby and Shakespearean Theatre 1580-2023

    Episode Description:
    This time Lady Derby is joined by historians Professor Elspeth Graham and author Dr Vanessa Wilkie to discuss the history of patronage, theatrical performance and connection between William Shakespeare and Knowsley Hall. In the episode, they explore why theatrical performance was so important for prominent families in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods and how this led to the growth of commercial theatre. They learn about the 5th Earl who was a quintessential renaissance man and how a succession scandal involving the royal throne led to his mysterious death. They also investigate the validity behind the claim that’ A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ was premiered first at the wedding of William, 6th Earl of Derby.
    About Knowsley Hall:
    Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men - performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
    About the Host:
    The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
    Resources:
    Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
    Order your copy of A Grand Tour journal 1820-22; The Awakening of the Man, edited by Professor Angus Hawkins. Published by Fontill Media. Now available on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/)
    https://www.onefineplay.com/
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
294 Ratings

294 Ratings

Soopergrl80 ,

One of a kind

I miss Duchess of Rutland as host in the newer episodes - she was a phenomenal host and created a one of a kind podcast that brings BTS and personal stories of keeping these historic and aristocratic castles alive. I enjoy every episodes and look forward to listening to this soothing educational podcast on my daily walks.

FifiLaNoire ,

Wonderful insight into stately living

I came across this series recently (via Sarah, Duchess of York’s own podcast); what a lovely, enlightening moment in my day to listen to the stories of our country’s chatelaines. Clearly living in a stately home is a privilege, but it also brings many challenges, which many people may not realise (£250k annual running costs?!). The Countess of Rutland’s interviews with her peers brings their lives to life, as they share interesting & entertaining stories of their present custodianship, and their houses’ pasts. Thank you for sharing them with us! Best wishes, Alice

Briguynyc2 ,

Duchess: the real stories behind the stately facades

I stumbled upon this amazing series a few months ago. Since then I’ve become enthralled with the history of so many stately homes, the ups and downs of maintaining them and the ways in which the former and current custodians have put their stamp on not just the home, but the country as well. I can’t wait to explore the next season.

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