Today on the podcast, the Duchess travels to the magnificent Carlton Towers to meet Lady Gerald. In the show, Lady Gerald opens up about her daunting start to life in heritage, Lady Gerald explains how Carlton became ‘the greatest of all Victorian homes’, and the Duchess is introduced to Carlton’s ‘happy harp playing’ ghost!
"In heritage, there is a sense of duty and a sense of burden." - Duchess
"I'm fearfully proud of being a custodian and whenever we leave I am desperate to come back." - Lady Gerald
About the Guest and Stately Home:
Born Emma Roberts, Lady Gerald is the daughter of a GP receptionist and is from Mayfield in East Sussex. Before marrying Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard she worked in recruitment in Kensington. She married her husband Lord Gerald in December 1990. The couple have three children together. Alongside her husband, Lady Gerald runs the estate and appeared on numerous television shows, such as The Guest Wing. Lord Gerald is the brother of the 18th Duke of Norfolk, who lives in Arundel Castle.
There has been a house on the site of Carlton Towers since the 14th Century. The manor was originally acquired by Nicholas Stapleton (1320 – 1372) who was Steward of the Household to King Edward II. The stunning appearance of Carlton Towers is largely due to the 9th Lord Beaumont whose dream was to create ‘the greatest of all Victorian country houses’. This he achieved after commissioning two architects in 1873: Edward Welby Pugin (whose father, Augustus Pugin, designed the interior of the Houses of Parliament) and Sir John Francis Bentley who designed Westminster Cathedral. The family remained in Carlton until the last of the male line of Stapleton who died without an heir in 1716. In 1914 Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop, great-grandson of the 13th Duke of Norfolk, married Mona Stapleton.
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.
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