Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Living in Downton Abby

 Today we were welcomed to Highclere Castle (Downton Abby) by none other than Lady Carnarvon herself!  Thanks to a hot tip from Kath and Ed in London we were able to secure the elusive passes and take a tour of the castle and grounds in a small group of 50 people.  It was more than we could have ever imagined.
We arrived on a glorious morning and this was the sight as we walked up the drive to the front door.
We felt pretty special after being let in through this gate
They did not allow photos in the house and I'm glad.  It kept us in the moment and from looking at the interior through a camera lens.
Come stroll around the grounds with me?


Here is some of the scoop we learned from The Countess - 
Filming for season IV will begin in July.
There is a mock up studio in London.
Maggie Smith doesn't "do" rainy dashes.  She is escorted from her dressing room outside the castle to the castle  in a car.
They are filming a Christmas Special.
Not certain yet if there will be a season V or a movie.
The Countess who penned a NY Times bestseller titled "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abby" is writing a second book that will follow Almina's life until her death.
Spoiler alert -- She went bankrupt because she just wasn't a money person and spent lavishly as the judge in her bankruptcy court said -- being a fairy Godmother making other's wishes come true.
Her son gave her the money to bail her out but she had a lavish party instead.  Maybe I'm just the princess of fun?
The desk that Napoleon used when he was banished to Spain in his final years is in their reading room.  The desk and chair are short and wide because evidently he was too.
So much to discuss.
I guess they really put marking tape on those carpet?
When the castle was in dire need of repair after a recent Count died, his son was shown many valuable artifacts from King Tut's tomb hidden in  secret shelves that fit into the moldings around the interior doors.  
So long for now.  Tomorrow Blenheim - Churchill's palace in Woodstock.  Guess I better get my peace symbol tee shirt out.  Oh, yeah -- not that Woodstock.

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