Lady Carnarvon and the real Downton Abbey


Fans of the TV show Downton Abbey know the program is shot on a real estate known as Highclere Castle, in southern England. And the real Countess is a cheery sort as well. We speak to Lady Carnarvon about her predecessors, her castle, and of course ... Downton.

The home known to millions as Downton Abbey isn't just a place, it's a character. And it's been home to some real characters in its time. Highclere Castle is one of the last operational 'great houses' still occupied by lord, lady and staff.

Its estate is about twice the size of Monaco, and it's inspired some big stories as well. The castle's history parallels a number of storylines in Downton Abbey ... and the real life inhabitants have a lot in common with people on the show.

Few are better equipped to talk about the "real" Downton Abbey than my next guest. Lady Fiona Carnarvon is the 8th Countess of Carnarvon and her home is Highclere Castle.

Lady Carnarvon has mined the castle's archives to write her latest book, "Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey." She joined us from our London studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson.

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