The Real Downton Abbey

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon with their staff and backdrop of Highclere Castle.

A story from The National Post, a national newspaper here in Canada, was about the Real Downton Abbey. The Real Downton Abbey is at Highclere Castle, the real home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon located in the Hampshires.  Highclere Castle has been owned by the Carnarvon family since 1670. The current Castle was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1850, the architect of the Houses of Parliament. The popular TV Series, Downton Abbey, was inspired and filmed here at Highclere Castle. The story was actually written  and created by Julian Fellowes, inspired by the story of Lady Almina, wife of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Mr. Fellowes, wrote about the lives of  an Artistocratic family living "Upstairs" and their staff, who are living and working "Downstairs."  In the TV series, we watch about the the lives of the Crawleys and their staff. It is one of my favourite TV shows. That's why I can't wait for Season 3 to be shown here in Canada till January 2013. Lucky for the UK residents, who are now currently watching Season 3 from ITV Channel.

The current Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

This is the Book written by the current Countess Fiona of Carnarvon about Lady Almina, wife of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.  Lady Almina was the illegitimate daughter of Alfred de Rothschild. She brought into her marriage a large dowry which supported the Earl and their family.  The 5th Earl of Carnarvon is also famous  for his Egyptian Exploration and found the tomb of Tutankhamen with Howard Carter in 1922. Lady Almina also opened the Castle as a hospital for WWI wounded soldiers which was also shown in Season 2 of Downton Abbey. Lady Almina was known for her generosity and philanthropic works. Then the Earl had a huge collection of Egyptology. There is an Egyptian Exhibit in the Castle's basement and some of their collection were sold by Lady Almina to keep the Castle and support the family. 

One of the Drawing Rooms in the Castle.

The grounds of Highclere Castle.

The gardens of Highclere Castle. There are tours to visit the Castle.

TV Series.

Lord and Lady Grantham with their family and staff.

Lord and Lady Grantham. In the show, Lady Grantham, is the wealthy American born wife of Lord Grantham. Apparently, in Season 3,  the current Lord Grantham admitted to his wealthy American born wife, Lady Cora Grantham, that he lost her fortune in some reckless investment.  So the story unfolds in Season 3.
English belles. The Crawley Sisters.
Lady Mary (sitting down), Lady Sybil (in red) and Lady Edith (in Gray). 

The most romantic scene in Season 2. The handsome Matthew Crawley proposing marriage to Lady Mary Crawley outside of the Castle under falling snow. So romantic! Of course, Season 3 will show their wedding.
The formidable Grandmothers: Dowager Countess, Violet, played by Maggie Smith  and Shirley Maclaine, as Martha Levinson, mother of Cora, the Countess of Grantham. 

The Dowager Countess is very well known for her sharp lines:

Lady Edith Crawley: Will it? Or am I to be the maiden aunt? Isn't this what they do? Arrange presents for their prettier relations?
Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham:  Don't be defeatist dear, it's terribley middle class. 

Watch the Video:  Mary & Matthew, Where We Belong.

Watch the Video: Downton Abbey, Season 3 Trailer. 

Photo credits: National Post Newspaper and

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  1. This is so interesting. Just like you I love this show & can't wait for it to come back! Wouldn't it be fun to take a tour of the house? Let's go!

    1. Yes Connie, let's go! I would love to see this place.

  2. I've heard a lot about this serie, but haven't got the opportunity of watching it yet, sounds great.

  3. I'm a total Downton Abbey fan. I adore the detail to fashion design of that period ...

  4. You know Pamela, never see it but I definitely I should check it out! Btw, took the chance to tell you that love to read your post as always see something about Canada, a place that love so much:) kisses dear!

    1. Lilli, I am glad to know that you love Canada. I will be posting more about Canada as much as I can . I try to share as many places as I can. I appreciate very much your suggestion. Thank you.

  5. Thank you so much for your sweet comments .... I am now following your beautiful blog as well and cannot wait to catch up on your previous posts.

  6. It's a stunning property and you have selected some wonderful images. Those gowns worn by the Crawley sisters are so feminine too.

  7. wow it's so beautiful! I've never watched this show before but I might start..heard great things about it!

  8. Pam,
    This is great. Saw some of the video about the house. I will check out all your links.
    Love Downton and I hate having to wait for the next part!


I enjoy reading your wonderful comments. Thank you for visiting here.

Pamela lives in Toronto, Canada, currently working in Banking in the field of Credit and Finance. The Chic Delights blog has evolved into an on-line magazine about my experiences and inspirations on style, travel, people, lifestyle and current events. My features are not sponsored posts. The photographs and stories featured here are all from my own resources and experiences. [Pamela RG] (