Show cover of Lady Carnarvon's Official Podcast

Lady Carnarvon's Official Podcast

My husband, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, and I have the enormous privilege and pleasure of living in, and taking care of, my husband’s family home, Highclere Castle, which is better known to many people as the setting for the popular television programme “Downton Abbey”. Thanks to this series, our home has, over the last few years, become one of the most well-known and iconic houses in the world. My Podcast is my way of trying to share the stories and heritage of this wonderful building and estate, and all the people and animals that live and work here, so that you can get to know and love it as I do.


Susannah Constantine
My guest this month has just published a wonderfully amusing book that looks back on her incredible life. Susannah Constantine is best known as a TV fashion expert, but as she tells me in this podcast her years on television are the least interesting thing about her. Join us in the castle's morning room  for some extraordinary anecdotes involving Royalty, teapots and sobriety!
34:11 01/12/22
Highclere to Tutankhamun: Joann Fletcher
The theme of our recent Highclere Festival was the path to the discovery of  the tomb of Tutankhamun. It is an extraordinary tale of  two unconventional men, Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, neither of whom had studied archaeology at university but both of whom, through experience and passion, found the most extraordinary tomb of a Pharaoh. It's the subject of my new book 'The Earl and the Pharaoh'. Joining us over the festival weekend to help further our understanding was egyptologist Professor Joann Fletcher - I couldn't resist luring her away to talk to her for my podcast! 
29:44 27/10/22
Reflections on the Queen
The  death of Her Majesty the Queen last month was both sad and unsettling. My own experience of meeting her was entirely due to her long friendship with my father-in-law and mother-in-law. In fact my father-in-law was her racing manager at one time, and my husband had the great honour of being her godson. So for this month's podcast I'm joined by Geordie to share some memories of a remarkable person. 
25:13 30/09/22
Gavin Thurston
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down in the castle library to speak to Gavin Thurston.  Combining lenses and penmanship, he has written a fabulous book called “Journey into the Wild, The Secret life of a cameraman” which shares stories of his time behind the scenes during the course of many years filming with Sir David Attenborough. 
25:44 25/08/22
Sustaining the Future
The recent record high temperatures in the UK has brought climate change back into the headlines. Seasoned climatologists who knew we'd one day break through the 40C barrier have spoken about being stunned to see it happen so soon. Here at Highclere we're always thinking about what we can do to protect our fragile planet.  With that in mind my guest this month is very much on topic. Rod Rougelot is a good friend who has spent decades working in recycling and sustainability. I found our conversation both interesting and thought provoking - I hope you do too. 
29:38 28/07/22
Last week I was in the US, and I was honoured to be  invited by the Newport Preservation Society to speak at a number of events in order to help them raise money to sustain some great houses they look after. Many of the houses were lost post WW2, but a number of determined women have helped save what is now left.From lunches to meetings, press conferences, filming, talks and presentations, it was a busy and fascinating schedule. I met some wonderful people and was made to feel extremely welcome for which I am grateful. One of those people was the chairman of the society Bill Lucey, who is my guest on this month's podcast. 
31:37 30/06/22
The Highclere Show
After 36 months it's been a joy to welcome back the Highclere Show.  It's a festival and celebration of country life that is always great entertainment for the thousands that come here every May. In this month's podcast I sat down with the organiser Jerome Roberts - do have a listen and maybe we'll see you here next year! 
19:51 26/05/22
Ep.49 Target Ovarian Cancer: Emma Kane
My guest this month is a wonderful lady called Emma Kane. As well as being a hugely successful businesswoman Emma is Chair of Target Ovarian Cancer.  It's a charity I have a particular interest in having lost my mother to ovarian cancer.  I hope you'll find our conversation insightful and if you'd like to find out more about the charity please visit their website:
21:16 02/05/22
Ep.48 Downton Abbey A New Era Special
April sees the release of the second Downton Abbey movie - a new era. It was filmed here this time last year under strict covid restrictions.  I thought it would be the ideal time to reflect on on some of the podcasts where we've discussed living with a film crew whether it be the six years of the TV series or the last two movies. You'll hear extracts from my conversations with writer and creator Julian Fellowes (Episode 43), castle manager John Gundill (Episode 41), and Downton Abbey location manager Mark Ellis (Episode 20).  I hope after listening to this edition you'll take the opportunity to listen to some of the other podcasts that make up the audio library of life here at the 'real Downton Abbey'!(Additional sound effects in this edition from
24:17 31/03/22
Ep.47 Countess Bathurst
My wonderful friend Sara Bathurst joins me this month. Sara lives at a beautiful stately home called Cirencester Park around 40 miles to the north-west of Highclere Castle. Cirencester is the largest town in the beautiful cotswolds area of south-central England.  As you'll hear Sara and I share much in common. 
28:32 24/02/22
Ep.46 Highclere Castle Gin
Highclere Castle gin is the result of four years preparation and nine months of tasting. We wanted to create something very, very good and it has now become one of the most awarded gins in world – so it is “very Highclere” which was the novelist Evelyn Waugh’s shorthand for something excellent.  Our gin is about fun. It is about conversation, glamour, parties, dancing  and celebrations: all the things that have had to be postponed in last year or so. With me to talk about the development of Highclere Castle Gin is friend and business partner Adam Von Gootkin. 
23:47 27/01/22
Ep.45 Backwards and Forwards: Lord Carnarvon
At this time of year I inevitably look back on the challenges and triumphs of the past twelve months and forward to the hopes a new year brings.  Joining me in this edition of my podcast is my husband Geordie as we look 'backwards and forwards'! 
24:23 30/12/21
Ep.44 Speaking in the USA: Patsy Arnett
My latest podcast was recorded on a recent trip to the US. As we end this year I was there to plan an exciting return visit in the spring when I'll be undertaking a tour to talk about my new book 'Seasons at Highclere', (and of course the new Downton Abbey movie!) Helping me with these adventures is my speaking agent Patsy Arnett  who I've working with for the past ten years. I hope you enjoy our conversation. 
28:30 25/11/21
Ep.43 Downton Abbey creator: Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes is the creator, writer and co-producer of Downton Abbey, an extraordinary feat and has kept us all entertained on Sunday evenings over six years as well as writing two film scripts. The first was tremendously successful and the latest film will come out in early 2022. The real Downton Abbey, the very Library in which we are sitting  is also Highclere Castle. I hope you find this podcast as enjoyable to listen to as we did in casting our minds back to the very beginning as well thinking about the second film. 
34:02 28/10/21
Ep 42 The Planes of Highclere
Eight planes went down here on the Estate during World War Two and, as a result, I now “own” a few remains of a B-17 bomber. Over the past few years I've researched the aircraft and the lives of the crews that were lost here, even tracing surviving family members and on occasionally welcoming them to the estate to remember their loved ones. One of the people who has helped me on this journey is Paul McTaggart. When I first met him he was a willing volunteer with a metal detector, now he's part of the team here at Highclere. You might also want to listen to episode 5 which also deals with Highclere's connections with aviation. 
26:21 30/09/21
Ep.41 A New Era: John Gundill
I've just heard that that the new Downton Abbey movie will be released next year so to celebrate I thought I'd sit down with castle manager John Gundill. John has steered us through our long association with the Downton Abbey project and I thought it was a good opportunity to share our memories of what it was like to host the cast and production team in such challenging circumstances earlier this year. But of course that's not all we talked about.....It's not the first time I've invited John as my guest on my podcast - you can hear him on episodes 14 and 20 as well! I hope you enjoy our chat and do make sure you press the subscribe button to ensure you receive future editions. Thank you.
26:46 26/08/21
Ep.40 Battle Proms
One of my favourite social events of the year at Highclere is the Battle Proms. Usually we host around 10,000 people at the event, but this year we're being more cautious with numbers. As we emerge from the past year of inertia it's wonderful to welcome Adam Slough, the producer of the Battle Proms, to my podcast. 
22:56 29/07/21
Ep.39 Food for the Soul: Rafia Willmott
My guest this month is my good friend Rafia Willmott. When Rafia's husband John fell ill in 2010 she was inspired to create a restaurant catering for people who need, or desire, to eat healthily.If like me you enjoy creating (and consuming) good food, I'm sure you'll be fascinated by Rafia's story. 
31:30 24/06/21
Ep.38 Lights, Camera, Action! Lord Carnarvon
As the Downton Abbey movie cast and crew complete filming at Highclere Castle Lady Carnarvon sits down with her favourite guest - her husband! With spring transitioning to summer and the castle opening up again to the public, it's time for a catch up and to look forward to the year ahead at 'the real Downton Abbey'.
21:35 27/05/21
Ep.37 Sir Peter Michael
In this fascinating episode of Lady Carnarvon's Official Podcast her friend and neighbour Sir Peter Michael discusses his fascinating and varied career. Sir Peter tells the story of the business he is most proud of - the Peter Michael Winery in northern California, how he started the UK's first national commercial classical music radio station Classic FM, and how at the age of 83 he is still innovating to make the world a better place with the creation of a new covid-19 testing platform. Sir Peter was also the driving force behind a charitable foundation which took-over the nearby airbase at Greenham Common after the USAF vacated it at the end of the Cold War in 1992. The Greenham Common Trust has gone on to raise millions of pounds for charity groups in the area surrounding Highclere Castle. 
33:18 29/04/21
Ep.36 Farming Tales: Sarah Sladen
In this month's episode Lady Carnarvon talks to her neighbour and friend Sarah Sladen. Sarah runs a farm near to Highclere so it was a good opportunity to sit down and swop stories about pigs, sheep and the land. As we discover Sarah also has a link to Downton Abbey.......
24:52 25/03/21
Ep.35 Ranald Macdonald
One of the worst affected industry's during the coronavirus pandemic has been hospitality. Bars, restaurants, hotels, visitor attractions, nightclubs, the list of businesses forced to suspend their activities seems endless. Lady Carnarvon's guest this week knows all about the devastating economic impact of the virus. Ranald Macdonald is the managing-director and founder of Boisdales - a group comprising  of four live music restaurants in London. He first met Lady Carnarvon when they attended St Andrew's University together. 
31:49 25/02/21
Ep.34 Sarah Parish
For Lady Carnarvon's first podcast of 2021 she catches up with her Hampshire neighbour and friend actress Sarah Parish. Close followers of life at the 'real Downton Abbey' will know Sarah spoke at Lady Carnarvon's 'Script to Screen' event in 2018. As well as a highly successful TV and film actress Sarah is a fundraiser. Along with her husband Jim Murray she set up The Murray Parish Trust in 2014 in memory of their late daughter Ella-Jayne who died of congenital heart failure in 2009. The charity has raised millions of pounds to support Paediatric Emergency Medicine at the University Hospital Southampton. 
25:56 28/01/21
Ep.33 New Year. New Hope.
As 2021 gets underway Lady Carnarvon sits down with Lord Carnarvon to discuss their plans for the new year. From now on Lady Carnarvon's Official Podcast will be released monthly on the last Thursday of each month. 
12:53 31/12/20
Ep.32 Christmas at Highclere
It's Christmas Eve and Lord and Lady Carnarvon sit down to look back on festive celebrations at Highclere Castle down the years. They also reflect on a quite extraordinary year at the 'real' Downton Abbey, and discuss this year's quiet family Christmas. In Next week's episode they look forward to what they hope will be a more joyful 2021! For details of Lady Carnarvon's book 'Christmas at Highclere' follow this link: Christmas! 
21:51 24/12/20
Ep.31 Will Stonor
Like Lord and Lady Carnarvon the Hon. William and Lady Ailsa Stonor look after an important historic house and estate. The Stonor family has lived at Stonor Park for more than 850 years. Situated around 40 miles to the north-east of Highclere Castle - near the Royal Regatta town of Henley - William and Ailsa have become friends of Lord and lady Carnarvon through their shared duty to protect and preserve their respective family homes for future generations. 
28:15 17/12/20
Ep.30 The Documentary Team
This week Lady Carnarvon turns the tables on a TV production team that has been shadowing the Highclere staff for an observational documentary to be broadcast on TV in the UK next week. 'Christmas at Highclere' will follow the Highclere Castle team as they prepare for the public events that lead up to the festive break. Amy and Brent talk to Lady Carnarvon about their experiences of becoming part of the 'Highclere family' and how they discovered for themselves what life is like at the 'real' Downton Abbey! You can find out more about the TV programme here:
27:20 10/12/20
Ep.29 A Christmas Carol: Gerald Dickens
If you follow the Highclere Castle Instagram account you'll already know that a recent visitor here was the great great grandson of the novelist Charles Dickens. 177 years after it was first published 'A Christmas Carol' is still a best seller. Gerald came to Highclere in memory of  the charity of which Charles Dickens was the very first Chairman  which helps actors in hardship.  Like every actor, it has been a  challenging year and Gerald has put together a full length video Make sure you also watch Gerald performing three staves from the book on the Highclere Castle Instagram account. 
15:35 03/12/20
Ep.28 Guiding Light: Diana Mitchell
Diana Mitchell is Highclere Castle's head guide. She leads a team of around thirty enthusiastic guides who help to ensure visitors to the 'real Downton Abbey' get the best out of their experience. Some of the guides she works with started back in 1988 when the castle first opened to the public. In this podcast Diana reflects on the impact of Downton Abbey and even the time when she was an extra in one particular episode. 
22:36 26/11/20
Ep.27 Kate Adie
There's a bit of a change this week with Lord Carnarvon taking over with the questioning. His guest is Kate Adie CBE, DL  well known for her long service as the BBC's Chief News Correspondent.  Kate has travelled extensively during her BBC career. The two foreign assignments she is most often associated with are the  bombing of the Libyan capital Tripoli in 1986 and the Chinese authorities' killing of protestors in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989. She was on duty in London in 1980 when the siege of the Iranian Embassy was brought to an end by the SAS.   Nowadays Kate presents From Our Own Correspondent and makes occasional programmes for BBC television and Radio 4. Her conversation with Lord Carnarvon was part of the 'History at Highclere' weekend.
18:53 19/11/20