CHATSWORTH: Ancestral Home of the Devonshires
What a treat to be able to visit Chatsworth a second time with Mike in the Fall of 2017. This photo shows one of the many gowns worn by Georgiana Spencer.
If you have never seen the movie, Duchess starring Keira Knightly, I highly recommend you carve out time to sit back and enjoy it.
It is the story of Georgiana Spencer (pronounced George-Jane-A.) She was the aunt of Princess Diana several generations removed. And sadly, she too endured a love-less marriage.
Chatsworth has been home to the Devonshires for over 500 years. My first visit was in 2016. Holly and I took the train and as I recall it was about two hours time west of London.
Before I saw the movie I read Amanda Foreman’s book and I will suggest you do the same. I was not able to put it down and gave it to Holly before we left on our trip.
We stayed adjacent to this treasure house at a lovely little hotel. Each day we would walk back and forth.
Georgiana alone would be worth the trip. But there is more...
Mother to the current Duke of Devonshire, Deborah Mitford was the youngest sister of the famous Mitford Sisters. One of her sisters, Diana, was married to Oswald Mosely head of the British Fascist party in the UK during World War II.
Here Deborah is shown with her grandchildren. Another of her sisters was said to be a mistress to Hitler and unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide. The book on the Mitfords is another great read.
My second visit in 2017 was during the Five Hundred Years of Fashion event. All of the clothing preserved from weddings, balls, costume parties and day to day wear were shown. It was beautifully staged and a feast for the eyes.
You will love walking the grounds, the gardens and the home itself.
Another compelling tale of this home’s history is that Deborah Mitford Devonshire was sister-in-law to Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy.
Kathleen was slated to be the Duchess of Devonshire when sadly her new husband was killed in WWII.
She is buried in the grounds of the Chatsworth Church St Peter’s Edensor.
Kathleen lived only a few years after the death of Lord Hartington. She was killed in a plane crash flying to meet her father in the South of France. I will say no more.
I would love to hear from you if you too have been to Chatsworth or if you plan to go there.