Cover Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland and Philip Burtt attend day 1 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

Emma Manners, the Duchess of Rutland, launches a podcast featuring conversations with 10 women who run country homes, including Lady Spencer-Churchill of Blenheim Palace

Spending more time at home lately? Take a look behind-the-scenes at some of the UK's most famous country homes with the launch of Duchess, a new ten-episode podcast hosted by Emma Manners, the Duchess of Rutland, who runs the commercial activities at Belvoir Castle in the north of Leicestershire. 

"Stately homes are manors, palaces, and castles with great historic significance," she explains in the podcast preview. "They home the most powerful families. And with their wealth and social pedigree shape the world we live in today.

"As a daughter of a Welsh farmer, I grew up far away from the glamour and wealth of aristocracy, but my life changed forever when I fell in love and married my husband, the 11th Duke of Rutland," the Duchess says. "I was 36-years-old when I moved into Belvoir Castle. Suddenly, one of Britain's most historic buildings was not only my home, but under my care. I knew nothing about the world of titles, stately homes, and the aristocracy. I had to learn on my feet about how to be a duchess, run an immense castle, and raise a family all at the same time. Running these homes brought enchantment, fulfillment, and their romance to my life. But also the reality of hard work and responsibility.

"I still have so much to learn about being a custodian. And I wanted to preserve the stories of these timeless buildings in a very modern way. So when my darling daughter Vi suggested a podcast about the incredible women who've committed their lives to these historic homes, I just knew I had to do it."

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Throughout the series, the Duchess of Rutland travels to homes around the country to meet with the women in charge. They include:

  • Duchess of Argyll—Inveraray Castle, Argyll
  • Countess of Derby—Knowsley Hall, Merseyside
  • Countess of Mansfield—Scone Palace, Perthshire
  • Martha Lytton Cobbold—Knebworth House, Hertfordshire
  • Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair—Traquair House, Scottish Borders
  • Lady Ingilby—Ripley Castle, Yorkshire
  • Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill—Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire