May General Meeting

Thursday 28 March

Join us on Thursday 9 May 2019 9.30am at the Royal Geographical Society with Guest Speaker 


Lady Carnarvon

Lady Carnarvon

The 8th Countess of Carnarvon lives at Highclere Castle, the “Real Downton Abbey”. Over the course of the last eight years it has become one of the most iconic houses in the world and Lady Carnarvon and her husband, the Earl of Carnarvon, have sought to share the stories and heritage.

At the centre of her ethos is to follow her heart, to engage with people and hope they might love Highclere whether locally, nationally or even internationally. Lady Carnarvon has looked for stories: fortunately for Highclere, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and this was this story that inspired the exhibition the current Carnarvons created in the cellars of the Castle.

Lady Carnarvon began her career as an author by writing the guidebook to Highclere and a guide to the Egyptian exhibition which transported visitors back to Ancient Egypt. Lady Carnarvon has written two historical books, ‘Lady Almina’ which covers  First World War when Highclere was actually a hospital and ‘Lady Catherine’ which looks at the twenties and thirties and the Second World War through the real inhabitants, both upstairs and downstairs. There are fascinating comparisons with what is seen on television. Her latest bestseller ‘At Home at Highclere’ is a lavishly illustrated book which documents an insight into life at Highclere Castle. Food is a key theme throughout the book having played an important social role in the lives of the Earls of Carnarvons bringing people together and it includes some favourite recipes from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Lady Carnarvon’s next book ‘Christmas at Highclere Castle – recipes and traditions from the Real Downton Abbey’ will be published in September 2019.

In her talk entitled “Highclere Castle – from Medieval Abbey to Downton Abbey”, Lady Carnarvon will cover the 1,000 year history of Highclere Castle and the Carnarvon family, right up to the present day and the forthcoming Downton Abbey motion picture.



9:30 – 10:30am           Registration. Coffee and activity sign-ups

10.35                           Registration closes. Doors to the auditorium open

                                    Latecomers will not be allowed into the auditorium after doors close

10:45am – 12 noon     Club Announcements followed by Guest Speaker

12noon - 12:30pm       Book signing

Notes: There is a £10 entrance fee for non-members, which is redeemable toward your membership fee on the day.