EXPLORE THE ROYAL LIFESTYLES AND FASCINATING STORIES BEHIND BRITAIN'S STATELY HOMES IN THE SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL(TM) SERIES
"AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES"
NEW SERIES HOSTED BY JULIE MONTAGU, VISCOUNTESS HINCHINGBROOKE, TO PREMIERE SUNDAY, MAY 17 AT 9PM ET/PT
NEW YORK - April 7, 2020 - Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, gives an all-access pass into some of Great Britain's most magnificent homes, revealing their incredible histories and the aristocratic families, both past and present, who have taken up residence in each estate. AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES is an intimate tour of estates with priceless treasures, exquisite gardens, aristocratic dramas and deep secrets. In the new eight-part series, Julie explores the challenges of living in a national treasure and the creative ways owners keep their estates running. AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES premieres Sunday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
Julie Montagu, an all-American girl from Illinois, moved to London for work, where she met her future husband, Luke. Upon their marriage, she became Viscountess Hinchingbrooke and moved to her husband's historic family estate in Dorset - 16th century Mapperton House. Each episode explores how homeowners balance their sacred trust to maintain centuries-old houses with raising their families and accommodating the public. Julie's title brings its perks and her inside connections give her access to some of Britain's most illustrious aristocrats, from the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, who lives in Scotland's largest inhabited castle, to the Duke of Buccleuch, the biggest individual landowner in Britain and a relative of the Montagu family. They share colorful and sometimes scandalous stories behind the exquisite portraits and priceless artifacts that reflect the rich history of each home.
In the premiere episode, INVERARAY CASTLE, Julie travels to a remote corner of the country to visit a family that has been at the heart of British history for centuries. The Duke and Duchess of Argyll are raising their three children at the legendary home of the Campbell clan, a spectacular Gothic castle on the edge of Loch Fyne in the Scottish Highlands. Exploring its 80 rooms, Julie discovers echoes of clan warfare, has a close encounter with one of its five ghosts and sees how the Duke and Duchess preserve 800 years of family history. She learns the code for how to tell an aristocrat's rank from his or her coronet. And she gets to test her mettle at caber tossing in the famous Highland Games, which began as a way for Campbell chieftains to find their best soldiers.
Premieres Sunday, May 24 at 9 p.m.
Julie crosses the border into Roxburghshire, Southeast Scotland, to visit the magnificent Floors Castle - one of the nation's finest listed buildings, sitting among 52,000 acres of Scottish countryside. Once a grand estate employed with a full-time household staff running into hundreds, now operates with a fraction of that number. Julie tours some of the castle's grandest rooms and joins the resident butler, Richard, to help with some of the multiple duties he performs daily, from polishing some of the family silver to a masterclass in correctly laying a formal dining table. With the Duke of Roxburghe, Julie attends the estate's annual horse trials that draws hundreds of riders to compete across the categories of dressage, show jumping and cross-country racing.
Premieres Sunday, May 31 at 9 p.m.
In this episode, Julie travels to Northamptonshire to explore one of England's most historically significant properties, Holdenby House. Owners James and Karen Lowther have been running the estate for over thirty years, during which time they have funded work on virtually every part of the house - from replacing the roof to renovating the scores of museum-grade artworks. During her two-day visit, Julie learns about the �living history� educational program, attracting thousands of school children every year to Holdenby. She tries her hand at the ancient art of falconry, delves into the home's collection of period couture clothing and discovers how to safely clean grand antique oil paintings.
Premieres Sunday, June 7 at 9 p.m.
Boughton House is one of the most well-preserved 17th century stately homes in the UK, owned by a distant relative of Julie's family - Richard Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. During her stay, Julie discovers how the house was built to encourage a visit from King William III in 1695 and learns how the Montagu dynasty was elevated when one of her husband's ancestors purchased a noble title from the crown in 1621. Julie also investigates how Boughton operates today: joining shepherd Mick Johnson to check on new arrivals, learning the ancient craft of thatching and practicing how to dance a minuet.
Premieres Sunday, June 14 at 9 p.m.
Doddington Hall is a 16th century stately home originally built for a self-made businessman that now doubles as a 21st century shopping complex under Claire and James Birch. Julie visits Claire and James to discover how the modern couple brings dash and vigor to their 400-year-old home, all while maintaining commercial success through their small businesses. The couple has expanded the Hall's retail income by building a farm shop, two cafes, a restaurant and bike shop, but also secured funds to preserve Doddington's gorgeous antique clothing and unique tapestries. While at Doddington Hall, Julie learns inventive ways of generating income to allow the Hall to thrive into the future.
Premieres Sunday, June 21 at 9 p.m.
In Gloucestershire, Southeast England, Sudeley Castle is England's only private castle to have a queen buried within its grounds. Julie meets Sudeley Castle's longest serving owner and fellow American, Lady Ashcombe, who has single-handedly brought Sudeley back from the brink when she inherited the castle as a young widow and single mother. Julie learns about Sudeley's rich history of iconic female residents and its extensive Royal inhabitants, including Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's final wife. The castle is one of the country's most in-demand wedding venues, but before holding weddings, the castle was famed for a long history of hosting grand events.
Premieres Sunday, June 28 at 9 p.m.
Nestled in the Yorkshire countryside in the north of England is Newby Hall - a quintessential English country estate drawing in over 100,000 visitors every year by making the most out of their award-winning gardens and designer show house. Current owners Richard and Lucinda Compton invite Julie into their home to reveal how Richard's ancestor commissioned British designers to renovate its interiors and fill its many rooms with the most fashionable designer pieces of the day from an 18th century lottery win. Julie joins the family for dinner in their very own Roman statue gallery and shadows the lady of the house in her day-to-day activities around the estate, one of which is keeping Newby's many treasures gleaming.
Premieres Sunday, July 5 at 9 p.m.
Julie travels deep in the Herefordshire countryside on the border with Wales to visit an estate that has been home to one family longer than the United States has even existed, 400 years. Inside, she discovers a glorious Gothic drawing room designed by the same architect behind Britain's famous �Big Ben� tower. Julie's friend Imogen is in line to inherit Eastnor - and the hundred thousand visitors who stream through it every year - so she's on a mission to learn how to maintain the castle and make it her own. Julie's special access to Eastnor includes a regal night's sleep in the castle's Royal bedchamber - a room that once hosted Queen Mary, the current Queen Elizabeth's grandmother.
An American-born aristocrat in a land of storied nobility, Julie Montagu is a regular Royal commentator and one of London's top yoga and nutrition teachers - named one of the top holistic healthy icons in the world.
AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES is produced by Nutshell TV for Smithsonian Channel. Mike Kemp is executive producer for Nutshell TV. Charles Poe and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.
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