Love At Belvoir Castle – 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland

For the finale of season two, I explore the most glorious love story between John Henry Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland and his Duchess, Elizabeth Manners with the current custodian of their home, the 11th Duchess of Rutland…

Holly: Hello darlings and welcome back to Past Loves – the weekly history podcast that explores affection, infatuation and attachment across time to bring you the lighter side of history and a touch of romance to daily life.

I hope that you are doing well. Can you believe that we have already got to the last episode of season 2? I mean honestly that just feels completely mad and if you’d have told me back in April when I decided that I was going to take the plunge and start this podcast I would not have believed in the slightest that I would be here today. And so I wanted to say a big thank you first off for listening – whether it may be your first time or you’ve been listening from the very beginning. It means the absolute world.

And for this last episode of the season we are heading to an actual fairy-tale castle – Belvoir Castle. Belvoir rises like a fairy palace over the plains of the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire, and dates back originally to 1067. I thought I’d first heard about it on Phil Spencer’s Stately Home – which is an absolutely fantastic great show, if you’re in the UK all of the episodes on 4onDemand and it is absolute heaven, a joyous little escape into the stately homes of the UK. And it [Belvoir] seemed like a revelation when I saw it one there because it truly is one of the finest regency homes in England and a treasure trove of great paintings and furniture.

But, actually, you might recognise Belvoir from Netflix’s The Crown in which Belvoir Castle plays a starring role as it stands in for Windsor Castle across all three series that there’s been or The Young Victoria. I love the Young Victoria – I mean my love for Emily Blunt knows no bounds – but when I first watched it as a young teenager I found it so upsetting thinking that no one would love me as much as Albert loved Victoria that I did not watch that film again for years. It had such a profound effect on me because the story there is just so beautiful and Belvoir is stunning. But if you want a little more well-rounded portrayal of the love story between Victoria and Albert, then I would highly recommend my episode about their love story with Helen Rappaport. But, also, The Young Victoria, it’s an incredible film and it has a beautiful backdrop.

Anyway Belvoir Castle is the home to Duke and Duchess of Rutland and it is also the home to a great love story. Today I will be discussing the relationship between the 5th Duke and Duchess, Elizabeth and John Henry who were really the ultimate Regency power couple. They are also the couple behind the Belvoir that you see today as four castles have stood on that same spot since 1067. Joining me today to discuss their relationship is the 11th Duchess of Rutland which is such a big honour because her Grace takes us into the heart to Belvoir Castle…

Welcome, Your Grace. And thank you so much for joining me today.

Duchess of Rutland: It’s a total pleasure Holly. More importantly, thank you so much for inviting me. 

Holly: Oh no, I’m honoured that you’re taking the time to talk to me. I think we should start – I think we’ll both quite like to start in this place – by talking about Elizabeth, who was the 5th Duchess of Rutland. Can you describe her as a person?

Duchess of Rutland: Well, just to set the scene a little bit. So she is the 5th and I’m the 11th. So I would imagine from everything I’ve learnt about her, she was normally engaging. She had that sort of magnetic personality that when she went into a room, you couldn’t help but take your eyes off her. And yet, and yet, I think most probably, she was a very powerful soul, wrapped up in a neat, small, effective body. I don’t think she most probably realised it when she got married, but she had great ability that came out throughout the journey of her life in so many ways. How would I describe her? Well, she is my mentor. She is my absolute mentor. So I have spent my entire time here at Belvoir with her always on my shoulder, whether she’s looking at me from a portrait or I just feel her presence. I feel her aura. She’s with me. And for that reason, I become a great, great fan of hers.

Holly: I’m not surprised. Do you have a favourite portrait of her?

Duchess of Rutland: Most probably, there’s a great portrait of her by Hoppner that’s in our ballroom, which is a wonderful picture of her at the top of the spring gardens. And why I love that picture, Holly, is because it wasn’t until I studied it when I think I was doing a talk in America that I suddenly realise that the lake below her…well, there was a lake below her. And at that time, the garden was very overgrown. Everything was kind of climbing in on one and so I was so inspired by this that I got the bulldozer out and went out and put the lake below. So that’s got a wonderful poem at the base of it.

Holly: Oh, that’s so lovely to recreate what she would see.

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah, I know. That’s how it is every day here. It is very much Elizabeth’s story and it feels very much as if I’m just completing the job that her life, coming to a sudden suddenly, was brought to a close and it sometimes feels as if she even found me to do the job. I know that’s quite strange, but that’s how I feel. So yeah, it’s a very, very special picture. 

Holly: Yes and she had quite a special childhood as well. What was her childhood like?

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah, so Elizabeth – and we’ve got to remember this is the end of the 1700s – she grew up at the magnificent home in Yorkshire called Castle Howard and she was the daughter of the 5th Earl and Countess of Carlisle and they were call Frederick and Margaret. They completed the building of Castle Howard with Frederick actually furnishing the home with masterpieces of art because he too has a great passion for beauty. So I always felt Holly that her childhood had an enormous influence because when she arrived here Belvoir – and you’ve got to remember she was only 18 – when she arrived, it was deeply disappointing, because it was a Charles II building. It was quite squat. It didn’t have great towers and parapet. And there was a lot of Elizabeth that was wanting to recreate really her home but I guess that’s how we have this wonderful Belvoir that we have today.

Holly: Yes, I mean it but she definitely had a style all of her own because it’s so different from Castle Howard. But yeah, I agree, she must been influenced by that, just seeing her father complete a building and furnish it so incredibly opulently.

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah, I think her father was enormous input for her. She had great respect for him. We’ve got to remember that it was a different upbringing then. But you know there was a lot of connection between parents and children because they would have had governesses within the home. They would have been there with their families and their nannies and the parents when they were there. So it was a very…it was almost like being families in lockdown. So it was very similar in many ways to how it’s just been now. So yeah, no, it was a very special time.

Holly: Yeah. Now, you mentioned that she was 18 when she got married. Do we know how or when she met John Henry?

Duchess of Rutland: So again, the fascinating thing for me, being a welsh farmer’s daughter, is that, aristocracy was a very close knit society – very elite, yes, but also close knit. So they would have come across each other. And funnily enough, I think John Henry did actually visit Castle Howard. I’ll get the exact date for in my mind – I think it was about 1786. No, sorry, 1796. Because remember that dear old John became Duke at nine. So, you know, he’d been trailed around doing his job learning from other stately homes, how things worked. So he visited, in the summer of 1796, Castle Howard on one of his Yorkshire tours and he may well have seen her there. But it wasn’t really until our archives uncovered that they probably fell in love in London during January or February 1799. When John, he’d only just turned 21, and he was free by then, of course, to make his own mind up on relationships, because he was free of his guardians. And he left a note, they say to the Earl of Carlisle to Elizabeth’s father in Grosvenor place on Sunday 10th February just before Valentine’s Day, asking for an interview with her mother, Elizabeth’s mother. Unfortunately, so it goes, the story goes Lady Carlisle had a very bad cold or supposedly a very bad cold and so sent her husband forward and the engagement was then mentioned, I think, and written about the following week. So it was a very deep sense or connection between them from from the onset.

Holly: Yeah. Oh, that’s absolutely lovely to know, those starts of their relationship. Do you know much about their actual wedding day?

Duchess of Rutland: About the wedding day I know less. But I certainly do know about their wedding day…the records of their wedding day was that it was held on the 22nd April 1799. And she was just 18 at that time. Yeah, we haven’t got how many were here. I haven’t dug deep enough into our archives. But that was the actual day. So they didn’t leave it long and I think there’s probably a bit like Covid weddings also. They were far simpler weddings in those days. Yeah, no, the young Duke and Duchess apparently were married in London. By the July of that year, they were at Chieveley in October, and then to back to Belvoir at Christmas. But sadly, the Duke was away for much of the year with the militia. So the Duchess Elizabeth was here at Belvoir on her own the first Christmas of their married life.

Holly: Oh my gosh, as a newlywed, it’s not quite what you were hoping for is it?

Duchess of Rutland: Not quite. They were very pragmatic ladies. They never expected more than what was really on offer and she was very lucky she found the love match, which wasn’t always the case in those days of course.

Holly: Maybe we should talk a little about John, John Henry, because he was, as you said the 5th Duke of Rutland and he was born on the 4th January 1778. How would you describe John Henry?

Duchess of Rutland: I think he was a very handsome man, very debonair. He loved his hunting, his shooting. He was a countryman. We found gamebooks in our archives, where when he went on a day shooting with perhaps just a brother or a relation, just the keeper at times, he would spend all day looking for one bird that he would have shot. So he was a very good man.

Holly: Do you have a favourite portrait of him?

Duchess of Rutland: Oh, well, it has to be the portrait that lies right next to the one of Elizabeth in the spring garden. So he’s in a very elegant, sort of debonair outfit with stockings and Regency attire. I think it’s also by Hoppner and it’s in our ballroom at the castle. And yes, that to me is John at that young, tender age of 21, marrying this beautiful bride. And yeah, this love match. It was there from right at that moment at the beginning.

Holly: I’m quite fond of the cartoons of his 21st birthday party as well. They’re quite fun.

Duchess of Rutland: They are fascinating and they’re well worth looking up if anyone’s listening. We have long list of food and how many people were fed and how long it went on for and, yeah, all that a birthday party, which is extraordinary. 

Holly: Yeah. Well, he certainly knew how to throw a party. That’s what it seems.

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah, definitely. 

Holly: Maybe we should talk a little about what his parents were like.

Duchess of Rutland: So, of course, it was Charles who was the governor to Ireland and a very, I think most probably quite a troubled soul. He was the son of the 1st Marquess of Granby and so lived with this great sense of failure in a sense. I always feel we have much to thank Henry’s father for because he was the last great collector of art and Joshua, Joshua Reynolds collected his art and for that reason, we have a set of Poussin pictures which we have still the four left. And his mother was a Somerset, so Lady Mary Isabella, who was very glamorous. And I think the other day in the in the linen room, I found her wedding shoes, shoe size, two and a half – these petite little feet. She was considered to be a great beauty and her wedding gown, which stretches the entire length of our ballroom. So I don’t think we’re married there. But yes, so John Henry had to had, I would imagine a very upside down journey into life with this father being such a serial alcoholic womaniser, and not really there a lot and then he died that nine. So he didn’t really have a male figure in his life. So I guess his education here Belvoir was key for his development.

Holly: Yes, what kind of education did he receive?

Duchess of Rutland: So it appears that the clergyman who served as a tutor to John – it was a guy called Sparkes – pursued the Duke on many of his travels around the British Isles. And he was a big influence in John’s life. He was called Bowyer Edward Sparke and funnily enough, he also had, he was an artist. And only the other day, I found a painting that he put, he did have one of his children in the sort of back corridor at the castle. So yeah. So I think most probably, John then pursued his supporting the left the Leicestershire militia, and also Cambridge and Scarborough. And he loved racehorses. He adored the whole pursuit of racehorses. And he became also a trustee of the British Museum. So he was going to be a statesman but he was really a country man with passions and love of beautiful things.

Holly: Absolutely. And when Elizabeth and John finally started early married life and they moved back to Belvoir. Belvoir hadn’t really been lived in for the best part of 20 years and it was around 150 years since it had had a serious make over. What were the Duchess’ aims for the castle?

Duchess of Rutland: So, there we have it. Elizabeth was going to build whatever it took this fairy-tale dream of updating this rather, you know, nonchalant sort of Charles II building and she abandoned the Capability Brown plans Henry had inherited from his father and she chose the young architect to was remodelling Windsor Castle, the grand tower there, called James Wyatt. And that began the most elaborate, exciting relationship between Wyatt and Elizabeth to design this Regency castle. I think with probably with Elizabeth…drew what she wanted and instructed him. She was far too inspired by architecture to just let him go off and do what he wanted.

Holly: Yeah, it was a collaboration.

Duchess of Rutland: I’d say it was a collaboration. And then of course, after poor Wyatt died in a carriage accident, then the local vicar, a guy called Rev Sir John Thoroton. He came in and Elizabeth took him on to help with the gardens and also continue with the castle after the great fire.

Holly: So what were her plans for the grounds to the castle as well? Because it’s very important the setting where Belvoir castle sit.

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah, well, luckily, Brown had always intended these areas to be recreational areas for gardens that he’d left in his plans and that’s always Brown’s intention. And what Elizabeth then did is she started to sculpture the gardens around. So Belvoir before the present castle was on a very, very high hill so to reduce the gradient of the hill, to reduce the drive coming up to the castle, and she started to restructure the gardens as sort of woodland gardens. Many times importing the right soil for acid type plants which at this time was coming in from from the Far East. So it was far out thinking really for a woman of her time.

Holly: Absolutely! How did they finance this quite incredible vision?

Duchess of Rutland: Well, that was difficult. They had to sell villages to raise something like £225,000 in the first 10 years, which is about £283 million. Yeah, they were a sort of power couple their time. And I often think to myself, ‘what would their life have been like here?’ You know, how would they have entertained and so forth. But everything about this castle was to entertain with on the most enormous scale. The hunting parties, the French chef, the scene in ballroom and what it would have been like. In the Gentleman’s Magazine, it was remembered that…it was actually said that “It is striking that with predilections so marked and decided for a rural life, her Grace was one of the brightest ornaments of the English Court, and whenever she graced it with her presence, an object of universal admiration.” 

Holly: Wow. 

Duchess of Rutland: Amazing isn’t it. I mean, she was quite a girl – a real superstar really.

Holly: She was and I agree that they were quite the Regency power couple. Their social life must have been so so varied, so many, especially with like John Henry going on loads of hunts and having hunts at Belvoir.

Duchess of Rutland: Leaving her for months and months on her own, having another child – bearing in mind she had 11 children of which 7 survived. And so there was no such thing as epidural then or pain relief. So she was able to just pop the children out one after another.

Holly: I’m sure she didn’t describe it as popping it out. She was a strong women going through all that on her own though. She really was. And talking about their social life, can you describe the Kings suites and the significance of the visit that they were created for?

Duchess of Rutland: Well, that’s very interesting. So the Kings suite of rooms, was built as a suite actually, as three rooms for the Prince Regent and the Duke of York, his brother. They were both close friends and the royal visit did occur in the new year actually of 1814. Yeah, but on the second of January, when he arrived at Belvoir, the Duke of Rutland’s tenants, the yeomen of the country went four miles away from the castle to meet the prince, and formed procession to in the castle, and apparently a number of persons assembled between Denton and Belvoir and it was just immense. Imagine the roads just being lined with people on this arrival of Prince Regent and the Duke of York,

Holly: It must have been exciting.

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah, whenever a member of the royal household comes to the castle, established on that day, they would be presented with a key to the tower and that’s part of our family tradition, and the key is actually upstairs in a safe cabinet.

Holly: I mean I think it’s incredible living with so much history around you. It’s so special to be able to have those things that are so steeped in stories.

Duchess of Rutland: I know, it’s extraordinary. It took me a long time to really until you’ve been here why you almost have to feel the characters. I’m not a historian. I certainly didn’t go into it as a historian, I felt my way into this building. And I think that’s how I’ve learned about Elizabeth. 

Holly: Yeah. Do you think marriage of equals between them?

Duchess of Rutland: I think it’s been suggested in many letters I’ve read that it was a love of collaboration. The Duke was away and it fell to Elizabeth to manage and rebuild the estate. The Duke’s steward, who is this important private secretary I guess, wrote about her “by her good management, his estates were improved. Her Grace was successful, practical farmer upon a large scale.” So she had respect from everyone that surrounded them. So I think he the Duke respected her enormously and she pretty much let them get on with his life and she got on with hers and when they met up, they met up. 

Holly: One of the major events in their life together was on the 26th October 1816, when there was a major fire at the castle. What’s the story here?

Duchess of Rutland: Ah that was some night! So that fire took out about three quarters of the building that had just been completed. So the whole northeast and northwest areas were burnt to the ground and it seems that only by the bricking up of the Regents Gallery door, which the Regents Gallery staircase did they managed to stop the fire. And that was by the staff who so bravely came in. And they also, that very night, many, many fine, fine pictures were destroyed so Van Dykes, Rembrandts, Reynolds. And it was John himself who wrote “I arrive today from a scene of ruin, desolation and horror…to say the extent of our loss is impossible…the calamity is heavy indeed.” So John Thoroton, who was the illegitimate son of the 4th Duke, saved five children from the Duke and Duchess by going through the flames up into the tower and rescuing the children through flames. 

Holly: Wow. 

Duchess of Rutland: I mean that believable, isn’t it?

Holly: Absolutely. So what the financial ramifications of this fire?

Duchess of Rutland: So fortunately, the Duke had insured the building – however not enough. So around the time of the fire, the bank balance was only around £1000. They couldn’t rebuild what they’d just lost. So the Duke got hold of £12,000 pounds out of the insurers to cover the loss of the paintings and as well as building working making a total of about £18,000. It wasn’t enough sadly though Holly so they had to sell some more land.

Holly: I mean, how the Castle really did seem to swallow money at some points didn’t?

Duchess of Rutland: Oh, my goodness, I mean, can you imagine completing your new build and then all of a sudden…and they believe it was started by Luddites. So there was a lot of disgruntled employees at this time because there was a lot of changes with mechanisation. So many people were losing their jobs and that’s one of the things that they believe it could well have been started by Luddites.

Holly: Yes, well that would explain it because otherwise, it’s just this horrible, horrible loss really for a freak of nature. But they had enough money now really, to create even more dramatic rooms. Can you describe the absolute splendour that the Elizabeth Saloon?

Duchess of Rutland: Ah, so the Elizabeth Saloon was obviously changed its direction because during the time that this was being created, towards the end of the creation of it, it was very sadly Elizabeth who lost her life. But if we go back to the Elizabeth Saloon, Louis XIV style. It has a ceiling that was commissioned with a set of paintings of living children without wings and children that died with wings. Yes, it was created in that style after a shopping spree to Paris where the Duchess actually had a journal of that trip that she privately printed. That’s quite a thing for someone at that time.

Holly: It is. It sounds absolutely fabulous as well at the same time.

Duchess of Rutland: The couple, they loved to collect antiques for their home. Just like we do nowadays they were actually moulding their home to give the appearance of antiquity and oldness at the time. The Duchess planned for the room, she wanted to shield this room, from her family, her friends and unveil it for her husband’s birthday in the January. But then all of a sudden, in November 1825, she was suddenly taken from us.

Holly: Yeah, it was so so sudden, how is she commemorated in the room now?

Duchess of Rutland: So after her death, the room became a sort of memorial to Elizabeth. And now it features this fabulous life-sized statue of her by Matthew Coates Wyatt of her at the entrance of the door with a clear mirror so at all times she appears to be in the room with you. 

Holly: It’s absolutely stunning.

Duchess of Rutland: It’s quite eerie actually isn’t it? You’re there, you stand next to her, you realise the presence of this lady in this castle.

Holly: Absolutely and it must have been a really big change for John Henry. In the Gentleman’s Magazine, they reported that “The Duke never quitted the bed-side till she had ceased to breathe” which I just thought was so poignant and a testament to their relationship. What was John’s life like after Elizabeth died?

Duchess of Rutland: Oh I think he was heart-broken. He never remarried. According to Eller, he wrote to the Duke’s tenants which explains his great loss, if I can repeat it to you, it says: “The Duchess of Rutland has left seven affectionate children…to the care of an…father, whose cruel fate it is to deplore the loss of a companion, who after more than twenty-six years of wedded happiness, and of increasing admiration on his part, has been snatched from him…In this distinguished lady were united the attractive softness of the most perfect grace and beauty, with a vigour of understanding and a clearness of intellect, seldom equalled in either sex…a discontent [*disconsolate] family will for ever deplore her (unique and) untimely death; a wide circle of friends will be deprived of its brightest ornament and the country at large will have reason to regret the loss of that public spirt.” Wow. 

Holly: Wow exactly. 

Duchess of Rutland: According to Lady William-Wynn John Henry and the Duke of York, were mingling their sighs and regret over the table “and with their united tears making a pool in the (very) middle”

Holly: I mean all of what I’ve read of after she died, it’s just…it’s so clear, the kind of tour de force woman she was.

Duchess of Rutland: I couldn’t agree more and you know, her funeral procession in 1825 was the largest event ever organised at Bottesford Church and Rutland commissioned a grand mausoleum which now sits in the castle, the other side of the castles and it faces the window of Elizabeth’s boudoir within the castle. 

Holly: So she’s still there. 

Duchess of Rutland: She’s there. She’s everywhere. 

Holly: How else did the Duke commemorate his wife?

Duchess of Rutland: Well there’s this amazing, the Duchess’ Garden, and it’s where I told you about this painting that I just adore of her, but on the tablet in garden below that she’s leaning up against is carved by Mr Bath of Haddon with a sonnet written by the Duke in memory of the Duchess and funnily enough I always repeat this at talks that I do and I talk around the world about this extraordinary woman that I’ll just, if I may share, with you today.

Holly: Oh please do because I love this on it so much.

Duchess of Rutland: So it says: “One cultivated spot behold, which spreads

Its flowery bosom to the noontide beam – 

Where num’rous rosebuds rear their blushing heads,

And poppies rich, and fragrant violets team.

Far from the busy world’s unceasing sound –

Here has Eliza fixed her favourite seat,

Chaste emblem of the scene around – 

Pure as the flower that smiles beneath her feet”

Holly: Oh it’s so romantic! 

Duchess of Rutland: It’s lovely isn’t it? I mean it was absolutely love.  

Holly: It really really was and it was so lovely on him to finish the castle.

Duchess of Rutland: Yeah and he also bought the estate in Derbyshire and his idea was to create a replica of Belvoir there and funnily enough I went to it the other day and…in a lodge nearby. So we travelled over and saw exactly what it was like. You can see signs of…it’s called Longshaw, and you can see signs of Belvoir within the architecture. It’s owned by the Sheffield council now but that was his project to try and get him through his grief.

Holly: Yeah, because it must have been such an intense loss and he lived for quite a long time after her

Duchess of Rutland: Yes many, many years without her and never another woman in his life. 

Holly: Yeah. Yeah, he didn’t die until 1857. So it was quite a long time after she had died. What do you think was their legacy as a couple in the short term?

Duchess of Rutland: Well I think they left this new home either their children at Belvoir which remain unchanged for the next two generations, well it’s hardly been changed since then. I think it’s very much a legacy of the building that’s here to this day. And

Holly: And what is their legacy as a couple at Belvoir for you today?

Duchess of Rutland: It’s got to be the house. It’s got to be the grounds. It’s got to be the passion, the décor, the attention to detail, the beauty. It’s everything really that the name Belvoir – bel voir, beautiful view – I mean whether you’re looking at from it, or looking into it, there’s beauty.

Holly: Absolutely. 

Duchess of Rutland: It’s taken me a long journey of understanding of where I am and what I do. But all the time, I understand that this particular Regency castle in Britain is pretty much a one off. It doesn’t have the enormous funds through the Victorian ages to change it hugely and so it’s remained intact. So that in itself, it’s unique and very special. 

Holly: Yes it’s that very beautiful declaration for their love for one another. How do you think that they should be remembered as a couple?

Duchess of Rutland: Well I think they should be remembered for embracing their time and their moment. My father-in-law often complained about how much money they’d spent on this castle and what a pain it was they’d left it behind. But I feel they graced us and they left behind heritage for the nation to enjoy, for us as a family to look after for generations to come and it is a partnership with people living in heritage. But that’s something Elizabeth and John would be so proud of.

Holly: Oh I completely agree. I that’s a beautiful place to end. Thank you so much for talking to me today.

Duchess of Rutland: Thank you so much.

Holly: And thank you for listening. It was such a pleasure talking to Her Grace. I was so very excited and I think it was the perfect way to end the season with such an incredible guest and love story. I think my favourite thing that Her Grace mentioned is sonnet written by the Duke in memory of the Duchess, and that end: “Here has Eliza fixed her favourite seat, Chaste emblem of the scene around – Pure as the flower that smiles beneath her feet”

I think John Henry’s love for Elizabeth is just so palpable in that and well any man who writes a sonnet for his wife wins a place in my heart always. Of course though it is Elizabeth who I just fell in love with she really is quite the remarkable woman and it is so lovely that her vision can now be enjoyed by all of us because Belvoir Castle is one of the country’s finest Regency castles and it was all down to their love story.

At the moment the house and gardens are open but there are only a few more days left of the October opening before Winter opening starts to apply in November when –  dare I say it this early – but you’ll be able to get into the Christmas spirit. Of course for the most up to date information the best thing to do is check the website which I will leave a link to in the show notes.

Regardless of what old Covid might be doing as well you can also take an online tour of the Castle which is narrated by Her Grace with the history of the castle and exclusive stories. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend checking it out. I thought it was so so well done and it really gives you an insight into the grandeur of the castle and the beauty of the castle and the history of course of the castle. There is also a book co-authored by Her Grace called Belvoir Castle: A Thousand Years of Family Art and Architecture which offers even more insight into Belvoir beyond Elizabeth and John Henry’s story to the 36 generations of the family who have lived there.  

If you’ve enjoyed this episode please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast wherever you are listening to it now. This means that more fellow romantics with a love of history can find the podcast and selfishly it means a lot to me. Perhaps you could leave a comment with what your favourite episode has been so far or maybe who you’d like to hear about in season 3.

In the meantime, you can always find me over on Instagram @pastlovespodcast where you will find plenty more love stories in perfect bitesize chunks whilst the podcast is in hiatus for a while. Really if past loves is your current love there is no better place to be. Because that is it from me for another season of the podcast…until soon.

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