HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE!
I am Emma, the 11th Duchess of Rutland and Belvoir Castle is my home. Fabulous, fairytale Belvoir! It is the most fantastic house in England (though I say it myself) and for the past twenty years, I have had the great good fortune to have the running of it.
But this is the 21st century, and my life is very different from that of the ten duchesses that came before me. They might have spent their time putting on frocks and hosting glamorous parties, riding to hounds and giving orders to the gardener – I don’t. As the Duke of Devonshire told me when I was starting out, “When it comes to dukedoms, it is the role of the women to earn the money and it’s our job to spend it” – there was never a truer word! I come from solid Welsh farming stock. My father ran a mixed farm, mostly sheep and beef, and my mother a B&B from our home, so I was used to mucking in – and there hasn’t been a day since when I was not thankful for that up-bringing. In 2001 my husband David inherited the dukedom and when my mother-in-law wished me good luck and passed me the keys to the castle, I just had to roll my sleeves up and muck in again, only this time the work was multiplied by 50.
Over the years, it has been my mission to make Belvoir what once it was – the greatest house of this region of England, and to build a business that will support the Castle and Estate, not just for my lifetime and that of my children, but for many generations to come. There have been many challenges and I haven’t always taken the right turn, but if you would like to keep an eye on all the ups and downs of my progress, then follow my blog and let’s see how this story unfolds.
Behind the scenes stories from the historic homes of Great Britain…
DAY WITH THE DUCHESS
I can wax lyrical about Belvoir all day long but there is nothing to compare with the spine-tingling magic of experiencing the place for yourself…