Secrets of Three Iconic Homes HENRY VIII’S PALACE, ALTHORP HOUSE and CHATSWORTH HOUSE
Air dates are Sundays, June 30th - July 14th at 7:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
– Three One-Hour Specials Lead Into MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! Sundays, June 30-July 14 –
Following the success of the “Downton Abbey”-inspired special SECRETS OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE,
PBS has announced details of three new one-hour specials that explore some of England’s other storied homes.
The Sunday night lineup this summer will include SECRETS OF HENRY VIII’S PALACE, SECRETS OF
ALTHORP – THE SPENCERS and SECRETS OF CHATSWORTH, all part of the ongoing series by Pioneer
Productions. Each of the three specials precedes MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! on Sundays, June 30-July 14, 2013,
7:00pm-8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
While each featured estate’s remarkable beauty is noteworthy, it’s the hidden stories within
the homes that set them apart. SECRETS OF HENRY VIII’S PALACE (June 30) revisits the often dark
and twisted tales of the ever-fascinating King Henry VIII and his six wives, secrets that permeate Hampton
Court’s grand façade and its lavish interior.
SECRETS OF ALTHORP – THE SPENCERS (July 7) takes viewers to the home of 19
generations of the Spencer dynasty. Althorp is best known as the childhood home and final resting place
of Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales. This special looks at the mansion’s interior and history, providing
a fresh perspective on the life of the beloved princess. Apart from Diana, many other noteworthy Spencers
have presided over the grand estate for more than 500 years, producing politicians, military heroes, dukes
SECRETS OF CHATSWORTH (July 14) explores the estate’s extensive grounds and
tells, among other accounts, the tragic tale of Billy Cavendish, heir to Chatsworth’s 10th Duke of
Devonshire, and Kathleen Kennedy. Kathleen, the sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, married the
British aristocrat, only to lose her husband after only four months of marriage. Billy was killed in action
in World War II. Four years later, Kathleen died in a plane crash and was buried at Chatsworth.
And, in a special encore, SECRETS OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE (July 21) takes a
look at the real-life estate that is now better known as “Downton Abbey.” More famous now than any time
in its 1,300-year history, England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere
was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. See how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the
aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling “below stairs.” Also find out how
the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend their $1 million in annual upkeep funds and what
life in a fairytale castle is like today.
“What these magnificent estates have in common is not only a rich and immensely entertaining
history, but a modern-day context as well,” said Robert Strange, executive producer at Pioneer Productions.
“In their own ways, each house presents viewers with a living drama that stretches back for centuries yet
still plays itself out today.”
“We are delighted to bring these specials to PBS,” added Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming
Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “British dramas are a centerpiece
of PBS’ Sunday night lineup and this fascinating series adds a real-life dimension to those stories. These
exquisite homes take on a dramatic new life once you understand the rich — and sometimes twisted — stories
of Britain’s actual characters who lived in them. ”
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