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‘Downton Abbey’ Fans Grabbing Up Tickets To See Countess At Hill-Stead

Lady Fiona Carnarvon

(Hartford Courant) – Good news for “Downton Abbey” devotees already mourning the end of the blockbuster series (the final episode airs March 6). Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington is hosting a special event that will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the castle where the show is filmed and the real-life family that provided inspiration for Downton’s addictive story line.

Hill-Stead’s announcement of the event, “The Real Downton Abbey Comes to Hill-Stead,” would have pleased even the Dowager Countess:

“Hill-Stead Museum is delighted to announce that the Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon will visit the museum for a special speaking engagement on Wednesday, May 25, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., under the grand tent on Hill-Stead’s West Lawn.”

Lisa Lappe, public relations and marketing manager at Hill-Stead, says response to the announcement has been overwhelming.

“People are so excited,” says Lappe. “It’s an unusual opportunity for them to take a step back in time and get a little closer to a show they really love.”

The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679. Lady Carnarvon, a best-selling author who is married to George Herbert, theEighth Earl of Carnarvon, will speak on the history of Highclere and the Carnarvon family — including offering stories about Lady Almina, the Fifth Countess of Carnarvon and inspiration for Downton Abbey’s Cora Crawley.

Before the lecture, audience members will enjoy afternoon tea or Champagne, paired with “elegantly-presented” sweet and savory bites.

The tent can accommodate 400 guests, most of whom, Lappe predicts, will be “dressed to the nines.”

“I think it’s going to be the social event of the season,” she says. A book signing will follow the event. Copies of Lady Carnarvon’s books will be available for purchase.

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