Thursday, 2 October 2014

Goodbye to a grand lady


 It's not quite the thing to say nowadays but I was incredibly proud to see the entire Chatsworth Estate  staff lining the funeral route of the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire today. I have walked the road from the village of  Edensor to Chatsworth and the thought of cooks, maids, shop staff, farm workers and gardeners all lining the road with their heads bowed as the last Mitford sister passed in her wicker coffin is incredibly moving......
Tally ho


50 comments:

  1. The Devonshires are/were really good people, I think - despite the Duchess's dubious family history. Proper old fashioned aristocrats are/were generally a real force for good. Nothing to prove.

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    1. P.S. How on earth did you get away with using a Getty image without paying for it (one way or another)?

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    2. She especially was much loved and respected by the staff of Chatsworth. She had , by all accounts a natural warmth and interest and love for her estate......
      I have spoken to several people who met her ( including Bel Ami who comments here) they all liked her

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    3. I have no money....who will sue me

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    4. The last time I ripped off a Getty image (a vintage photo of Eton schoolboys sitting on a wall) I was amazed it was not water-marked.

      I downloaded it, then the whole computer went blank, save for a message from Getty Images saying that if I ever did this again, my computer would go blank forever.

      There are bugs in those photos - beware.

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  2. Oh John. I hadn't realised until I saw your post that she had gone. I never knew her and somehow through her writing and her sister's writing did know her. And will miss her. The world is a smaller place today.

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  3. While it usually brings a snigger from some I was always impressed that she was patron of the Derbyshire Dairy Goat Club years ago when I was a member (i.e bred goats) The club used the buildings of an estate farm for their show. She was a generous hearted soul who was forever practical. Those who were lucky enough to live in Endsnor Village knew her as a brilliant landlord. A true Derbyshire Legend.

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    1. Well said , thank you xx

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  4. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reprinted the New York Times obituary. What an unusual family she came from. It didn't mention her interest in goats but said she was a "connoisseur of fine poultry". I love goats and chickens so that makes her a great gal in my book!

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    1. If you rolled all the bloggers that follow me into one ball... They still would not be as interesting as the late Duchess

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  5. those images are deeply moving.
    thank you

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    1. Kylie
      They have a certain dignity don't they?

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  6. There were great pictures on the web from UK online of the event. Very interesting reading as well. I am curious though about the wicker casket. Any insight to that John?
    Ruth in Oxnard CA

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    1. It's an Eco friendly ending
      Very popular here...
      Indeed I intend to have one when I go

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  7. I get more enchanted by the village you live in with every post.....it is like a step back in time...including a vicar!! The funeral procession and guard of honour look spectacular...a very grand exit.

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    1. Susie
      It's just how I see things..... I firmly believe that living in Trelawnyd is like living anywhere
      You see magic in it if you look closely

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    2. That is so, John.

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  8. Ps the duchess' estate is in Yorkshire
    And no where near Wales xxx

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    1. Yorkshire? YORKSHIRE? Chatsworth is in Derbyshire you drip!
      I met her years ago, just mooching in the gift shop. I was enchanted by her - and I'm not easily impressed...

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    2. Wanda... It's so close it's honesty Yorkshire xxxx

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    3. Sorry John, I have to agree with Wanda. Chatsworth is in the Peak District, Derbyshire not far from Bakewell.
      I too have walked that road several times. It is a beautiful place. Everyone spoke well of the family and I greatly admire their efforts to maintain their heritage for their family and the way they share it with the rest of us.

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    4. Bolton Abbey is part of the Devonshire Estate, and that's in Yorkshire.

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  9. I got a bit choked up seeing those pictures. Thanks for posting.

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  10. That is an honor. I hope she knew how she was loved.

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  11. Lovely to see the old traditions still in force. Now I'm going to have to google wicker caskets.

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  12. I heard she had died. Netflix has a documentary about Chatsworth that I look forward to seeing. It's nice that she was respected and loved. You won't see the house staff lining up when I die. Of course, I don't have a staff so there's that.

    Love,
    Janie

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  13. Thanks for posting this John. It sounds like she was deeply respected by all.

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  14. this is the perfect send off....bar none. well done!

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  15. Amazing respect. So rarely seen now days.
    Thank you, John.

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  16. She was a beauty (looking at photos in her youth) ...and still quite a lovely lady at 94. Very hard working, she vastly improved Chatsworth ....and was much loved by all who worked for and with her. Quite a legacy!

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  17. Such a lesson in reaping what has been sown.

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  18. Honor and respect is always nice to see.

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  19. Being from across the ocean, I don't know who this lady was. All that comes to mind is Maggie Smith from Downton Abby.

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    1. She was more like Anna the maid I suspect

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  20. Very moving images.

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  21. RIP last of the six Mitford sisters. Now if someone will make a period drama for TV of them, I would love it!

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  22. Jo, try hunting out the tv series Love in a Cold Climate, if you haven't seen it.

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  23. Imagine what the wages bill must have been like! How many people did she employ. Nice old gal; we'll all miss her in some way or other.

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  24. Which sister was the Nazi?

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    1. None of the sisters were a "Nazi". I think it unfortunate that we are judged by those we associate with. Associate with not least out of feelings of friendship. Whether you share their leanings or not.

      U

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  25. John, just weighed, on my kitchen scales, "The Mitford - Letters Between Six Sisters" (edited by Charlotte Mosley, published by Fourth Random). 462 grams.

    U

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  26. The end of an era, those women were almost magical. I enjoyed "Love in a cold climate" many years ago, we had an airing cupboard big enough to climb into but I preferred to sprawl in front of the fire to read.

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  27. Just shows you what type of person she was that all the staff lined up. I am now thinking we all need a slice of this village magic. Maybe with Aunties scones, we should all do a bus tour...Do they do a Christmas jumble or show like the summer one?

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  28. So nice to read your post and especially your views on The Dowager. I posted a couple of bits on my blog because I admired her tremendously. I was fortunate to have met her at least 4 times and she truly was a gracious and down to earth woman with a huge amount of integrity and honesty. The looks on the faces of her 'staff' at the funeral says it all really. I will miss her.

    jean
    x

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  29. I adore the Peak District and visit as often as I can and despite the fact they were the landed gentry everyone always speaks so well of them esp the Dowager Duchess. I've always thought there was a sort of 'family' feel from those who live locally and they are very protective of what the family does as it seems to be a very symbiotic relationship built on mutual respect. Quite something to be said for that these days.

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