Chatsworth: Dress like a Duchess

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, stately home, dukes and duchesses, Cavendish, Devonshire

A new exhibition at Chatsworth House celebrates the style and fashion of some of its most glamorous residents, while also revealing one or two secrets and scandals of its former duchesses.

Mistress of the Robes Coronation Gown, Painted Hall, Chatsworth, stately homes, chatsworth house, duchess, duchesses
The Mistress of the Robes Coronation Gown worn by Duchess Evelyn at King George VI‘s coronation in 1937. Credit: Chatsworth/Thomas Loof

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, is a stunning stately house, which has been home to the Cavendish family for centuries and this year a new exhibition, House Style (25 March-22 October), goes in search of some the house’s most glamorous former residents.

Taking fashion as its theme, the curators have turned the spotlight on famous Cavendish women such as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who inspired the film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley and who became embroiled in a strange ménage à trois when her best friend Lady Elizabeth Foster moved in as the Duke’s mistress. Also included in the exhibition are the clothes and costumes of Duchess Louise (who was nicknamed the Double Duchess as her marriage to the 8th Duke of Devonshire came two years after the death of her first husband, the 7th Duke of Manchester); Duchess Evelyn; Adele Astaire, sister and early dancing partner of the famous Fred; Kathleen Kennedy, President Kennedy’s sister; and the 11th Duke’s wife, Deborah (Debo), the youngest of the famous Mitford sisters.

For the full feature on Chatsworth see the Mar/Apr 2017 (May 2017 in the US) issue of BRITAIN.

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