• 4 June 2021 4:55 pm


Set to be this year’s period drama blockbuster: The Duchess starring Keira Knightley enjoyed months of filming at National Trust properties across the country. Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, Clandon Park in Surrey, Basildon Park in Berkshire and Osterley Park in Middlesex were amongst Trust locations used to help tell the story of the fascinating life story of Duchess Georgiana (1757 – 1806). A remarkable character, Lady Georgiana married from the Spencer family into the hugely wealthy Devonshire family in the 18th century and became one of the talked – about women in the country.
Based on the novel, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman, the film tells the story of Duchess Georgiana who was a fashion icon of her day: celebrated beauty and socialite, yet gambler with a thirst for risk, she was also an active political campaigner. Beneath her glamorous façade lay an intelligent and vulnerable woman, stranded in a loveless marriage to the Duke.
During the filming, National Trust properties featured strongly as locations for this lavish period drama: Kedleston Hall relived its days of Georgian grandeur and was used in the film to depict Althorp (the Spencer family home), Devonshire House in London and a rented villa in Bath. Basildon Park in Berkshire entertained dining scenes, and Clandon Park in Surrey became the Duke and Duchess’ London home (Devonshire House) The Duchess also features a star-studded cast including Keira Knightley (Georgiana), Ralph Fiennes (the 5th Duke of Devonshire) and Charlotte Rampling (Lady Spencer).
Properties involved in the movie will hold exhibitions of the film later in the year (in conjunction with the film’s release) and into 2009 where visitors can learn about behind the scenes of filming a major movie. Kedleston Hall’s exhibition starts in August and will feature a number of costumes from the film including the one worn by Keira Knightley in a key ballroom scene in the film, the costume she wears in the opening scenes of the film will be on display from March 2009.
The Duchess is due out in cinemas on September 5 2008.