"Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey" is a look into the fascinating woman that became the 5th Countess of Carnavon and her life at the beautiful Highclere Castle, that helped to inspire "Downton Abbey". It is written by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the current countess of Carnarvon.
We learn that the castle was built for the 3rd Earl by Charles Barry, the architect of the Houses of Parliament. The first stone was laid in 1842.
Almina, (1876-1969) whose unusual name was formed of a combination of her parents’ names (Alfred and Mina) was a very wealthy heiress- the daughter of the banker Alfred Rothschild.We enjoy stories about her life; her marriage to the 5th Earl of Carnavon; how she entertained and was a social success in Highclere Castle, focusing on the visit of the Prince of Wales shortly after her marriage. The book also describes how her home was taken care of and maintained by the downstairs staff. It follows the outcome of World War I and how Lady Almina played a tremendous role in tending to the wounded of the war and later how she carried on the work in Tutankhamun’s tomb in her husband´s memory.