Highclere Castle where the Downton Abbey on PBS is recorded. image courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd
LONDON – Anyone who has a great interest in having the true experience of Downton Abbey must hurry up. Last Friday, Christie’s began an online-only charity auction which provides Downton Abbey enthusiasts the opportunity to have the direct experience of what it means to live in an opulent castle with an amazing history dating back to the First World War. Titled Heroes at Highclere: Experience the real Downton Abbey, the auction features 12 experiences and items that offer a taste of life at the real Downton Abbey, with starting bids from £250.
Some of the interesting highlights of the online auction include overnight stay at Highclere Castle for a party of three couples, who can reside in Lady Sybil’s, Lady Edith’s and Lady Cora’s quarters (starting bid £10,000); a lesson from the Butlering staff in how to set the table (starting bid £2,000); and afternoon tea with Baroness Jenkin, with a tour of the House of Lords and an overnight stay for two at The Goring Hotel including dinner (starting bid £2,000).
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The Heroes at Highclere: Experience the real Downton Abbey two-week online-only auction is accessible on christie’s online auction site. All proceeds raised going to Armed Forces charities which support both veterans and victims of war, including The Royal British Legion, Oxfam, and Combat Stress.
In conjunction with the online-only auction is Centenary Stories: Remembering the First World War, an exhibition curated by Christie’s showcasing a range of artifacts from countries involved in the First World War is also on view. The exhibition tells the human story of men and women involved in the war, at home and abroad, through letters, photographs, and artifacts from an array of countries. Centenary Stories which was on view for one day only at Highclere Castle’s Heroes at Highclere event can now be seen on Christie’s website until January 2015.
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Organized by Highclere Castle, Heroes at Highclere Charity Event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Highclere is where the award winning television period drama Downton Abbey is filmed and both the real and fictional homes have played a role in WWI. Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, turned Highclere into a military hospital during the First World War; just as Downton Abbey opened its doors to wounded soldiers in the second series.