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Blenheim Palace: From May to Christmas

The Battle of Blenheim, The Blenheim Tapestries, Blenheim Palace in WWI and much more!
15 August, Running a Great Estate: Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into daily life at Blenheim Palace, and learn what it takes to run an Estate of such great proportions

21 May

The Battle of Blenheim

Blenheim Palace was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough after his victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.

This talk & tour explains the importance of the battle and those who fought in it. Time: 2:30pm

5 June

Consuelo Vanderbilt

From the 1870s to the 1900s, some 300 British aristocrats married American heiresses for their wealth and they became known as the Dollar Princesses. They crossed the Atlantic equipped with extremely generous dowries, which helped save numerous stately homes from ruin.

Blenheim Palace was no exception to this. In 1895, the 9th Duke of Marlborough married heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. This talk offers an insight into Consuelo’s life as a child of the Gilded Age and as a new member of the English aristocracy and provides an overview of some members of the Spencer-Churchill family who have married American ladies. Time: 2:30pm

7 July

A Closer Look at Baroque

Baroque was the first style to have a significant global impact, changing as it crossed the world, adapting to local tastes. A sense of drama and a love of the ornate characterise the Baroque style. This talk and tour explores in depth the many aspects of the Baroque style that employed Architecture, Ceramics, Furniture, Interior Decoration, Garden Design, Painting, Music and the Applied Arts, and its influence on the Baroque collection at Blenheim Palace. Time: 2:30pm

15 August

Running a Great Estate

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into daily life at Blenheim Palace, and learn what it takes to run an Estate of such great proportions. This talk & tour highlights the small army of people who help run, restore, preserve and maintain the Palace, Parkland and Formal Gardens, and gives you an insight into their roles and routines. Time: 10:30am

16 September

Sarah the Indomitable Duchess – a Lesson in Love…and Hate

The first Duchess was a passionate woman who at times favoured or alienated all around her; those closest to her were often the object of her irrational and damaging emotions. Sarah was once described as ‘a good hater,’ this talk will help you to decide whether this description was well deserved. Time: 2:30pm

8 October

The Blenheim Tapestries

The Blenheim tapestries are outstanding works of art, commissioned by the 1st Duke of Marlborough to illustrate his significant victories. This talk and tour will include additional textiles such as carpets and captured standards, also in the Blenheim Palace collection. Time: 2:30pm

11 November

Blenheim Palace in WWI

Join us on Armistice Day for a poignant talk & tour on how the people who lived and worked at Blenheim Palace played their part during this time of immense change and sacrifice. Explore the role of the Palace, the family and the people that worked here on both the front line and the home front, and hear of the moments of humour amidst all the hard work and bad news and the ‘near misses’ that left all involved with a determination to live life to the full. Time: 2:30pm

10 December

Christmas at Blenheim Palace

Throughout the 300 year history of the Palace, Christmas has always been a time of celebration and giving but particularly so in the Victorian era.

The 7th Duke and Duchess followed the lead of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in making Christmas a family time and a time to give gifts to those that worked here. The traditions established by the 7th Duke and Duchess are in many ways still continued to this day.

This talk looks at how Christmas has been celebrated over the years and how the present staff transform the Palace each November into a Christmas feast for the eyes. Time: 2:30pm

 

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