Documentary series detailing a year in the life of Chatsworth House. The 12th duke and duchess join the annual litter pick as the house is being prepared to open to the public.
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Chatsworth. Palace of the Peaks.
and three villages.
Living here, we tend to forget how big it is,
and it seems strange that it should just be for one couple.
For more than four-and-a-half centuries,
Chatsworth has been owned by one family.
We've got a Duke and we've got a Duke's son
and the Duke's grandson, so we've got the next two lined up.
A line now led by the 12th Duke of Devonshire and his wife,
These days, Chatsworth is a major commercial venture.
Here they come.
A yearly show...
Hello, would you like champagne?
..bigger than any theatre production,
with a backstage team of 700 just to keep it running.
If I see the Duke and Duchess coming, I go round and go, "nee-noh..."
Like that, you see, and they know what I'm on about.
Stand by your beds is what it is.
I've met the Duke and Duchess once.
I thought you had to bow and things like that, the first time,
-I was standing like this.
People who come, they either leave the next day,
or they stay for the rest of their lives.
Centre stage is the house.
-Morning, Duchess, morning, Duke.
-Morning, Duke, morning, Duchess.
From public displays...
It's not really "don't do that ever again,"
it's just be careful what you're obscuring.
..to private views.
I love going round the back.
We all like polishing his bottom.
It's an unfolding drama where everyone has a role to play.
You've messed it all up, Mister.
This is a year in the life of Chatsworth.
Derbyshire in winter. Chatsworth is closed.
Opening week, in the middle of March,
it always is a bit of a deadline,
because the so-called quiet period when we're not open,
from just before Christmas, that is much the busiest time.
Everything is frenetic.
They call it the deep clean.
And everything must be done and dusted
before the curtain goes up on the new season.
With 100 rooms to get ready,
it's tough work for the Duke's 20-strong housekeeping team.
You go first.
In the winter clean, things get moved all the time,
because it's the only time of year when we can get things out of the way
cos there's no public coming through, and one slip... Ooh, it doesn't bear thinking about!
And there are specialists.
A textile department to prepare carpets, furnishings and drapes.
I'm pretty tired, but actually, it's the adrenaline, you get going,
and, you know...
It's not for ever,
so the adrenaline gets pumping and you just get through it.
To preserve the 1,250 works of art, much of it priceless,
the Duke has a team of expert curators.
When you think you've got everything sorted,
and then suddenly realise you've got other little bits to do,
that's when you start to panic slightly.
But not too much when you're handling this!
And Chatsworth has one of Britain's biggest private libraries.
There's an ongoing thing with cleaning books,
we've got 17,500 in here and in the ante-library,
and they all get taken off the shelves and dusted.
How's it going, Jan?
-Must have done quite a few.
-I think I'm on 1650.
Sprucing up 105 acres of world-famous gardens
is the midwinter challenge for the Duke's 21 gardeners.
So you're more than halfway now, I was just working it out.
-We won't get it finished today.
Brilliant what you're doing, thank you very, very much.
And it will be really appreciated, I'm sure.
We just keep plodding along, all the paths should be re-gravelled,
everything else is in place, all the signs, all the benches are up.
Whether I feel the pressure or not... HE CHUCKLES
It still has to be done, and we just do it.
There's enough stone, brickwork, timber and glass
to keep 17 housemen busy every day of the year.
We've got to get these jobs done before Sunday,
-or else we get shouted at.
All to put on a show for Chatsworth's 700,000 visitors.
And topping the bill is the grand dining room.
This year, the table setting will recall an historic moment
in Chatsworth's history.
Well, we are just laying the table ready for the new season,
which opens next weekend, and we've come in on a Sunday to do it
because it's a bit quieter.
We are doing a setting
which is based on Queen Victoria's visit in 1843.
There's quite a lot of silver going out.
It was in December that year when 37 guests,
including the Duke of Wellington and Lord Palmerston,
joined the Queen and Prince Albert for a weekend at Chatsworth.
There's a report in the illustrated London News about her visit,
which describes how the table looked,
so we know what pieces were on.
Her Majesty, Prince Albert and Lady Louisa Cavendish and Lord Melbourne
sat on the right of His Grace in the centre of the table.
Being faced by the Duke of Wellington and the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.
'So fingers crossed it'll all fit.'
'It just feels really uncomfortable,'
if you don't get the distances sort of equal, it's just, you look at it
and it just makes you feel very uncomfortable for some reason.
Either that or we're just fussy curators, I don't know which.
-Probably the latter.
I've been cleaning this silver for about three weeks.
It's therapeutic, in a way.
You can clean one piece and compare it to the other piece
that hasn't been cleaned for a year or whatever,
and it just looks really nice.
So what we're setting up for is we've got the soup,
and then the fish course, and then the meat course,
and then salad, but the forks go this way down,
because originally, if you had very lacy cuffs around your sleeves,
sort of like in the 18th century, obviously the laces catch on that,
so that's why we've got forks with the tines, sort of, face down.
We all joke that by the end of winter,
you're fitter than you were at the beginning
because there's so much to do.
Just that difference between the burnished silver,
that's sort of really shiny, and then the more matte silver as well,
and they comment about it even in the newspapers at the time, in 1843.
I just feel, to sort of see it close up, with the daylight on it,
it's just, just beautiful.
So I've probably stripped and laid this table
about 20 times over the years,
I'm sort of getting professional at this now.
-SHE LAUGHS >
It's amazing, things always take longer than you think!
Especially in a house like this.
Well, it's exciting, there's always an awful lot to do,
but you've seen how hard everybody is working, so, you know, it's always,
like any deadline, one always longs for another day,
but then people have been wonderful,
and they've come in on the weekend and worked in the evenings,
and, you know, we're very lucky, they're very dedicated.
A dedication that late winter in Derbyshire can test to the limit.
Good morning. Today, we're litter picking.
It's raining outside,
but it's the estate combined litter picking day, which we do annually.
So there's lots of teams going out around the estate,
but it's absolutely a huge feat,
because actually it's miles and miles and miles,
so I think we're probably covering about a nine-mile-square radius.
Despite the drizzle, when it comes to picking up litter,
even the Duke and Duchess join in.
One, two, three.
-We're walking, we're walking.
-We're picking, yeah.
Anybody who wants to can volunteer
to do an hour-and-a-half or two hours,
picking up litter on the roads
and the public footpath through the estate.
You mustn't keep chatting like that.
-You're meant to be looking down the edge.
'I think of this place, completely inaccurately,'
as a private house in a private garden.
And I am told, and I believe it because it suits me,
that that is what our visitors want.
What do we do with this?
'I think I was more bothered with growing up
'than worrying about who was going to look after this place when I was a child.
'I don't think I had any concept of that, it was just something... It was where we lived.'
'Historically, a duke was like any other hereditary peer,
'and they have the right to, and usually did,
'sit in the House of Lords.
'Quite rightly, the Blair government abolished the right
'for hereditary peers, and so I have no political role as a right.
'And I'm delighted,'
because I wouldn't be any good at all at that.
I think that had been in there for quite a long time, it was,
sort of, almost buried treasure.
'But what we do now, my wife and I, are like the equivalent of the,
'sort of, executive chairman and chairwoman.'
I haven't actually ever found anything very interesting at all.
No fivers yet.
The good thing that comes out of this,
we've all got our patches where we obviously litter pick,
and then two weeks later, when you drive past it and see this litter,
you go, "Oh, the cheeky buggers."
Come out, you little bugger.
The minute this bag goes in the skip, I'm back to work, so...
Everybody else will be going for a shower
and making sure they smell nice, but I don't care.
I think it's better than last year, don't you?
I think there was more than last year.
But it's worth doing, I think.
From do-it-yourself rubbish collection
to a £14 million facelift.
This year, Chatsworth is getting a major makeover.
And for a 21st-century duke, some armour.
A plastic hard hat.
-Do you want me to go in front so I can just...
-No, no, I'll be all right, if I'm not, I'll stop.
Thank you, Tom.
The place was beginning to fall to bits.
A piece quite nearly killed my great grandmother before the war,
so bits have been falling off for a long time,
and we didn't want to spend the rest of our lives in these.
Sunday, 13th March.
No, he's not, I'm afraid. OK, thanks, bye.
It's all a little bit fraught today,
so I'm going to see if I can find some keys.
Keys have been Christine Robinson's life for 36 years.
While only a third of the house is open to visitors,
there's still 100 rooms to unlock every day.
For 29 years before the current duke took over,
Christine worked for his parents.
We wondered, we've moved the two candelabra,
we've moved one of them onto the table at the end, your Grace, and we've moved...
-That's not in the middle, Christine, is it? Not quite.
-I don't think it is, quite, no, it isn't.
I have a recurring nightmare before house opening,
that I'm going round with my bunch of keys, and I get overtaken by the visitors.
I know this is because I'm terrified the house isn't going to be open on time.
It's quite terrifying, really.
But it's a wonderful incentive to crack on and get it ready.
I keep threatening to get a pedometer.
Only I think it would terrify us if we realised just how far we walked.
This should all be all right,
because I came through here and dusted it this morning,
so if I find any dust through here, then it's me that's left it.
As head housekeeper, and an old hand, it's all routine.
But not for newcomers.
You've got to love them, haven't you?
-Yeah, I've got you.
Good morning, Heather speaking.
24-year-old local girl Heather first visited Chatsworth as a baby.
In a slightly panicky stage until we're opened...
After working for the National Trust,
she's on trial in her dream job, head guide.
So I'm the first female head guide, which is quite, I think,
new to them, I think some struggled at the start,
but they're fine with that now.
There's just loads to do.
But I like that, it keeps you busy.
I've only got three more months left of my probation,
then we'll see if they still want me.
Whether Heather is the right long-term fit for Chatsworth
will be decided by her boss, Christine.
When the six months is up, there's...
A letter comes through from HR
to say that they have successfully completed their six-month probationary period,
and then they are a fully-fledged member of the team.
Sadly, if things don't work out, they get a different sort of letter,
which terminates their employment.
So we're off now to do the briefing.
They used to have them up in the mess room,
but I've moved them down here, so that we can start work straightaway.
And who wouldn't want to have a briefing in somewhere like this?
At the briefing, new girl Heather must win over 60 other guides.
Many have been doing the job since before she was born.
-Why didn't she tell me, then?
I don't know, she just forgot to tell you.
We thought long and hard about her appointment
before we actually gave her the job, because,
I think the key thing, really, was her youth,
and the fact that the majority of the guiding team when she took it on
were of an older generation.
-ALL: Good morning.
Right, six coaches in today.
-All of them at 11 o'clock.
-THEY ALL CHUCKLE
So it's going to be a bit of a squeeze,
but we'll manage, it'll be fine.
Have you all seen the new iPod handset as well?
-Well, it's been going for about five days.
-So you can have a play. And it's really easy to use.
I think the first time, I was quite worried about, obviously,
so many guides, and having to look after them, and how they perceive me as well.
But I think they're OK with it.
It's, er... Yeah, it's going well, it's good.
-Are you all right? You OK?
Superb. What do you think?
-It's a bit wrong.
-It's the intro.
"the Duke's death at the age of 55 was sudden and unexpected,
and death duties at the maximum rate..."
So that... Actually, that's the 10th duke.
-It's out. The full paragraph is out.
-It is, isn't it? Let's have a look.
Brilliant, thank you for letting me know.
'In some ways, it's a relief that we've got everything ready.'
And it's wonderful, we always go, the Duke and I,
we always go to the top of the stairs
'and welcome the first visitor.'
Here they come.
'I want people to come to Chatsworth and say,'
"This is the most amazing place," because that's what I think it is.
I want people never to forget it once they've been here,
and want to come back.
'I'm very, very proud of it, and I want to share that.'
-How are you? Long time no see!
-Yes, it is. How are things?
-Oh, not bad.
-Good morning, good morning.
-How are you?
This is a fantastic service.
Well, it's always exciting as the beginning of the season,
you know, we've been waiting for this for a couple of months, so...
'It's sort of a relief that the work is done,
'and that the visitors still want to come.'
-Priceless. Thank you very much.
-Good to see you.
-All right, bye.
Hello, have you got your tickets already? Thank you very much.
A lot of changes.
-Yes, there's always something new.
-Different things appeal to different people.
-And some of it is very nice.
-And some of it we think, ooh... I don't like that!
-Some of them...
The estate staff needs to manage up to 6,000 visitors a day.
With so many people,
it's a priority to protect the house and its contents.
Can you just take your rucksack off and pop it on your front?
-just so you don't knock anything, that's all.
Excuse me sir, sorry to bother you,
can you take your rucksack off and put it on your front?
-There's nothing in the bag, it's OK.
No, no, no, because you might knock something.
You have to carry it on your front.
OK? Thank you.
It's just so rude, I don't mean him, but I mean,
-you know, if you've asked somebody, you expect them to...
I just don't understand.
Plus, it makes our jobs really difficult,
cos we're trying to do our security points,
we're trying to engage with people,
-and we're having to deal with something as basic as that, aren't we?
It can get so frustrating. You see my frustrated face right now! SHE LAUGHS
Excuse me, can you...
No, no, it's all right,
can you just take your rucksack off and put it on your front?
-Yeah. Just in case you knock anything, that's all, all right?
You know, it's not a museum,
we don't shut things off behind glass cabinets,
we do leave things open, this is someone's home,
and I wouldn't do it in someone else's house,
and I don't expect people to do it here, really.
And he's done it again.
OK, back in again.
I'm sorry, sir, can you take the... Thank you.
Can't cope with it.
I should throw more diva strops, shouldn't I, really?
A stately home is a costly place to run.
These days, income must be earned.
Working the land, charging admission and selling produce
through a farm shop are key to Chatsworth's financial future.
And driving this commercial approach...
..is the Duchess.
Are you all right?
I think it's fascinating, the shop.
My mother-in-law started it, and it was a brilliant idea.
And it started as an outlet for produce from the estate.
And then it grew and grew and grew, and she was brilliant.
At developing it into something
which is now a very popular farm shop,
in fact, Farm Shop Of The Year.
And the manager of that farm shop is Andre Birkett.
How can you buy the tubs?
When they've got plants in them.
He's been part of Chatsworth for 29 years.
It's got to look loved.
If it doesn't look loved, then...
The job's jiggered.
Starting in the kitchens of the house, he worked his way up.
Can I help you with that, sir? Let me carry that to your car.
I can't see you struggle!
Now responsible for 120 staff,
Chatsworth's gourmet farm shop is Andre's pride and joy.
What are you actually doing?
Well, you've put the labels in the wrong place, Andrew.
So if I see gazpacho, that's exactly what the shelf edge should say.
He's continually fettling.
I still have to fettle!
He has got very high standards.
It's just so that I can say that I have put my mark on it,
but when I come down in an hour,
it'll all be higgledy-piggledy again.
We have an excellent turnover of £5.5 million per year.
We are all working hard to provide the funds for Chatsworth.
I can remember when we did our first thousand-pound Saturday,
which was the biggest achievement, and, you know,
everyone was so glad that we'd managed to turn over £1,000,
that the champagne was opened.
And then, actually, a few years on then,
to turn our first million pounds, was significant.
Convinced his hands-on management has brought success
to the farm shop and restaurant,
Andre's latest mission has been to upgrade the lavatories.
The Duchess was very keen
when we had the toilets revamped at the farm shop,
that the walls weren't blank, so over the last three months,
she's been collating lots of photographs of the family
and images of Chatsworth.
And they were only installed yesterday, and somebody's already tried to pinch one.
So it has been ripped off the wall, apparently,
so I will just nip across and have a look and see.
See what the damage is.
Something not right.
Somebody's messed their underpants.
I do sometimes judge people's... mentality.
People do the most disgusting things.
I just knew something was happening,
cos it was obviously just carrying on filling up.
The problem is that we have here at Chatsworth,
is that locally there is no more public loos about.
Van drivers, people that aren't even coming here,
use this as a free toilet.
And they have got absolutely no respect.
For what we do.
One of the images has disappeared,
so somebody's pulled it off the wall and taken it away.
And obviously, this has just been
fully revamped, redecorated, re-plastered...
And so, that's what happens, which is very sad.
It feels like a personal attack to me.
I know it isn't, I know it's just one of those things,
somebody else hasn't thought about their actions.
But to me...
You're trying to enhance things and make things nice,
and they're not here for any other reason than to make it a better,
more pleasant experience for the visitor that's coming in
and using these facilities.
And yet, sadly, it's the minority that spoil it for the majority.
The Duchess would be mortified if...
she'd known already that this happened,
so I think we can probably get away with it.
Get something up as if it's not happened.
And hope it doesn't happen again.
'Listen, across the world, I think people do the strangest of things,
'don't they, so Chatsworth is no different.'
You know, accidents do happen.
At the house, staff are expected to have all the answers.
No-one more so than Heather.
The badge obviously says Head Guide, Um...
People tend to think I've probably been here for years and years,
and so they expect you to have a certain standard of knowledge,
so I find I have to perhaps research a bit more than the regular guides,
so I can keep up there.
You might get occasional people asking you about specific bits,
at which point, I need to dig into the depths of my mind
and try and remember what they're about.
But the basics, I know, so that's OK.
Ooh, can you please...
-Try not to touch it, sorry.
This is by Edmund De Waal, modern art.
2007, it's called The Sounding Line.
Erm... And it was created for this area.
-These down here, can you see they're slightly wonky?
-They're created in three parts, fired in three parts and stuck on top of each other.
-Oh, I see.
Do they make sounds, and if you... Or why are they called The Sound...
Why are they called The Sounding Line? I'm not sure. I'm sure somewhere it'll explain.
All these are religious paintings, so you've got Jacob's Ladder...
and then you've got Joseph, Technicolour Dreamcoat, and... Oh, what was his wife's name?
What do we know about Jim Allison, on the table?
Ooh, these, I'm not sure, actually. If you have a look at the, erm...
-I've seen it on this.
-Let's have a quick look, what does it say there?
The foot is Greek.
Something in my head was saying Roman, but it's not, it's Greek.
I'm trying to find the Tintoretto as well,
because I know it's Samson and Delilah, but I can't remember the exact date.
-And they're a piece of modern art...
-Created in 2007.
-Are you not convinced?
-No, I don't like modern art.
So as soon as Paul gets back, then I can go and swot up a little bit.
The last visitors melt away.
Usually, the first thing that we know that visitors have left,
is when people sort of trickle away from the garden,
and then the water gets turned off at 5:30pm,
the Cascade and the Emperor Fountain get turned off.
Our day doesn't usually end until dinner time, which is about...
After eight o'clock sometime.
We try not to go back to the office after dinner if we can.
We don't actually watch the television, hardly ever,
but we read a book and then probably fall asleep quite quickly,
but the day is never really over, and the house is never really quiet.
Except very late at night.
For some, after a day being bombarded with questions,
there is work to do.
Struggling with her work-life balance,
but knowing she is on probation, Heather brushes up on Chatsworth.
At the moment, really, I'm just swotting up.
You know, I'm still learning very quickly,
and often, I'll read during the evening.
You know, you do find that you can sometimes get a bit engrossed in books, really,
and not pay much attention to your family instead, but I've got to do it.
I've got to try and get as much knowledge as possible, really.
I think for me as a confidence thing, the more I know,
the more I can kind of, almost forget about the probation a little bit as well,
really, and try and concentrate on something else at the moment.
'You know, I've always worked in stately homes,
'but they've always been slightly smaller ones,'
and now it's Chatsworth, I mean, Chatsworth's Chatsworth.
And I'm just, kind of, thinking, "Have I done enough?"
Really, have I done enough yet? Am I proving myself?
You know, I'm managing a team of 60, am I managing to do that OK?
You know, I mean, you just don't know, do you?
I will never let anyone else know I'm nervous,
and I'd never let the guides know I'm nervous,
but, you know, sometimes it's something I am, deep down.
I think, I wouldn't even let Christine know I'm nervous,
but I am.
So we'll see.
Hopefully they have faith.
The show Chatsworth puts on is all about English history.
And at its heart is the legacy of the Devonshire family.
It in the middle is the first Duke,
so he is the key person, he was very, very important,
he built the square bit of the house you see now, not the wing.
The second key figure is the bachelor Duke, up there.
And he built the new wing, a wonderful man in many, many ways,
very, very extravagant.
Left a huge amount of debt on his death,
but really reinvigorated Chatsworth,
and I think the third most important is my father,
because he really saved Chatsworth after the war.
Chatsworth would have become a national museum or something.
We had 80% death duties to pay when my grandfather died in 1950.
My father was only 30 then.
And he and my mother together, over 40 or 50 years,
really the rest of their life, they spent,
first of all saving Chatsworth, and then building it up.
Now, Chatsworth is about the house,
not so much about the people who live here.
Today, with 700 staff and a multi-million pound turnover,
Chatsworth is the biggest local employer.
And the Duke is the boss.
'I was here all day on Saturday, literally, I think, from about eight till eight.'
I mean, in theory, I'm two or three years past the old retirement age,
but luckily they changed the law so you can't make people retire at 65 any more.
Hello, Liz, um, could you come and look at the diary, please? Thanks.
My work life is 70% probably Chatsworth stuff.
If it's your own house, it does matter what colour the paint is
and it does matter what sort of tulips you're going to plant.
Those little things matter a lot to us cos it's where we live,
it's not just a job.
It's far more than that, so inevitably we micromanage
and I don't really apologise for that.
-I'll be with the guests most of the morning.
Then I've got a private meeting at half past six in the lower library
which, in the diary, you may or may not have seen just yet.
-Yep. Do you want tea and coffee for that?
-I'll just let the butlers know.
-OK, that's fine. Good, thanks.
I mean, a lot of people who live in big houses decide at a certain
stage in their life - sometimes pre-announced, sometimes not -
to move out and let the next person take over.
Whether we stay here until we die or whether we move out, I don't know.
But I think you can certainly retire from this job.
But, erm, we're not ready for that.
When the Duke succeeded his father in 2004,
the Duke's mother, the dowager duchess, moved to Edensor.
A village on the estate.
And she remains a pillar of local life.
Her three-volume autobiography, personally signed,
takes pride of place in the Chatsworth shop.
It's a different world,
a completely different world to what I was used to.
It is now a proper business.
All the houses of this kind are run as businesses now.
But anyway, I'm delighted to be here
because it's two steps from the garden, two steps from the kitchen.
At Chatsworth you had to think which was the quickest way to get to the kitchen.
I was getting too old for it.
Besides, it was high time my son and daughter-in-law came.
But for Andre the dowager holds a special place.
For most of his time working at Chatsworth, she was in charge.
This morning we're going to go and see the dowager,
the Duchess of Devonshire.
I've got some books that she needs to sign.
As a boy I found it very difficult coming to Chatsworth, it was
very much like Upstairs Downstairs at the time and I was, on arrival,
with my tatty old suitcase and my family drove off down the drive.
There were tears in my eyes.
The first time away from home and it was a very difficult time.
My intentions were only to stay at Chatsworth for 18 months.
29 years later I'm still here.
This is the old vicarage and this is where the dowager lives.
I feel quite at home here.
But we'll go in t'servants' entrance like I always do.
Good morning Your Grace, I've got some books to sign, if that's possible.
-That's very good.
-Would you be able to do that for me?
-Have you got a pen?
I think I have.
-One customer came and said they wanted an unsigned book.
Which was a rather bizarre request.
Normally I'm getting told off cos a book's gone out that hasn't
been signed and then I'm coming and saying, "Can you get me a book that's NOT signed?"
-That's very funny.
Well, it's quite hard to find an unsigned book.
The Dowager is the youngest and last survivor of the legendary Mitford
sisters whose lives and loves transfixed society during the 1930s.
Known to her family as Debo, she married Andrew Devonshire in 1941.
I've been there for 46 years and one month.
People who come, they either leave the next day, fed up with the way
the place is run or they stay for the rest of their lives, like these two.
They get terribly attached to this place for some reason, don't they?
I think we all do Your Grace, don't we?
There's something magical about it,
but it's also that tradition, I think.
And it's sort of pretty well unique because this village is all
occupied by people who have worked on the estate or who have retired.
I think from outside everybody looks on us like we're
perhaps a bit odd living together and working together.
Do you think they do?
Well, I think some people find it bizarre.
Yes, I suppose they do!
But you see the trouble is that all humans are the same
so there's no point making a great fuss about who's what.
It's better for everyone to get together, I reckon.
Wait a minute, let's get this thing proper. There we are.
And the figures were good last week, Your Grace, weren't they, for the farm shop?
Did the beef lead?
The beef did very well
and we've got some more venison in from the estate which is good.
Oh...don't muddle me! HE LAUGHS
That's all right, sorry.
-That's all your fault!
-I won't talk after this one.
You CAN'T not talk! It's not in your nature.
Under the dowager and her husband
the estate first moved into the retail trade.
Today it's 62 farms and 100 acres of woodland supply the farm shop
with all its beef, lamb and venison.
-You know the Fairsize farm?
-There's a little valley runs up from it. It's in that.
-On the right?
-I'll go and have a look.
-Well, it may have gone. The fox may have taken it anyway.
-There's no foxes here, is there?
You tell me!
When she was in charge, she pushed the estate to make money,
helped by young farmer Ian Turner.
-He's got some funny theories!
And today he still runs the farm.
Lambing time's a marvellous time on a farm, the creation of new life.
You know, it all depends on what number of lambs we get for what
we sell and then the economics of the running of the estate.
We've got to keep this place running for evermore.
We've got a duke and we've got a duke's son
and a duke's grandson so we've got the next two lined up!
My first lambing was in January.
I had to be told step-by-step what to do but I think I've got the gist of it now.
Come on, girl.
There we go.
Check to see if she's having another.
No, she's not having another. That's her two.
So far I'd say we've had over 3,000 lambs.
I'm not sure how many we're going to have in total
but last year I think they had 4,800, which is quite a number!
Hello, lass, what've you got? Two Texels. What've you got?
Two Suffolks, two Texels.
Here we are we've got a ewe that's only has one lamb here.
We had a ewe down the bottom end who's had three lambs.
The ewes have got a design fault.
They've only got two buttons on their waistcoat.
They could do with four, some days here.
It's more economical for us for a ewe to raise two lambs than
what it is to raise one lamb.
If she has one lamb it'll probably go fat early on but
if she has two lambs, there's chance of her making twice as much money.
Right, Frances has just put the ewe down and she's going to hold
her down and Natalie's going to simulate that she's lambing again.
You've found another lamb in there?
You've made sure both the teats work first, have you?
Well done, girls. Don't rub it on there, rub it on t'lamb.
There you are, she thinks she's had two.
She's loving them both now.
She's drying her second lamb, which is her foster lamb, very well.
And it looks like it'll be a good take.
Spring lambs on the farm,
but not all their visitors are spring chickens.
With over 100 acres to cover, electric buggies are in high demand.
-We might be lucky, I think, on the next one.
I can get five of you on.
Last one went without us cos it only takes five.
There are six of us.
So we said we'd wait for the next one so we're hopefully on it.
-Americans stereotypically do not like to wait.
Garden buggies at the moment are a bit of a problem for us.
We've had a few issues with queue-jumping
and customers getting irate with each other.
-Then I've still got to wait for that to come back?
-They'll be about half an hour.
-Not at the moment.
How many buggies do we actually have in our possession on the front of house side of things?
Er, three at the moment.
Have we got three down at, what do you call it, maintenance?
I think we've got five in total.
Yeah, one of them at the minute is completely out of commission.
-Apart from that I'm not 100% sure.
Er, do you have an ETA for the second buggy? Over.
Fighting to keep their visitors mobile is the estate's only qualified mechanic, Andy.
Can't fix it.
I think that about sums it up.
That one's a new engine in it.
These two are... that's ready for servicing
and them two are sort of... if I ever get time.
They are quite busy on the garden tours at the moment.
It doesn't help if some of them are off the road and we haven't got
any spare ones so we have to mend these to get them back in the loop.
I've got so many jobs, so many mixed jobs that everything's a priority
and you struggle a bit to try and get which priority you should be on.
We could be anything from toilet cleaners, dog catchers,
you name it, we do it.
If I was to wear a badge with the things that I did on here,
I wouldn't be able to carry it.
Whatever time I spend on it now will keep it going for the next
three or four months, hopefully.
I don't want a big queue of people waiting for something that's
not going to turn up.
Until Andy can patch up more buggies...
We were waiting for 40 minutes for a buggy and then before we could
get on everybody else had piled on and we were the first in the queue!
And I thought, "Hello?!"
Anyway, he assured me we'd get on the next one in half
in hour's time...everybody jumped on and here we are without,
not on the buggy again.
And with skirmishes breaking out amongst the visitors...
Do you want to take a seat...
..Heather calls for back up.
Hi, it's Heather from the Sculpture Gallery. I really need your help.
We have no other buggies at all.
Right, OK. Have you got two in the gardens, do you know where they are?
-Let's see if we can use the Duke's buggy.
-Shall I go and fetch it?
Will the keys be in it?
Hi, it's Heather from Sculpture Gallery. I really need your help.
Is there any way at all that we could use the Duke's buggy?
Oh, what, the door near where the garden buggy is?
Great, I'll send David down there. OK, thank you, bye.
Yeah, we're going to use the Duke's buggy.
If you go and you meet Dina, she'll be stood at the door
near where the buggy is and she'll hand the keys straight over to you.
And now we're going to have one all to ourselves.
the Duke's buggy!
You know, sometimes you've got to think on your feet little bit
with these things but it's part of your job really.
And I don't mind. That's why I'm here.
Overseeing the shops and restaurants,
the present duchess is on call throughout the summer.
When my mother-in-law handed over the farm shop for us to run,
I found there was a large pair of shoes to fill
but it's very important to keep the farm shop evolving
because our customers know what they want and they're always looking for
something new and interesting, and so we need to keep one step ahead.
Andre has asked me to look at some cheeses, some new, different cheeses
to choose and decide if we want to sell them in the shop.
I think we'll have a look around the shop, while I'm there.
As Amanda Carmen Heyward-Lonsdale,
daughter of Commander Edward Gavin Heyward-Lonsdale,
she married Peregrine Cavendish on 28th June 1967
at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.
Now she's running a grocer's shop.
If I see the Duke and Duchess coming up the drive,
I go around... and they know what I'm on about.
Stand by your beds is what it is.
We've had some delicious cod which is excellent. Really, really fresh.
Andre, will you send some tuna up next time when Sophie asks you?
-Of course you can.
-Yes, please. Thank you.
It's great when she does come and says,
like she said to Sophie on the fish counter, "The fish was fantastic that we had yesterday."
It's good customer feedback from...
the head of the table, as you might say.
-I think it's a really good thing to do.
-Well, it brings the customers in.
And the head of the table is ready to move on to the cheese course.
Now, what have you got?
We've now had two years of the continental cheeses
we've got on the counter.
There are only six but they've been excellent sellers
and that was your driving... driving force to get those in
and they've been brilliant.
-And I just wondered if maybe it's time for...
-..a change with them.
-This looks very strong. What is it? Unpasteurised.
-Shall we have a try?
-No, don't let's start with the strongest.
-Let's start with the weakest. Are we going to be able to taste all of them?
-Of course we are.
That's going to start with, is it?
Selling foreign cheeses in an English farm shop is very controversial
so I think it's something the family should always be involved in
and I'd always speak to the Duchess first before doing things like this
because we're very proud that we've got 99% of our products being British.
So, absolutely, I wouldn't dare do it without consultation.
I like that one. It's creamy. I don't like that one as much.
It's too dry. It's a bit like Gouda.
-I like it.
-Sweet, that's very nice. Excellent.
We know what we like now and we know what we don't like.
-We know where we are.
-We know where we are.
Anything to show me downstairs?
Photographs in the loos.
-Did you know we had a little bit of a mishap?
-No, what happened?
One of them was stolen after day three.
-Which one, the Duke?
-No, it wasn't the Duke!
It was one of the gardens in the gents but while it's a bad thing
that it's happening, it's because they're so good.
-Notify the builder.
Great country houses have always been
a source of employment for the local community.
The commercial success of Chatsworth is helping to keep
this tradition alive.
A lot of families have worked here for more than a generation.
They're hefted to the place like a flock of sheep can be hefted to a hill.
They don't need to be shepherded after several generations.
And I think that they're really proud to see that Chatsworth
is voted the most popular historic house.
When we get those awards, that is... I think we all feel,
everybody here feels we've all played a part in winning that award.
Good morning, everybody.
This is the Countryside Alliance lifetime achievement award.
It's for the whole estate
and all the things that have happened at Chatsworth
over the last 20 or 30 years, so it's really more for my parents than for us,
but it's certainly for an awful lot of you who have been involved
for a long time and so is about to go up outside my mother's front door.
So thank you very much. Well done.
I feel a sense of obligation to my parents -
a really strong obligation to them
because they did such a fantastic job because they kept this place going
when lots of other people would have just given up and with good reason.
We're really only building on what they created.
They did nearly all the hard work.
I think it's nice. A proper bit of kit.
They'll probably give an award to the person who made it.
This is the Countryside Alliance annual awards.
It's a lovely thing to be given.
It's the first time they've given a lifetime achievement award.
In the '50s when my parents started all this,
everything was at a really low ebb, including Chatsworth, and now it
goes very well and it has done for 20 years but it wasn't always like that.
-It was much more of a struggle.
-It was a terrific struggle.
And the taxation was so high.
I suddenly realised that if we could have a butchery
-and sell direct to the public...
-From the farm.
..from the farm, everybody would know that it was Chatsworth produce.
And that was the strength of it. I had no official job here.
I just was behind the scenes.
So I just rattled on until they got so bored of it,
in the end they said, "All right, we had better do it then."
"We'll try," they said.
I suppose you'd call it that very rare thing called common sense.
I do believe it was.
-So that was good.
-It's unheard of.
We can put it there. That looks of it.
-That's very good.
-Or up here.
-That a bit too high.
-Too high? Yes.
OK, well it can go there.
-That'll be lovely.
-That will be all right, won't it? Just perfect.
We could put it on... Under the bell, so people have to see it.
-Well, and then...
-And you could say underneath, "Aren't I clever?"
or something like that? All right.
-Well, we'll try once more we get some screws.
-Yes, all right. Yes.
All right. Very good. Lovely.
Thank you very much indeed. I shall see you soon.
-I really will ask you to lunch next time.
Today is the annual sheep service and at the village church,
the Dowager meets the flock.
The name Jacob sheep derives from Jacob in the Bible,
one of the shepherds,
and he had all piebald sheep and they become name as Jacob sheep.
The fourth Duke introduced six Jacob ewes.
I think next year, It'll be 250 years that Jacobs have been on the estate.
Right, we'll have these two out.
There you go, you two.
These are two we've selected to take.
They're not too big for the kids to carry.
Morning, your Grace. Are you OK?
Are you happy with all the sheep in the churchyard?
-You've got three Jacob ewes.
-At last. You're a very good fellow.
Everything is doing well.
# All things bright and beautiful
# All creatures great and small
# All things wise and wonderful
# The Lord God made them all... #
O, Lamb of God, bless this thy lamb, which bears thy name.
O, Lamb of God, bless this lamb, which bears thy name. Amen.
There you go.
Probably both go in and feed
because they've had a couple of hours away and it's comforting for them.
She's going to be all right. She's letting them feed.
They'll just smell a bit of people holding them and covering them.
We'll leave her a day and keep an eye on her. Good.
With the Duchess keen to sell French cheese alongside local fare,
Andre has set up a tasting to test her selection.
For the last three weeks,
we've had the Duchess's favourite choices of foreign cheeses on sale.
It's the first time really we've accepted openly foreign produce into the shop.
And what we want to do now, moving on from that,
we've got Bob to come in and do tastings from our cheese suppliers.
It's all very new to us, Bob, doing this.
-All these foreign cheeses, you know.
-It's good foreign cheese though.
-It's the best you can get.
Try that cheese, Angie, as you go by. Speak to Bob, he doesn't bite.
Quite strong but the aftertaste is fantastic.
There you go, sir.
These represent the top end of the very best of French cheeses
so we've presented them to Andre and they've picked eight.
-It wasn't me, it was the Duchess.
-It was the Duchess.
It's not as strong as it looks.
I love cheese, I'm terrible.
-I love cheese.
-I do as well.
-Hand ladled, a beautiful flavour quite sticky.
-It is quite sticky.
People can now choose to buy it or not but we've given it a nice push.
-That's nice. I'll have one of those. Thank you.
-I'm very pleased.
I could eat them all. They're all nice.
Change. Embrace it, that's what I say.
-Shall we just look at the cheeses?
-Yes, come on.
I want to hear about these cheeses.
I think you'd be very interested to find out that
all these that we tried, these are all on sale now.
14% of our total cheese sales have been your choice.
-Our choice, come on.
We've given it a boost. We've had tastings with customers.
We've had their feedback and it's been really, really positive.
-So... really positive.
-That's really exciting.
I think these two were probably the best that we did the tastings with.
-And it's obviously boosted the sales on the counter as well.
This is good.
What about like the photographs in the loos?
-The photographs in the toilets...
-Are they still flying off the wall?
No, they're not. They've been screwed to the wall now
so whoever's got a collection of two that can pull them off,
I think that's where that collection will stop.
So unless they're going to bring a toolkit with them.
-No, they're all there and in tact.
-They're still looking fine.
-That sorted that out, well done.
OK, that's fine.
For Heather, judgement day.
With her probation at an end,...
Have I got everyone? We look a bit empty.
..next stop, the head housekeeper's office.
I can't even comprehend it at the moment, to be honest.
I'm trying not to think about it. I'm trying to see the positive side.
I've done everything I can, that's all I can go for really.
I just hope she's seen that.
Yeah, I laugh more when I'm nervous.
I don't even want to think about it, really.
I just want to get in there,
see what she says and get it done.
KNOCK AT THE DOOR
-Come in. Hi, Heather.
We need to sit down and have a chat, talk about what's happened.
What's gone well, what hasn't gone quite so well over the last six months.
When you arrived, the relationship with the guides was very challenging.
I think for you coming in, not knowing anything really
and having to take over a team who have been here for a very long time,
I think that must have been a real challenge for you.
-It's one that I think you've risen to.
-I feel a lot more confident.
A couple of negative things but... Don't look like that.
Because what I feel is important really is about being honest
and I think that's the key.
There were one or two things that I've asked you to do things
and they've slipped through the net.
I think as well, because things are slotting in together
when you say stuff it makes sense to me so I will remember it,
whereas before it might be something that I'm not used to.
Is made perfect sense to me but it probably wouldn't to you,
so that's a fair comment.
On a personal note, I really do... I love your sense of fun
and your enthusiasm and your passion.
And I've got your letter here, to confirm your appointment.
Oh, lovely, thank you very much.
-I've also got you some work the next year, a diary for 2012.
-Well done, Heather. I'm pleased.
-Thank you very much, thank you.
Great, got it, so I'm really chuffed. Really happy.
Really, really happy.
It just means I can just like forget about that now
and get on with my job.
I've got to say, I'd have been absolutely gutted
if I hadn't have carried on so, no, I'm really happy.
Next week on Chatsworth...
Conflict blossoms at the flower festival.
This is a rather amazing gallery.
I've got to work on their home, fundamentally, so I don't want
to do anything that's going to offend or upset them.
Just be careful what you're obscuring.
For the Duchess,
the highlight of her social calendar
turns into a bumpy ride...
Hold tight, everybody!
..as she struggles to get the Chatsworth International horse trials under starter's orders.
I'm feeling sick at this very moment, very sick.
And some serious problems need ironing out.
-You know they always say, a bad workman always blames his tools?
-What's wrong with your iron, Jane?
-My steam button has got stuck.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Three-part documentary series detailing life of the new aristocracy over Chatsworth's entire 2011 season. For the first time ever, the palace of the peaks, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, has opened its doors to the cameras for a whole year. It is a unique opportunity to take an in-depth glimpse of life upstairs and downstairs in the 21st century.
The first programme joins the 12th duke and duchess as the house is being prepared to open to the public. It is the busiest time of year for the house staff and everyone has a role to play - even the duke and duchess, as they join the annual litter pick around the estate.
2011 sees the six month probation period of the youngest and very first female head guide, Heather Redmond. Will she win over the 60-strong guide team, some of whom have worked at Chatsworth since before she was born, and get the job for keeps?
Chatsworth's award-winning farm shop is presided over by manager Andre Birkett. Man and boy he has worked for the family, starting in the kitchens of the house. He is now responsible for 120 staff and an annual turnover of over five million pounds. But there are always new challenges for Andre, and it is a first for him as he has to deal with a pair of discarded underpants in the cistern of the farm shop toilets.
As winter turns to spring it is lambing season on the estate's 62 farms, and farm manager Ian Turner, who has 32 years service under his belt, takes us on a tour of the farm, where we get to see first-hand a sheep adopting a rejected lamb.
For four and a half centuries Chatsworth has been owned by one family, and for one year we have been there to bring you an exclusive insight into the real-life Downton Abbey.