PRIZED possessions, majestic rooms and enchanting plants are on show for all to see after Chatsworth House reopened for 2011 this week.
The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have put together a stunning public display – called ‘Our Favourite Things’ – featuring an eclectic mix of cherished items including a New York Giants football given to the Duke and an eye-catching 23-inch-long Rosary which used to belong to Henry VIII.
“I follow the New York Giants on Sky,” revealed the Duke during the launch of the impressive display in the North Sketch Gallery of the stately home.
“I very much prefer American football to English soccer,” he added.
Examining the beautiful boxwood Rosary, bought by the 6th Duke of Devonshire who died in 1858, the Duchess said: “It’s so impressive to think that this was handled by Henry VIII. It’s really beautiful – each bead is carved with figures and scenes from the Bible. It is exquisite.”
Equally impressive are the historic home’s guest bedrooms which have been restored, bringing to life the tradition of glittering house parties held at Chatsworth in previous years. The 6th Duke, son of the renowned Duchess Georgiana, played by Keira Knightley in the 2008 film The Duchess, was a keen party host and the most eligible bachelor of his time.
And visitors will be able to venture outside in the spring sunshine and enjoy a number of new attractions. The Display Greenhouse will open for the first time for guided tours, enabling people to get up close to botanical wonders like the Cavendish Banana.