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The 500-Year-Old Estate That Makes Downton Abbey Look "Downton Shabby"

Season 5 Episode 505
Aired on 04/05/2015 | CC tv-14
When Lord Charles Spencer, the younger brother of Princess Diana, was just 27 years old, he became the ninth Earl Spencer and inherited the family's 500-year-old ancestral home, Althorp. Although Lord Spencer lived in this grand estate for years with his parents, he says there were rooms he never properly visited until after his father passed away.

Althorp, which has been home to the Spencer family for 19 generations, has about 90 rooms. "I know it sounds absurd, but it was built to impress," Lord Spencer says.

Thanks to the popularity of the BBC series Downton Abbey, which chronicles the lives of a wealthy family and its servants who live in a grand English estate, a place like Althorp doesn't feel as absurd, Oprah says. Coincidentally, Lord Spencer considers Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, a good friend. "I talk about this with him, you know, this whole fascination with this, and actually, I suppose Althorp, where I live, is still a working Downtown Abbey," Lord Spencer says.

Watch as the earl shares how Althorp makes the home on Downtown Abbey look "Downton shabby."

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