The Duchess was filmed on location in Derbyshire at both Chatsworth House and Kedleston Hall during September and October 2007. Based on the novel, 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' by Amanda Foreman, the film tells the life story of Duchess Georgiana (1757 – 1806). The Duchess married from the Spencer family into the Devonshire family in the 18th century.
The Duchess was directed by Saul Dibb. The film stars Keira Knightley as Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire and Ralph Fiennes as her husband William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire . Charlotte Rampling plays Lady Spencer
and Dominic Cooper is Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.
Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire like Princess Diana, her direct descendent, was beautiful, glamorous and adored by the public. But beneath her glamorous façade lay an intelligent and vulnerable woman, stranded in a loveless marriage to the Duke. She falls passionately in love with an ambitious young politician ( Charles Grey, the future Prime Minister) , and the affair causes a bitter conflict with her husband and threatens to erupt into a scandal.
During the filming Kedleston Hall was used in the film to depict Althorp (the Spencer family home), Devonshire House in London and a rented villa in Bath. As well as Kedleston Hall and Chatsworth House , scenes were also filmed at Twickenham Film Studios , Bath, Holkham Hall in Norfolk , Clandon Park near Guildford in Surrey and Basildon Park in Berkshire.
The National Trust’s Kedleston Hall has a major new exhibition opening on 18 August, 'The Duchess – Behind the Scenes'. See The Duchess at Kedleston Hall
'The Duchess' is due out in cinemas on September 5 2008.
See www.theduchessmovie.co.uk for details and a preview.
For many photographs of these Derbyshire and Peak District connections please see Derbyshire Photographs