The place where the popular TV show, Downton Abbey, is filmed is known in real life as Highclere Castle. While it was never an abbey, the property does have a storied past filled with aristocratic parties and a link with Queen Elizabeth II who was dear friends with the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, the title held with the castle and estate. In 1962 the estate was host to a fashion show of Norman Hartnell’s designs. In his years of designing Hartnell achieved the royal warrant as dressmaker to both Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and to the current queen and he also designed for many other famous royal ladies of the 20th century as well.
The models strutted their stuff down the grand staircase in front of paintings from antiquity and swooshed for a crowd in the Great Hall below the Gallery. The fashion show probably didn’t garner the same attention it would have had it been held in London, but no doubt the many star players involved made it an illustrious event nonetheless. Have a look at the 1962 Norman Hartnell fashion show held at Highclere Castle in the video below.