Castles on Camera: HGTV Visits the Real "Downton Abbey"

The stately home that millions of Downton Abbey fans have grown to adore is no movie set, but an actual castle. HGTV takes you inside Highclere Castle to see its spectacular rooms and meet the real-life lord and lady of the manor.

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Countess of Carnarvon

The fictional world of Downton Abbey draws some of its inspiration from real life and past events at Highclere Castle. Though their names are not Lord and Lady Grantham, the home's current owners are true modern-day aristocrats: George Herbert, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, and his wife, Lady Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon, pictured here. Lady Fiona is a historian and has written a biography of her predecessor Lady Almina, an English heiress and a former Countess of Carnarvon. Almina, whose wealth and status helped to preserve the family estate through troubled times, serves in part as the basis for Downton Abbey's Lady Cora.

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