News

Fans bid to sleep, dine at ‘Downton Abbey’ for charity

Fans bid to sleep, dine at ‘Downton Abbey’ for charity

'DOWNTON ABBEY:' The cast of season 4 of Downton Abbey in an undated photo. Photo: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Fans of the British costume drama “Downton Abbey” have spent a collective 40,750 pounds ($68,000) for a chance to sleep at the castle, take a butlering lesson on setting the table and have their portrait painted.

Auction house Christie’s two-week online sale of 12 items and “experiences” gave fans a chance to live like the Crawleys, the fictional family at the center of the show, at Highclere House, the real-life Victorian castle used as the location for the drama series.

The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning drama focuses on the family and their servants in the early 20th century.

“Every lot found a buyer. With ‘Downton Abbey’s’ great popularity, interest in the auction was geographically diverse,” said Elizabeth Van Bergen, a Christie’s spokeswoman.

Yet securing a lot at the auction required the kind of wealth the Crawleys possess.

The top lot attracted a bid of 16,000 pounds for an overnight stay in rooms used during the filming of the first season as the guests of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family seat is at the 175-year-old Highclere Castle.

The visit includes cocktails, a three-course dinner and a traditional English breakfast in the state dining room, Van Bergen said.

The charity auction, which began on Aug. 1 and wrapped up on Thursday, raised money for armed forces charities to support veterans and victims of war, Christie’s said.

Located in the rolling green countryside of Hampshire, England, Highclere is one of the few great country estates still occupied by its owners.

Most of its peers were sold or fell into disrepair as industrialization shook up British class traditions – which is reflected in “Downton Abbey” storylines.

Season 5 premieres in Britain in the autumn on ITV and in the United States in January on PBS.

(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Michael Roddy and Alison Williams)

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: This slow-mo capture of a lightning strike is like fire falling from the sky

15-overlay-15

This wicked weather was recorded at 7000 frames per second. Mother Nature is truly breathtaking.

4 hours ago in Music, Viral Videos

Blake Shelton finally tries sushi

20-overlay-11

Jimmy Fallon takes "The Voice" judge out for a little dinner and a chance to broaden his horizons.

5 hours ago in National

‘Flags in’ for Memorial Day weekend

flags16146721748085

The tradition marks the beginning of Memorial Day weekend activities around the nation.

6 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is a totally pointless, boring sequel

17-overlay-3

Not even Johnny Depp - reliable as ever inside a fright wig and exaggerated make up - can save this sequel.

6 hours ago in Local

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Shooting Tribal Officer

courtroom

Linn Cross Dog III entered his plea on Wednesday.