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)

Latest Headlines

in Sports, Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: NASCAR driver walks away from incredible wreck

Fresh
21-overlay4

Austin Dillon walked away from a dramatic wreck at the finish line of the Daytona International Speedway and it was all caught on camera.

in Sports

Record 25M watch Women’s World Cup final on TV

Fresh
14-overlay4

The ratings set a new high for any soccer match televised in America.

in National, Sports

Boston bomber wants a new trial

Fresh
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who has been sentenced to death, filed a motion in federal court on Monday seeking a new trial.

in Sports

MLB: 4 Royals elected All-Star starters

joseallstar

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve passed Kansas City's Omar Infante in the final days of voting, leaving four Royals as starters for the All-Star Game.

in Sports

Serena downs Venus to reach Wimbledon quarters

serenawimbledon

A contest featuring the sisters, who between them have hoisted the Rosewater Dish 10 times, should have been a blockbuster but turned out to be yet another awkward anti-climax.