lord carnarvon

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4,000 Houses for 4,000 Followers: No 20:

Highclere Castle, Hampshire, England. 

Rebuilt 1839-42 by Sir Charles Barry, with a park by Capability Brown. 

Was the home of Lord Carnarvon, friend and sponsor of Howard Carter, and is the main filming location of Downton Abbey. 

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Lady Evelyn Leonora Almina Herbert (1901 - 1980) was the only daughter of Almina, 5th Countess of Carnarvon of Tutankhamun fame. In November 1922 she was the first woman to step back over 3000 years to witness the opening of the sealed door of the boy Pharaoh’s tomb, then enter the antechamber a step or two behind Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon and Arthur ‘Pecky’ Callender (Carter’s assistant). Lady Evelyn was the first person to enter the boy King’s Burial Chamber on the same night or the following day after the antechamber was breeched on 26 November 1922.

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“…as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?’ it was all I could do to get out the words: Yes, wonderful things.” 

(Howard Carter)

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Presently, details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold – everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment – an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by – I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand in suspense any longer, inquired anxiously “Can you see anything?”, it was all I could do to get out the words “Yes, wonderful things”.

The Diary of Howard Carter - November 26th, 1922

Lord Carnarvon reading.

Lord Carnarvon was more than a silent financial partner in the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Were it not for him, Howard Carter would not only have lacked the financing and the concession to dig in the Valley of the Kings, he would have also lacked the political clout for what was, in the early 1900s, a very publicly visible pursuit.

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Presently, details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold – everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment – an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by – I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand in suspense any longer, inquired anxiously “Can you see anything?”, it was all I could do to get out the words “Yes, wonderful things”.

The Diary of Howard Carter - November 26th, 1922

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OMG. I cannot believe this! It seems the Downton Abbey House, Highclere House has a real life Egyptian prince in it’s history. AND he supposedly slept with the countess resulting in an heir that is NOT the rightful heir under the law. The story line for Downton Abbey obviously borrowed from the castle’s history but more and more discoveries have been made and the current heir may be replaced! Here are pics of the Egyptian Prince and the Countess Almina. The more research I do on her the more interesting it gets. It seems HER parentage is unclear as well and she may have been the illigitimate daughter of a Rothchild (? or was THAT all just a ploy to cover his homosexuality?) and it was HIS money that funded her extravagant lifestyle. Her husband was THE Lord Carnarvon that discovered King Tut’s tomb and treasures. There is a bio of her written by the current Countess Carnarvon and another by a historian William Cross. He accuses her bio of being sanitized and amied at keeping her and her husband as the heirs. he even has posted scathing reviews of her bio on Amazon and from the paris review: He accuses Lady Carnarvon of writing a “hugely diluted and sanitized” version of Almina’s life and sees her hagiography as part of a broader conspiracy to consolidate power among the landed class. “Britain is still absolutely under the control of the aristocracy,” he says. “That, in 2011, isn’t right.” AMAZING STUFF! Much more lurid than the show. Truth IS stranger than fiction!

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On November 26th, 1922, Egyptologist Howard Carter, in the presence of Lord Carnarvon, Carnarvon’s daughter Evelyn, and various others, made a tiny hole in the doorway of the newly discovered Tomb of Tutankamun, with a chisel given to him as a 17th birthday gift by his grandmother. He described the event and what he saw inside in his diary:

Presently, details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold – everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment – an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by – I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand in suspense any longer, inquired anxiously “Can you see anything?”, it was all I could do to get out the words “Yes, wonderful things”.

The next several months were spent cataloging the contents of the antechamber under the ‘often stressful’ oversight of Pierre Lacau, director general of the Department of Antiquities of Egypt. On 16 February 1923, Carter opened the sealed doorway, and found that it did indeed lead to a burial chamber, and he got his first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. All of these discoveries were eagerly covered by the world’s press, but most of their representatives were kept in their hotels; only H. V. Morton was allowed on the scene, and his vivid descriptions helped to cement Carter’s reputation with the British public.

Carter’s own notes and photographic evidence, indicate that he, Lord Carnarvon and Lady Evelyn Herbert entered the burial chamber shortly after the tomb’s discovery and before the official opening.