Fiona, 8th Countess of Carnarvon, is the wife of Geordie, 8th Earl of Carnarvon. They live at Highclere Castle, known to millions around the world as “Downton Abbey.”
Lady Carnarvon is the best-selling author of five books, a historian, an international speaker, and an established fundraiser in the UK and abroad. Lady Carnarvon, her husband, and her son live “quietly” with seven dogs, various horses and ponies, a brood of chickens, several beehives, and some rare-breed pigs amongst the many other farm animals in the farm landscape of Highclere Castle today.
Her everyday life at Highclere varies from welcoming visitors to her home, creating events to support charities, managing and restoring the castle’s historic buildings, gardening, filming, and directing the marketing of the Highclere brand. Lady Carnarvon manages other global endeavors, such as the castle’s award-winning Highclere Castle Gin.
Her latest book, The Earl and the Pharaoh, is a biography of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon which describes his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun with Howard Carter. Working from archives, letters and diaries, the book brings to life the story of this remarkable man and his friendship and collaboration with Howard Carter. During the arc of the biography, Lady Carnarvon relates the development of motor cars (Carnarvon was one of the earliest motorists), the story of Geoffrey de Havilland who flew his first plane from Highclere in 1910, and the Carnarvons’ passion for horse racing and breeding. Lord Carnarvon had sailed and travelled through much of the world but was drawn to Egypt and dedicated his work and life to the excavation and understanding of Ancient Egypt. He worked for some 16 years in the inhospitable dry sands, through much of it, searching for Tutankhamun.
In another bestseller, Seasons at Highclere, Lady Carnarvon explores the layers of history of the estate and gardens of this internationally famous home. Full of lavish photographs and numerous recipes from the Castle kitchens, Seasons at Highclere concentrates on how the estate and gardens have grown and supplied produce to its community over hundreds of years. The book also celebrates Lady Carnarvon’s own enthusiasm for cooking for wellness.
She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey, amongst other books.
A love of travel and reading is part of Lady Carnarvon’s DNA. Following a degree at St. Andrew’s University, she trained as a Chartered Accountant with what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is proud that Highclere Castle serves as an anchor to the past as well as an innovative member of the modern world though social media, her weekly blog, her podcast, and her latest exciting venture, “Friends of Highclere.”